Helen MacRichie

Helen MacRichie calls herself a textile artist because she combines lots of different techniques including felting, embroidery, lacemaking, sewing. She has been selling and exhibiting her work for seven years but has been crafting for many years. As a five year old in Scotland, she was obliged to write a daily diary. She soon discovered that a drawing filled lots of space to pad out a little text. Helen always did art at school but listened to her mother who said there was no money in art and continued with science. She earned a PhD in pharmacy and worked in pharmacy research. When her husband moved the family to Switzerland, she stayed at home with the kids because her german was not good enough to continue working. To assuage the boredom of being a hausfrau she undertook the City and Guilds, long distance embroidery design course. When the family moved to Australia in 2004 Helen continued the City and Guilds course which has become the inspiration as well as the method of much of her current practice.

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Three Wool Items Competition

Competition to be conducted at Agricultural Society, Group & State Level. A group of three items are submitted to a local show. The winners at that level are entered in a zone competition at a later show. The winners of the zone competition, are entered to the RAS in Sydney at Easter.

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Sands Directories

The firm of John Sands Ltd (Printers and Stationers) published their directory each year from 1858-59 to 1932-33 (except for 1872, 1874, 1878 and 1881.) The household and business information it contains is a fundamental source for research into Sydney history, especially family history.
Until now, the directory was usually accessed through a microfiche edition made by WF Pascoe Ltd which is available at many public libraries. The City of Sydney obtained a complete digital edition of the directory from WF Pascoe, scanned from the microfiche and has made the complete set of Sands available and searchable online. Access is free.
Under Trades and Professions in the 1858-69 directory were no weavers. There were warehousemen, watchmakors, wellsinkors, wheelwrights, whipmakers, whitesmiths, wine merchants, wire-workers and wool brokers. Nor any spinners.
[According to Wikipedia a whitesmith, also known as a tinsmith, tinner, tinker, or tinplate worker, is a person who makes and repairs things made of light-coloured metal.]

Bothwell Spin-In

The 2015 Spin-In committee plans to introduce something new while keeping to the traditions of the Bothwell Spin-In. Their competitions page will have information soon. Just a hint, it involves sheep and alpacas.
For those who enjoy making something for the Mary Simon perpetual trophy, the form is now on the website. The 2015 Spin-In item will be a throw rug.

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Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning

Have you thought of going further with your spinning? Most of us who learned to spin and have achieved a certain competence wonder if there is more to learn and earn something to show for it.
Well there is!
Part A of Certificate of Competence in Hand Spinning course has been revised and the Guild would love some members to give it a try. Just imagine how that Certificate will make you feel  when you show it off to your friends when it is mounted in your craft corner or workshop.
Years ago, many achieved a similar accreditation in the art of spinning through textile courses run by TAFE. Since that avenue closed, there is no longer that sense of achievement in the craft, hence the Guild offers this excellent course of self guided study.
If you want to know more, contact Eleanor Igoe, who will send you more information about how to sign up.

(S)miles of Yarn

Spinning is a craft that has many antique words. This is a contemporary description of a spinning mill, that makes perfect sense… to a spinner:

The Carder is the heart of a fiber mill. Each feed of fiber is weighed and placed on the infeed belt. The swift carries the fiber forward. Straightened fibers are carried by the swift to the fancy. The fancy’s card cloth is designed to engage with the swift’s card cloth so that the fibers are lifted to the tips of the swift’s card cloth and carried by the swift to the doffer. The slowly turning doffer removes the fibers from the swift and carries them to the comb where they are stripped from the doffer. A fine web exits the carder.

The web can be turned into batts which are used in quilts and felt making, consolidated into roving, also referred to as sliver, which is further processed into yarns on cones and skeins.
Bumps, skeins, cones, etc may have meant something specific once. But these terms seem to be interchangeable. Added to this is the difference between English as she is spoke in different countries.

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Portuguese Influence

We recently had visitor from Portugal, Lurdes Borralho. Lurdes has Esquilo, a small, on-line presence, from Portugal. She started making unique handbags and has more recently worked on a rigid heddle loom.
While in Australia she wanted to learn to weave on a multi-shaft loom. We couldn’t make it happen at Summer School, so I gave her my class notes for dressing a loom and she came to the Guild to hire a multi-shaft loom.

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Eco Dyeing with Linda Chee

Linda, continuing her discussion of Eco Dyeing from the mini, said that she has been working on it for about two years since an India Flint workshop. (It took her two years to get into the workshop.) They connected. They both have a feel for dyeing plus both India and Linda’s husband are Latvian. India was willing to share information. Linda is willing to pass on what she knows to people who are interested in the art.

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The Bra Show

The Frayed Edges of Quaama, a far NSW south coast fibre arts group, will sponsor The Bra Show, an exhibition in aid of the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Opening at 6pm Friday, May 9 at the Lazy Lizard Gallery, Cobargo, the Bra Show will run through May and continue over the Eat Think Create weekend of 6-9 June.

“From crochet to concrete, in fibre and feathers, felt, wire and wood, found objects or Granny’s lace, we invite you to contribute the fruits of your fancies, however outrageous, to this great cause. Remember that men get breast cancer too, as well as often being the main support of women survivors. So get out your chisels, chainsaws, needles, paints and brushes, and express yourselves!”

No charge for entries, forms from Cathy. All bras and entry forms needed by 1 May.

Egyptian weaving

Trevor Passmore has been doing some research over the years on ancient looms and came across an e-book which he found very helpful; Ancient Egyptian and Greek Looms, by H. Ling Roth, and the best thing is that it is free, only a small book but covers the topic very well.
Ancient Egyptian and Greek Looms by H Ling RothProject Gutenberg