Friday, 11 March 2011
felt like telling stories
i've discovered a new diversion on the Time Vampire
the possibility for making amusing 9 patches
or whatever number you like
i just happen to like the number 9
here's the link
but what i really wanted to share today
was the story of how my writing went from
occasional story-telling in Textile Fibre Forum mag
to books - so many folks have asked if i have an agent, how did i find a publisher etc
it goes something like this.
way back at the turn of the century, Qantas
[Australia's Skippy emblazoned national carrier]
contacted me wanting a sample felt bowl to shoot for their Japanese inflight magazine
so i sent a couple of bowls and
some months later
they enquired about a photoshoot
it duly happened, a story was published
i couldn't read it cos it was in Kanji or Katakana or something but the pix were cute
shot by my bro
i put it in the filing box and got on with life
some months later the phone rings
-this is an Event in itself in our house -
and a shy voice speaking in strongly accented english
asks if i will teach a private felt workshop at home.
first instinct in head screams NO WAY.
but universe taps me on shoulder and says, hey, listen.
so i ask why...and who
turns out it is Toyoko, who was Art Director for Spirit.
the magazine has been scrapped [good old cost cutting]
and she is now jobless
so i take an unusual dance-step
and invite Toyoko to come stay for a weekend.
[most unusual, for me. i'm a complete hermit and we hadn't even met at this point]
some weeks later we collect a slight bespectacled figure
wearing a somewhat frayed but still gorgeous velvet detailed Comme des Garcons coat
from the hangar where Virgin used to land when they first started flying here
i teach her how to make felt
let her play in the studio
introduce her to sheep
and take her back to the airport at the end of the long weekend
again, i get on with life
from time to time an exquisite letter arrives in the post
and tells me that Toyoko is managing to sell felt at various markets
which pays the rent
and puts a scrap of food on the table
this is good.
skip to about three years later
and i get a phone call from Murdoch Books
"would i be interested in writing a book about felt?"
well, yes of course, but how did they find me?
turns out Toyoko had been to see them with her portfolio
[she's a book designer by profession]
and they'd looked and made "how nice noises"
but seemed more interested in her bag
which was made of felt [by her]
Toyoko kindly told them where she'd learned
and they'd rung me.
which is why we did that first book together.
me doing the writing and the two of us sharing the projects.
so i never went looking for a publisher, nor do i have an agent.
Toyoko designed the look of Second Skin
and also published a gorgeous book of her own
'pass me a smile'
now i just need to work out a plot for our next collaboration...