Monday, 4 February 2013

felt like retreating into textiles ???

an Uzbek patchwork fragment. because it's lovely.

i've had a very long association with TAFTA
its fearless leader Janet de Boer O.A.M. was the first to invite me to teach workshops
[outside my long-ago role with the Arts Council of South Australia,
where they were part of my job as Exhibitions Development Officer and my years volunteering as an unpaid art teacher at our local primary school]
as well as being the first to publish my stories
[other than the Heathfield High School Year Book]

Janet kindly let me join Karen Diadick Casselman's class as assistant 
[nearly fifteen years ago if my counting fingers serve me correctly]
and then Karen encouraged me to pursue my study of eucalyptus dyes
in post-graduate studies. she and i may differ on the subject of adjunct mordants 
but Karen was the driving force that brought natural dyeing back into public focus in the 1990s and i have huge respect for her

Janet is also the creative genius behind the original Textile Fibre Forums
and nurtured through them a sense of community
and the opportunity for [primarily] women
to leave their 'normal' lives behind for six days
join the sisterhood, dedicate themselves to the textile arts
be fed and nourished in both body and spirit
dress up and dance wildly at the party at the end of the week

in recent years others have profited by emulated Janet's trailblazing
and similar textile events have popped up all over the country
however forums convened by her remain singular in that Janet makes a point of knowing and remembering the name of each and every person who attends.
and her commitment to pastoral care, as it were, is legendary

given the plethora of offerings available
Janet has once again had a big think
and come up with the notion of a textile retreat

where folks can take classes with tutors of international repute
and participate in a design focus group
or choose to attend an open studio
and spend a week focussing on their own work
with an established artist as mentor 
all the while being well fed, with the option of attending talks in the evenings
and with a splendid selection of traders close by

the textile retreat is held at Geelong Grammar School
in September each year.
i won't be at this one [cos i'll be on an island off the west coast of the United States]
but some very fine people will be teaching
including Pat Hickman [whose company i enjoyed last year at the Haystack New Works Session], Ruth Hadlow [whose class is full],  Ilze Aviks [her class is full too]
and feltmaker Jorie Johnson

need some time out in September?
this would be a good place to take it.

you never know, it might be the beginning of a something amazing
as it has been for me.


  1. meeting janet last june and watching her sharp and brilliant enthusiasm for fiberart was a highlight of my trip to oz. she is a national treasure (who i do believe chose oz as her home, a very wise woman)

    1. the story is she chose us but i suspect it could have been the other way...we simply wouldn't let her go!

  2. Ah, Karen Diadick Casselman and her natural dye books were a huge inspiration while I was a NSCAD student. She came to the textile studio once or twice to give talks about her lichen dye research. Amazing. I'm so glad that Karen encouraged you to blaze new trails. You did and you continue to do so!

  3. Always totally amazed at all the good things you accomplish and teach.

    Cuban sandwiches....taken from a long bread of cuban bread, swiss cheese, crusty on the outside, rustic soft on the inside, sliced sweet ham, sliced pork roast, salami, pickle and mustard. Delightful. They are sometimes hot pressed. Yum.

    1. thank you for the elucidation...and in case the gentle reader thinks we are speaking in code, you'll have to visit the blog of the wild magnolia to find out!

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