Hilary’s jacket is going to look great. The back of the jacket has inlaid lace and other things and you can see this jacket is going to look really good when it is finished. Hilary was looking for opinions about how it fitted and looked. We all loved it. She wasn’t sure about the front but it was looking good to us . We love styling and using our brains to solve creative problems. It is good to play around with the things people create in our group. It is good to discuss our ideas too. Even if we know what we want , running it by others in the group will make our own ideas clearer and so when we work on something again we have a better idea of detail and finesse. Hilary’s jacket is going to be very striking and it will be very well made. You don’t hurry big projects like this. You take your time and enjoy the journey so you achieve your best.
Alexis wore her show and tell last Monday. Why not? It was eye catching and stylish. She had felted fabric and made herself a really lovely tunic which sat properly, moved properly and fitted properly. Alexis confessed she doesn’t like to sew very much. Why would she if she can make garments like this with little or no sewing? The colours are well chosen and thoughtfully understated but make a visual impact. The movement of the lighter blue colours across the black and then the white designs is well conceived. It’s a beautiful tunic and suits Alexis well. She has used fine merino wool for this so that it produces a malleable fabric which is nice to wear. It’s actually good to see artistic felting used for something truly wearable as opposed to textile art which has display value but you cannot use it. Wearable art is as much a valuable skill and challenge.
Jan is bold with colour and teaches us to be brave. She is modest in what she can and has accomplished. She cares passionately about fibre arts and textile skills. Over the years she has influenced this in Adelaide by pursuing her love of style and colour. She loves felting and in our group she tries to show newcomers ways and means of being able to felt something worthwhile and interesting. She works with the Marion Cultural Centre to help develop Gallery M where she has her felted pieces in the shop and she has been part of their exhibitions. This breakthrough in elevating the importance of textile art in Adelaide is thanks to people like Jan. Her work is featured left. Sonya, our roving reporter, brings you her story:
I have been sewing since my primary school days. Mum used to make all our clothes, as folks did in those days. In grade 7 we all made a baby’s dress with smocking, then sewing it up and crocheting around the edging.
I attended Marion High School in its 1st year of opening. From there I went to work at Toy Wholesales in their office for 7 years. Then for the next 7 years I worked at the Shell Company. That all ended after I got married and had a baby. I used to do a bit of embroidery at that time. When my son was 5 years old I went back to work in several different offices. I decided I would sooner work in a business of my own than continue working for others. So I bought a craft shop at Aldgate, called The Spindle House. It stocked spinning wheels, fleece, lazy Kates and various other things to do with spinning and craft. And that’s when I learned to spin. We also stocked leadlight supplies, so I learned to cut glass and do lead lighting.
Eventually I moved the shop to Brighton Road. I sold commercial wool there, as well. It was a big shop too. But I eventually sold that because I could see that weekend work would be coming in the future and I didn’t want to do that.
Fast forward some years.
When I retired I joined the Embroiderers’ Guild. I then started felting from the Internet but found it difficult to locate the wool I needed for that. Someone told me I could buy it at the Spinners and Weavers Guild. And that’s where I met Hilary and some of the other spinners. They asked me to come to their group and demonstrate how I made felted flowers. It was there that I discovered the Seaford Spinners, joined up and have been a member ever since.
Jan, your work is haute couture standard. Exquisitely crafted and the colours you use are always stunningly beautiful. We are indeed privileged to have you in our midst.
We love playing dress ups. We love it when someone makes something we can style and play with so that everyone can see how different something can look because we all play around with the item and can then demonstrate its versatility. This shrug just made us so excited. Beth is very clever. She got the creamy colour by using bleach. That was an eye opener for most of us. Who’d put wool and bleach together and then come up with such a good colour? This shrug is wool, silk and chiffon and is very soft. The bleach has not made it hard and rough as you might imagine. There are some things which experience teaches which imagining can’t. We wanted Beth to put it on so we could see it and then play around with how it looked. We could see it was reversible and you got quite a different look if you turned it the other way. It’s just lovely and the silver brooches which Beth added just made it look cool. It would take a lot of time to felt the fabric and then put ti together so it drapes properly. This shrug was as fun as it was fantastic.