2016 – My Year in Review

It’s the time of year to look back and reflect on what you have achieved and plan for the new year. Rather than focus on individual works and exhibitions, here is my list of:-

Things I learnt in 2016. (Textile related)

1. How to properly use a seam ripper– I know I’ve been sewing for 40+ years…

2. How the bobbin actually works on my sewing machine (see above)

3. How lovely Perth is…when you stop to look and discover the buildings

4. The incredible amount of stuff that gets thrown away and the cost(s) of manufacturing said items. I’ve started to really consider my purchases (new clothing especially)

5. The lovely Beverley Station Arts– I want some time here 🙂

6. Years ago I wouldn’t have dreamt I would spend soooo much time writing about my work.

7. How gut wrenchingly hard making very personal works can be to make, and how uplifting completion is.

8. It still amazes me how Google connects all over the world.

9. Bullet Journal – I trialed this analog diary in December and it works for me far better than any other commercial diary/calendar/digital program.

These things I did know and have reconfirmed in 2016 :-

1. How much publicity WAM gives you.

2. Having your work juried is a very subjective thing…however, exhibition rejection letters are still challenging to deal with.

3. My work takes a LONG time.

4. Every work has challenging elements, especially when trialing new ideas, techniques and ways of working.

5. Deadlines are the best way for me to get work done.

6. I have to keep making – I get very frustrated and bored when not working on something.

7.Through the common interest of textiles, I have made a lot of lovely, interesting friendships.

8. Inspiration and the connection of ideas appears in the oddest of places…it’s a reminder to keep going out, not just to art events, but all sorts of places.

9. That the art exhibitions, talks, workshops and events that I have the pleasure of participating in, are in the vast majority run by volunteers. Without these wonderful people willing to give of their time and skills (often at the expense of having time to make their own work) our textile community would be much poorer. I am truly grateful to them all.


I had a lovely escape on Saturday…

It is less than a month until the opening of our MELD exhibition. Although all the works are complete there is still a lot to do when you are organising it yourselves. I have just send out all the invites and Liz Arnold is busy preparing a fantastic catalogue. We also have three birthday parties in our house in three weeks! So an escape on Saturday to a REmida workshop was pure joy (and somewhat indulgent considering how much I have to do at present)

The workshop was organised by Barb Thoms, Festival Arts Officer at the City of Mandurah to explore ideas for the 2015 Common Threads Wearable Art awards using recycled materials.

I had been wanting to visit REmida for a while, it was great opportunity to see what they have and to explore possibilities.


Stickers, contact, foils, paper…


Melamine samples – I know an artist who made gorgeous earrings from these 20 years ago!


Picture frame offcuts


Extruded plastic scraps

IMG_6492IMG_6489They have two rooms full of clean industry wasteIMG_6487IMG_6486IMG_6484IMG_6483IMG_6482It was a morning of “just play”, see how the materials can be put together… IMG_6501 Some participants made some amazing things. My piece fell apart before I could photograph it…IMG_6502I tried to rescue it by wrapping some cellophane…unfortunately this idea came very close to the end of the workshop.IMG_6503 I have brought home aluminum tubing, a large perspex circle (about 1.5m diameter) a plastic lid, sheets of plastic grid and a very large bag of nappy liners!

Believe it or not I have ideas for how these materials can become part of my entry for the 2015 Common Threads Wearable Art awards

Oh, and Barb Thoms showed us a copy of the latest Downunder Textiles  – Issue 16. There is an article about the Common Threads Wearable Art exhibition 2014 featuring among others Once




New print table

My first screen printing experience was in Year 8 at high school and it was a disaster! We were asked to design an album cover which we then printed onto paper with oil based inks…what a mess. It was very runny and sticky and ended up everywhere AND the cleanup… It was probably at this point my love of all water based techniques started. Discovering printing onto fabric with water based inks was a dream. I have been printing on and off ever since.

For a number of years I printed lengths of fabric on a purpose built printing table (thanks Dad) and I’ve used a carousel (thanks again Dad for building this one too) to print production runs.

North Folk Studios

North Folk Studios 1984

North Folk Studios (2)

My first print table 1984

Carousel Printing

Carousel printing at Artist Residency 1988

Throughout the years my studio spaces and the type of work I create has changed. My current work is not primarily printing as it has been in the past. Instead of long print runs, I print lots of small pieces in a variety of colours and designs. I usually work on my laundry bench on a folded up old sheet. For small pieces like this I don’t even pin down the fabric…

I printed a queen sized doona cover for my son last year on a makeshift table at craft house see Josh’s Doona cover . Here I taped down the fabric.

Shed 2

Entrance to shed

After a workshop with Kerr Grabowski in 2012 I made a rough print table in my shed for more space for deconstruction printing. As you can see it’s a bit hard to find…I used it once.Shed 1At the workshop Kerr used a thick piece of covered foam board to pin her fabric into and print on. I imagine it fits nicely in her suit case for traveling to workshop locations.With this in mind I have made a print board from a piece of corrugated plastic covered in an old blanket and my print sheet.

Table 1Table 2May 2014 520May 2014 519 I have been printing on silk organza lately. This requires an under layer to absorb the excess ink and needs to be changed with every print. The excess sections of print sheet are now hemmed and can cover the board as extra absorbent layers as needed.  I tried the new table/board yesterday and it works really well.May 2014 522

The interesting part of this process was I had the chance to really look at my print sheet. There are some great little “complex cloth” pieces here. It is a joy to look at the over prints of various projects, knowing this was the beginning…

May 2014 521

May 2014 518May 2014 517May 2014 516May 2014 515May 2014 514May 2014 512May 2014 511May 2014 510May 2014 509May 2014 508


May 2014 507May 2014 505May 2014 504May 2014 502

Indigo Dreams

Indigo Dreams is my entry for the 2013 Australian Cotton Fibre Expo currently on display in Narrabri NSW.

Indigo Dreams Front

Indigo Dreams – Front

Indigo Dreams - Back

Indigo Dreams – Back










The piece is made from cotton voile which I have hand dyed in Indigo using simple resist techniques.  Each square has six layers of voile, machine stitched together with sections then cut away to fray and reveal additional patterning. Some sections have been hand stitched for an extra highlight.

Indigo Dreams - Detail 2

Indigo Dreams – Detail


Colour Project -Every day for a year!

Colour Project – Conclusions

A year of my colour project. I have completed the challenge of every day including birthdays, holidays, hosting a 50th anniversary party for my parents, a double hernia operation, good days, bad days, many busy days…some days the piece I made took all day, other times it was 10 minutes at the end of a busy day when I remembered!

The aim of the project was to try lots of textile related ideas and techniques, many that I have been wanting to try for a long time. Exploring this through a specified colour each month has sometimes influenced the ideas and techniques and often helped me to break down my colour biases.

What I have learnt:

– A commitment like this is a fantastic way to build up a large body of samples that I now have to draw from for my future works. With the best of intension I don’t think I would have done this without the daily commitment.

– That there are some techniques that I never need to try again, proved quickly in this sample format either to be too difficult, not as I imagined they would turn out or just not quite my cup of tea.

– the samples made at the last minute, in a rush or with no idea of the outcome have often been the most interesting, like writers who force themselves to “Just write” inspiration comes from doing.

– By forcing myself to work in colours that I don’t like has been very rewarding, samples that I created wouldn’t work in any other colours…

– There is also a sense of contentment, a want to just work, a loss of the nagging want to try ALL the techniques that I come across.

This project has taken a lot of my time away from other things in 2012, and now it is time to take those samples that inspired me and have potential and develop them further.

Stitched and Bound Exhibition

The invite to Stitched and Bound 2012 arrived last week.It is a juried exhibition of contemporary quilts and I am delighted to have had a piece of my work accepted for it. The exhibition is at Heathcote Museum and Gallery, Duncraig Road, Applecross Western Australia. It runs from 18 August – 23 September 2012.

The image on the invite: The Flood Plain (detail) by Janette Campbell




Welcome to my blog on all things textile.

For 2012 I have taken on the challenge of a daily personal colour project.

I will explore a different colour each month starting with White throughout January.The challenge is to do something related to that colour everyday. To read, write, discover and explore lots of textile ideas.

This is purely experimental, flow of ideas, not finished pieces. Some will work and be great as a bank of references for future artworks…others will not. That’s ok.