An absolutely wonderful day spent travelling, with other members of the Embroidery Guild, by bus to Geelong Grammar School, where the TAFTA Fibre Forum held an Open Day for visitors to view the various works completed in a wide range of classes during the previous week. The work was inspirational, and I rarely use that word as a descriptor, but I came away with many ideas rumbling round my brain, and itching to get home to start experimenting. There were also several specialist silk and fibre vendors with stuff that one usually has to buy online, so of course the plastic card had a little exercise, and many very creative people selling their work in the very grand main dining room of the school – think Harry Potter and you would not be far out. There were several exhibitions by other textile artists, but those that impressed were Joy Smith with her woven tapestry exhibition Time Traveller, and After India, works by people who had been on a tour of India in 2006 to a Natural Dye Symposium – gorgeous textiles dyed with natural products giving a wonderful range of earthy colours. I came away thinking that I will go to this forum next year as a participant, and with the decision made that my days as a traditional quilt maker are limited – this all looks like so much fun.
After this we went to the Geelong Wool Museum to see Expressions 2008: the Wool Quilt Prize another collection of really beautiful works – none of them made in the traditional way with recognisable blocks, but beautiful woollen fabrics, many recycled from clothing or blankets, combined with linens, silks and cottons – mostly dyed with natural dyes or rust processes and embellished with hand and machine stitching. All just lovely. As part of this there were many Waggas from the 1940s, and it was great to see them included as works of art and part of Australia’s history. I would strongly recommend for anyone within reach of Geelong to go and have a look at this excellent exhibition – the Wool Museum is fascinating too.