Thursday, 24 April 2014

the missing page

there was one more page i wanted to include in the recently published book of student work
for some reason i had filed it as 'z.doc', i suppose because i intended it to be the last page
and then
it got lost in the electronic filing system.

but as they say in the old country
"wer suchet, der findet"
and today i found the page so here is the text it would have contained.

I have on many occasions also been a student and would like to acknowledge and thank those who taught me. I wish I could remember all of your names but alas, age hath wearied and the years condemned...and some of the detail has become fuzzy with time.

But here’s a spirited attempt to list at least some of you :

Mrs Pownall [Nature Studies, Shelford CEGGS, Melbourne]

Mrs Williams [English and History, PLC, Melbourne]

Michael Peake [Art, Heathfield High School]

Nalda Searles [string theory]

Karen Diadick Casselman [lichenologist and dyer]

Dorothy Caldwell [textiles]

Christopher Orchard [storyteller and magician of charcoal]

Helen Carnac [enamellist]

Robin Best [ceramicist]

Julian Roberts [fashion]
Roz Hawker (metal magic)
Velma Bolyard (shifu)
Sandra Brownlee (notebooks that beg to be held)
John Kelley (my sax teacher)

Naomi Shihab Nye [poet]

John Schenk [Architect]

David Thomson [nurseryman]

Karoly Szabo [nurseryman]

Bob Blows  [nurseryman]

Tex [whose “real” name is lost but who was a stylish and erudite Professor in the Architecture Department at the University of Adelaide in the 70s]

Victor MacFarlane [Professor of Anatomy, University of Adelaide]

Brian Grigg [human encyclopaedia of sheep]

Arthur Phillips [watercolourist]
Joyce Schulz (milliner, cocktail appreciator and philanthropist)
Nikki Jackson [the miracle of the trashcan kiln]
Nancy Harford (interior designer, collector and passionate "liver of life")

...and of course my entire family, that goes without saying

+  +  +  +  +
i feel much happier now that's done.
in fact, i look a lot like i do in this picture, shot by the fabulous Haley Renee

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

flight patterns

one of the pieces i worked on while in residence in Portland last year
is now showing in Flight Patterns at Hartsfield Jackson Airport in Atlanta, USA
it's a little hard to see the detail of my work in the photo below
but it gives you an idea
India Flint, Night Flight
Mary Ruth Smith, Flowers in the Clouds
Bounxou Daohaeung, Bird Kingdom
Michael James, The Long Flight: Sanctuary

image by Dot Moye

+   +   +   +   +   +   +   +   + 

this is what i wrote at the time about the making of 'nightflight'

in memory of Dr Peter Schwerdtfeger
Professor Emeritus
Meteorologist, Glaciologist and Pilot
23 December 1935 - 20 August 2013

the making of 'NightFlight' was generously supported by the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans through a two week artist residency, co-facilitated by the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and also by the Oregon College of Art + Craft through a subsequent six-week residency. 
Silk for the project was donated by Beautiful Silks in Melbourne, Australia

'NightFlight' was dyed firstly wrapped around a piece of driftwood, using windfallen leaves as the initial colourant. The nocturnal shades were added by grace of an organically fermented indigo vat.
those of you with a copy of 'fieldnotes' may already be familiar with another piece of related text which also appears 

Wednesday, 16 April 2014


it's done!
now 2.41 am in the wee small hours of the morning
i am off to bed
the student celebration book is done.

on a wandering wind

if i've messed anything up, please forgive me
but i've done my best
with the materials supplied

and because it weighs in at 216 pages
which makes it rather pricey in the paper version

i've also made it into an ebook
- the only drawback being that some of the image sizes had to be reduced
for better viewing on "retina displays"

so thank you, those of you who sent in pictures and words.
i hope you like it!

Monday, 14 April 2014



i bet when you read "fingerfood"
you thought of the wedding reception in "Love Actually"
if you are my age
of prunes wrapped in bacon
strange stripy sandwiches cut on the diagonal
and those funny lurid coloured cocktail onions

that's not what this is about.
i'm talking the fingerfood that is the soft caress of SilkyMerino
fresh from the cauldron
it's just too delicious.
and i can't stop running my fingers over the surface.
the fabulous thing about SilkyMerino, aside from magical properties in the dyebath
and that it is delivered as an extremely useful tube
is that the merino part is pure new Australian wool sourced from fine wool producers in NSW
mixed with a little silk
and then transformed into this superb fabric.
this dress was made for my agent, Jen Loew
who trusts me that it's going to be perfect for summer in New York
as well as any other climate anywhere else.
she specified comfy.
comfy is winging its way to her.
and of course it has a little camouflaged pocket.
of which there will be stories in the 'shapeshifter' book
[which is the next one in line once i finish the student celebration book]
and did i mention that it smells really nice?

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

home sweet home

it's good to be home for a bit
sleeping in my own bed
window open, Martha-cat draped across my arm
mingled scent of lemon flowers and roses
drifting in across my pillow
while the dreaming ducks mutter outside

that last image is what happens when you mix them up
using the Diana app
wandering locally
marvelling at indigenous flora
reading tracks in the sand
as well as some very kind words
written about me 
and of course
minding the baby
dyeing a few things
and catching up on some sewing

Thursday, 3 April 2014

only because you asked so nicely

i've had at least half a dozen workshop enquiries from Queensland in the past ten days
and so when i was booking my flights for the US next month
it seemed that fate was poking me
when the possibility for coming home through Brisbane emerged

my friend Roz kindly agreed that i could swing in for a visit on my way home
and share a stitch-and-bundle day around the firepit in her beautiful garden

[the end of May is usually gorgeous in Queensland but if it DOES rain we have a plan]

we will be working with my favourite ever cloth and thread
to make a versatile and gorgeous "snug-as-a-bug in SilkyMerino"
that folds into its own pocket

i'm envisioning the day as intensive and soul-nourishing

and i'm going to post all the materials we need to her ahead of time
so that all you need to bring will be your scissors and thread

Roz and i are planning a lovely lunch for you
[vegetarian, gluten free, keeping dairyfoods on the side]
with a glass or two of wine [or juice or that nectar from the gods, water]
while the bundles bubble in the cauldron
rest assured there WILL also be chocolate [possibly even from San Francisco seeing as i'm coming home that way] so it will be body-nourishing as well

after lunch i'll demonstrate some nifty cutting tricks while the bundles cool
before we have the glorious reveal

please drop a line to Roz if you're keen

rozhawker09[at] gmail[dot] com

or email me via the contact page on my website
and i'll forward more details

Tuesday, 1 April 2014

student book : an update

am delighted to report that i have received 41 submissions for the student celebration book
i've filed them all in an orderly manner
and now begins the task of compiling them.

i need to think of a slightly catchier title than "student celebration book"
so if you have any brilliant ideas do please drop me a line in the comments
[if there's one that sets the chimes in my New Orleans inspired windsong tree ringing i shall reward the author with a small surprise parcel]

i shall also be trawling through my enormous collection of images
and choosing a selection of those to add as well - wishing i'd had the sense to mark workshop locations on a map from the beginning as it would be quite amusing to follow those breadcrumbs

ah well.

in the meantime,
Velma, bless her, wrote some thoughtful words about fieldnotes
and kindly said she didn't mind if i shared them
so here they are

ps there's a kitten chewing on my toes.