Parallel textile adventures: weaving forms

yarns 1 e

On the first weekend in March I jumped on the slow train to Canberra and participated in a couple of workshops associated with the Selling Yarns conference at the National Museum of Australia.

By all accounts the conference itself was very interesting – something to keep in mind next time it’s on (seems to be every 3 years or so). I attended two workshops.

The first was Weaving family, identity and land, led by the charismatic tutors Maryann Talia Pau and Treahna Hamm.

yarns 1 a

I don’t have many process photographs – we had permission to photograph the workshop but I was too busy learning and making (and making friends with a Canberra-based fibre artist who is a work friend’s daughter’s best friend – small world!!) (and how on earth did we get to work that out??).

yarns 1 b

In the workshop we learned to make little coil baskets, similar to the ones I learned with Michele, but using raffia and strips of fabric, and with a blanket stitch.

By the end of the workshop we each had small brightly coloured discs.

yarns 1 d

Aside from the weaving – or rather, intertwined with the weaving, the workshop was about story-telling and identity. Given the fact that we were 20 or so strangers and we only had a few hours, it was surprising how much story-telling actually went on, and how much we understood the connections between self and place and making. I’ll return to these ideas in future, as I think they will be core to my practice.

yarns 1 f

There’s a great ending to the little basket. A few weeks later back in Sydney, my wonderful friend Jillian was organising a fundraiser to help to cover her expenses as she project manages the building of a school in Malawi for the Fotcha charity. Jillian asked for art works to be donated for a blind auction – this ended up in a mad bit of late-night basket making.

Thanks to a very generous person, the little basket raised $65 for the charity.

yarns 1 g

yarns 1 h

The afternoon workshop was South Coast weaving. This was agin something different, as it involved working with cane and lomandra grass.

yarns 2 c

This workshop was led by artists from the Boolarng Nangamai Aboriginal Art and Culture Studio in Gerringong, and I worked primarily with Steven Russell.

yarns 2 d

yarns 2 e

Again too busy making to take process shots – plus, I had my hands full! Very proud of my little fish basket…


yarns 2 fyarns 2 gyarns 2 h


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