Tuesday, December 29, 2009


I received a fabulous postcard from Paris in the mail today- sent by my daughter who arrived home last week after her exciting month OS. She certainly understands my sense of humour and my sometimes quirky sense of aesthetics.

I am making an artist's book with the postcard image - playing, editing and manipulating on the computer then printing the images onto 200gsm watercolour paper. I'm also adding some colour with gouache. As I mentioned last week, I am new to this genre, so the book will evolve as my ideas develop.


At last we are having good 'drought breaking' rains. 'Rainy Maleny' is again true to form. I love the sound of the rain on the roof and the feeling of being snug and safe in my waterproof home. [I have lived in some leaky abodes in the past].

The grass grows as I watch!!

Friday, December 18, 2009


Yes, I used my leaf shadows art work for Christmas cards, and I made some special ones with left over silk patchwork fabrics [with a bit of gold and red foil added]. I also printed my own words inside the cards. I have many friends in many countries of various religious persuasions, so I don't mention 'Christmas' any more. Instead, I talk about the 'festive season' and of course love, peace, serenity, health and creativity.

I received a lovely card from my Japanese 'big sister', Natsuko. It is a very clever pop up card representing a traditional scene/performance/shrine/shop?? There seem to be a lot of books or perhaps prints involved and 7 beautifully dressed women admiring the goings on.

On this note,
…sending you lots of happy, healthy and creative thoughts, and love, peace, & serenity in 2010…

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I am fairly new to 'The Artist Book' genre. I attended a week long book making workshop last year with Adele Outteridge which has given me the basics. My friends Fiona Dempster and Susan Bowers make exquisite books. Susan had a studio exhibition last week and I was blown away. Maybe artist books is the way to 'file' some of my bits and pieces lying around the studio.
I have made a humble book for my sister for her birthday, documenting the building progress of their new home last year - visually, of course with lots of wabi sabi photos.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


I belong to the Collaboration of Maleny Artists [COMA in name but not in spirit].
We are having a group exhibition opening this Saturday based on aspects of the local environment. After much deliberation and changing of my mind and nearly throwing in the towel [all typical when it comes to my painting], I decided to base my work on some beautiful gum tree shadows which fell across my canvas as it was sitting on the ground.
I am at last happy with a painting.

I am going to print out this detail as my 2009 Christmas card.


Pojagi [or bojagi] is the name given to traditional Korean wrapping cloths. They were generally made from scraps or patches of fabric sewn together to form a squarish shape with a long strap stitched to one corner. Items were wrapped in the cloth which was then tied securely with the strap. The fabric used was often 'ramie', the everyday, coarse natural fibre which has been in continuous use for six thousand years, famously used by the Egyptians for mummy wrapping. The cloth, when held to the light, was often translucent due to its coarse weave.

Today, the term 'pojagi' refers to almost all styles of Korean patchwork, and it had become popular world wide, due largely to the efforts of Chunghie Lee, a contemporary Korean fibre artist. Chunghie feels strongly about the suffering and hardships women had to endure in the old Korea and she honours her ancestors by creating wonderful contemporary wearables and installations in the pojage tradition.

I attended a Master Class with Chunghie at the Geelong Textile Fibre Forum last September. http://www.ggcreations.com.au/tafta/forums.html
It was a fabulous experience. Chunghie's free, contemporary approach to a traditional craft practice inspired me. Her affinity with wabi sabi, her 'breaking the rules' approach, her modern sense of design and aesthetics all sat well with my artisic sensibilities. I came away from the week long class with new confidence and skills which have been realised in the commission screen which I have just completed.
Thank you, Chunghie.

This is what I made:

My traditional pojagi wrapping cloth, which I now wear as a skirt wrap.

One half made window panel [ 3 more to go].

Me wearing my pojagi dress.

Dangly cubes - what to do with them? They were fun to make.

....so I now finish up on where and why I started blogging - recording the progress of the wabi sabi Japanese screen commission which was really based on the Korean traditional patchwork technique of 'POJAGI'. Hmmm
Just a few more close ups of the pojagi style translucency in the screen,

and the elusive, hard to get right ,'kekki' seam which is a very strong fine seam with a triple row of stitching.


WOW - this was a BIG job. I thought it would take me a few hours, but it ended up taking a couple of days. There are two layers of silk and they both stretched all over the place - warp, weft and diagonal - not at all like stretching a canvas.

Background layer stretched
I must have used about 500 staples, half of which I took out out again as I adjusted the tension.

The timber framework had these lovely dowel joints holding the crossbars in place - no warping to be had on this screen!! What a shame to hide this great craftsmanship.

This is how it looked at 3am after I'd finished all the hard work. My hands were swollen and sore from squeezing the staple gun,

...and this is how it looked the next morning with the sun streaming through the silk. Sheer Magic. This is called 'POJAGI' - a Korean patchwork technique. More about that in the next post.

A final stem press on the frame and it all came together without any bumps and lumps.

 Installed over the entertainment unit in the living room.
I was thrilled with the result . The architect, Steve, and I spent a lovely few minutes this morning finding special serendipitous images and design aspects which 'spoke' to us of the magic of the home, the family and their place in the mountains.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


I have a couple of jewellery tasks to attend to this weekend. One of my neck pieces was in an exhibition tittled 'Water from the Moon' earlier this year in the Brisbane City Square Library. It was subsequently sold through 'Art on Cairncross', one of our fabulous Sunshine Coast Hinterland galleries. I need to adjust the neckband so that it sits comfortably on a very slim neck.

This is the piece in question. It is made from a beautiful piece of moss agate and silver plated tubes and beads. It represents the moon reflecting on the water over our spectacular Lake Baroon. The lake was a sacred aboriginal site and still retains the magic.

The other project is to make a pair of turquoise earrings to match a neckpiece sold to a friend earlier this year. The first step -selecting  the feature beads from my stash of turquoise.

In the end, I made three pairs of suitable earrings - I like to have plenty of choice for my clients, and I always was a bit of an overachiever!


The need for translucency plus opacity has posed many logistical issues with this commission. The translucent silk screen with the logo will be seen against a dark background when the screen is 'closed' over the entertainment unit, and against a window when it is slid 'open'. The stitching shows up against the window but not against the solid background. I decided to go to the trusty teabag again to resolve the issue, so I made a STRONG cup of tea and painted in the logo with a fine brush. I'm happy so far, but it's still a 'work in progress'.


I have used my humble version of the Japanese 'sashiko' stitching technique to create the client's logo on the silk. The Glasshouse mountains, the sea, the mist in the valleys and the four members of the family are all included in the personal 'family crest'. As you can see from the pics, I have 'traced' over an enlarged copy of the logo so that the finished version is about 22cm in diameter. This section will go near the top right corner of the screen so that the image will be separate from the patchwork section, and subtle enough to invite the viewer in for a closer inspection.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


The screen will slide across a high window, enabling quite a lot of translucency in this area. It poses quite a design problem as the rest of the area will be always be opaque, and when the screen slides in front of the TV, the background area will be darker. I guess it would be a good idea if I posted some pics of the screen in situ, so that what I'm doing makes more sense.

I have taped a piece of white paper to the screen to indicate where the window will be when the screen slides to the left. More confusing design issues as the window is now in positive, not negative, but I wasn't about to tape paper all over the place to create a negative image.

I'm pleased to say that the background layer of silk is finished - well, it is all sewn together - attaching it to the screen is another matter.

The next stage is the really fun bit. I can let my 'wabi sabi' head go. I have created lots of small interesting pieces making the most of odd bits of seams, selvedges, antique hand stitchings, folds, patches, mottley dyed bits, even some holes. I am working with horizontal bands of patches that will all be sewn together once the individual details are finished.