September 28, 2008

Bacon and eggs and fibre fanatics

Bright and early yesterday, we hit the road for the Geelong Fibre Forum. Zipping down the freeway for an intense morning of fantastic fibre inspiration, we were armed and ready:
  • flask of coffee, check.
  • homemade muffins, check.
  • bacon-and-egg pies, yum yum yum, check.
  • spending allowance, of course!

The Fibre Forum is a residential week-long study conference, held every year at the Geelong Grammar School. It's organised by TAFTA, the Australia Forum for Textile Arts (and they also hold an annual Forum in Orange, NSW, in April).

At the end of the week, participants celebrate with a show of their works, artists sell their hand-made goods, traders offer tempting stalls, and the doors are open to all. Best to get there early, as the Forum displays run from 9AM-12noon only, and there are seven different areas of delights to get through, with everything from shibori silks to felted fashions, guest artist exhibitions, demonstrations, artist's books, and dozens of traders to visit.

Classrooms are open with displays, and teachers and students alike are often available to talk about what they're been doing for the week. These magnificent felted vests and the died silk scarves (above) were just two of the dozens of displays of student work. The enthusaism of the participants was infectious!

We started our visit with a peek in the main hall, where the Seller's Bazaar provided treats for the eye and temptations for the wallet. Artist-made work in the Bazaar ranged from intricate garments and unusual jewellry, to screenprinted socks, exquisite fabric dolls, Indian embroideries and hats galore! We spent careful time checking out all of the goodies before deciding what we had to buy...

My bag filled with screen-print socks and embroidery bags, I joined my friends to check out the traders' stalls, where supplies of every sort were to be found. We found kimonos and kerchiefs, felt and fabric paint, stencils, silk, threads, dyes and fabric samples of every sort.

More calssroom shows - below, this is what you can do with an op-shop shirt. Inspired? I was!

And this colourful beauty is an amalgamated skirt made of many op-shop shirts and garments. The student who made it was pointing out her favourite bits - shirt collars running lengthways down the skirt, buttons still attached. Behind, you can see a deconstructed orange shirt, and more costume creations.

These wonderful garments were made in India Flint's class, Embelly-ish. For me, they were one of the most exciting things I saw!

Upstairs, a fascinating exhibition of artists' work was inspired by a trip to India to a conference on natural dyeing techniques.

Floaty wraps by Kate Reilly:

And natural-dyed silk by Glenys Clissold.

We came away from the morning footsore, happy, inspired and with lovely bags of goodies that we admired in the sunshine. We'll be back next year!


CurlyPops said...

I can't wait for next year...I'm definitely heading off for a lookie see!

three buttons said...

What an inspiring day indeed. If only every weekend was filled with such inspiration.

Angela xx

P.S. (Now sign of lost luggage yet)!

potty mouth mama said...

Wow looks like a visual feast - so much to take in, and so much goodness!