2014
has seen an exhibition of my handmade books, marbled paper and lino prints, at the Living Arts Space, Bendigo,
a wonderful little gallery in the old Post Office building.



Marbled-paper covered notebooks, one of which I made at a bookbinding demonstration at the gallery.
I also conducted paper marbling workshops with two small groups of enthusiastic people.



A few new concertina book pen drawings.







Weaving 2013 2014. About half way through 2013, I went to see a local weaving exhibition, at the Living Arts Space, and was inspired to dig out my old looms, that had I acquired in the 1970s and 80s, and have another go. Besides my homemade inkle loom for weaving belts, I have two second hand table looms. A small 6 inch, four shaft one (purchased at an auction), and a 24 inch with four shafts (given by a friend, it had belonged to her aunt). The table looms are showing signs of wear and tear and not co-operating. After weaving up four warps on the 6 inch loom, the back roller was becoming unstable and the ratchet was slipping. The larger loom, after weaving one piece was also difficult to use. The heddles, fixed on the shafts, are made of cotton thread with a metal eye, were becoming brittle with age. The whole mechanism of levers and pulleys was a bit wobbly to say the least. So if I was to continue with this newly revived interest I needed a new loom. In September I bought an Ashford 8 shaft table loom. What a dream. First thing to do was to assemble it. Good thing I like puzzles.

Of course this meant I needed to start spinning again. (Another 1970's "back to the earth" activity.) A good source of partly prepared wool fibre is available locally at the Bendigo Woollen Mills. Also other fibres such as alpaca and bamboo.

Then the natural extension of this was to dye some of the wool. Again I had experimented back in the 70's. At last I could use those onion skins I had been saving. Other successful natural dyes I have tried lately are red cabbage, turmeric, yellow sourgrass flowers, eucalyptus leaves, and the bark of an ironbark eucalypt tree. Amazing results.


           

Yellow sourgrass flowers used for the dye, and different shades of yellow obtained. The first two batches were bright yellow, then for some reason (different wool? different quantity of alum mordant?) I got a more golden yellow. I soaked one of the golden yellow skeins in a washing soda modifier after dyeing, which gave the bright orange.


Alpaca spun straight from the fleece, and dyed with Fennel, Sourgrass flowers and Eucalypt leaves.





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