Teaching Philosophy

I feel successful when I teach people:

- to see what they look at!

- that it is ok to be different!

- to open a whole new world of creativity for them....

- that there is a solution for every problem (mostly with a quick-unpick!)

- that it is a joy to be creative......

The Creative Mind Plays with the Object it Loves -
Carl Jung

Sunday, 20 July 2014


I really haven't had time to write a post as I was working on a commitment which swallowed all my free time...   Luckily for me, that is now done and dusted and I can settle down in my usual routine and already ideas for new projects are swirling around......

I did however finish two pieces for Fibreworks VIII and Major Minors V as part of the Fibreworks exhibition which opens at IQCA in Johannesburg this coming week.  

I have previously mentioned that Willem and I love travelling around our beautiful country.   Two years ago we went to Namibia on holiday and the trip also included a section of the Northern Cape.    We were so taken with the Northern Cape that we went back last year to explore more.....   I was so enthralled by the quiver trees, the first time I saw them close up was in Namibia and I took photographs where ever I saw them...  The trees are so completely different to the beautiful and lush indigenous forest of Knysna where I grew up.     As always, I was fascinated by the variety of patterns on the bark of these trees which offers endless scope for fibre art interpretations..!

A flowering Quiver Tree at Canon Road House en route to lookout area of Fish River Canyon, Namibia

When the brief came for the Fibreworks exhibitions, I immediately thought that using the quiver tree idea would be perfect for the Major Minors exhibition as the dimensions was only 25cm x 25cm.   Also, I would be able to manage with my other commitment....    I chose one photograph to work from, cropped the image and had a colour print made from which I worked....

Section of a Quiver Tree

I had bought a selection of chiffon, organza and pongee lining, but it can be rather difficult as the right colours and shades are not always available for a specific project...  You might wonder about all this synthetic fabric!   The idea was to heat treat the fabric to distort it to recreate the intricate patterns of the bark.   I tore strips off the different fabrics and singed the edges using a candle.   I prefer using this technique to a heat gun as I have more control over the burning, luckily I haven't burnt myself so far.   The smell of certain fabrics burning is rather vile and not recommended for those who are asthmatic.    Any way, I burnt a lot of strips and started to play, keeping an eye on the picture I was working from..... Burning fabric with a candle also slightly changes the colour of the fabric a bit and gives lots of dark to blackish edges which adds to the drama.    

   Quiver 2014

The first step was to place the singed strips onto the foundation fabric, after which it was stitched down with the machine.   Hand embroidery stitching was added for more texture and interest and adding a few beads finished it off.   The edge around the piece was very untidy and needed a brainwave...     I put it to the candle once more and singed the entire outer edge, sealing it this way worked rather well and it looked very effective.   The piece was machine quilted.    As the piece is so small, I decided to give it a short name, so I named it Quiver after the trees....  

Next time I'll tell about the Mandala also on show at IQCA next week....!