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, 31 August 2014

Unity from Within

I promised some time ago to tell you about the Mandala which I made.  I don't know when last I enjoyed making a quilt so much as I did for this particular piece...!

I had that feeling of "full circle" as it reminded me so much of my early years as a quilter, the entire design process.   A big sheet of paper, pencils, compass, protractor, ruler and an eraser....!   Yes, I erased many lines which did not work.   And all the way I had this excited smile on my dial, it was pure joy to create this piece and I remembered many years ago how limited my design skills were, the tentative attempts....    How difficult it was then and how easy it has become...   I feel so blessed that Willem gave me the space and means to develop my creativity as through this journey, I found the real me...

In 2013 I applied to become a member of Fibreworks, a renowned group of fibre artists in South Africa and was so excited when I was accepted into their prestigious ranks.    With it however, came added work to an already busy schedule.  I believe that when one commits to something, one has to participate.    Luckily there was  no theme or major size restrictions, so I could create a piece which would relate to where I am at the moment.   I decided to explore Mandalas...

It took me almost a week to complete the design while the eraser did daily sessions!    I find that it takes some time to design, I cannot rush the process...   I would add lines and curves, walk away and do some chores, come back, stare at it....   Any way, it was wonderful to finally choose a colour palette, fabrics and to start cutting...    Some of the pieces were really minute.   I found solid fabrics as well as hand dyed fabrics worked particularly well in this type of design, I added some Bali fabrics which I could not resist...!    I finally finished cutting and fusing and put the piece on the design wall and took a photograph.   I downloaded it onto the computer and immediately saw problems...  Quite amazing how this particular process helped sort out visual problems.   Any way, I had to re-cut certain sections, re-fused and took more photographs and this time I was satisfied...

Unity from Within 201455cm x 55cm
Unity from Within was fused onto a foundation piece, raw edges butting.  Feathered stitch, a decorative stitch on my sewing machine was used on a few areas, others were partially stitched with raw edge applique technique and other raw edges were sealed using a couching technique.   Cords were also used to add definition to certain lines.    Additional detail was quilted into the design using variegated quilting threads. Some pieces were really very small, each little piece on the mandala was cut out individually using small embroidery scissors, my main cutting tool.   It was amazing to see how the stitching transformed the piece.  

Detail Centre Section
Detail can be seen which was quilted into the design e.g. tiny leaves between the burnt orange leaves as well as additional leaves on the magenta sections.

Corner Section
Additional detail added around the lime green spots with the quilting process e.g. on the purple and blue sections.

Unity from Within was part of the Fibreworks VIII Exhibition at the IQCA in July 2014 in Johannesburg.   It will be seen at other venues as well.

I really enjoyed the process so much and decided to work on a concept for a workshop on Mandalas.  This workshop will be during the annual Spring Show of the Dias Quilters' Guild, Port Elizabeth in October 2014, date to be finalized.