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

Monday, 28 September 2015


I'm currently doing lots of administrative work regarding quilting and it actually makes one think about how fellow quilters regard creativity.    Some are ardent cyber surfers to keep informed of the latest trends, others prefer books and some find their own way...  A comment which I picked up during the week was of elements used in a specific quilt which was typical of quilts made by another well known quilt artist...  My question is where do we find inspiration?  I am always intrigued by the thought processes of quilt artists, some need to rationalize each and every thought and process of a piece, others just work intuitively without even thinking where they are going.  

I must admit, I don't really like to surf the net and I also don't study the work of others purely because I want my work to reflect my own journey without being influenced by the work of others.  It is the process with which I feel comfortable with...   I don't talk much during the day, but I'm constantly thinking about creative things.  Sometimes a thought will cross my mind, I will maybe make a note or a rough sketch of it, other times I will think of colour combinations and that will be the start of a piece.   I can also visualize ideas and concepts which is a great help.

We all have our favourite colours, mine is seagreen.   Seeing it is like recognizing something deep within my soul...   It has such a soothing effect on me, I suppose that is why I chose the colour for the walls of my studio.

While I worked on the Diversity Fibre Art Exhibition earlier this year, I made a rough sketch for a piece and decided that I would build the piece around some chamois that was given to me by a student.  The rough edges reminded me of dirty foam left on the beach after rough seas.    As the chamois would represent the foam and the sandy beach, I decided to add greens and blues to the palette to create this abstract piece of my memories of the Knysna lagune where I grew up.

This quilt consists of four panels stitched together at the top!  The bottom layer in neutral shades forms the backdrop and was machine quilted.   The second panel is pieced and embellished with couching, hand embroidery and beaded.  This panel was not quilted in the traditional way with batting, but was hand stitched onto commercial felt in a similar colour as the backdrop panel.  A beaded fringe was added to balance the textured top section.    The blue and green tiles on the third panel were appliqued using the raw edge applique technique and the bottom and side edges were sealed with cords.   Additional creative stitching was added to each tile to create texture.  The textured panel at the top was made of chamois, silk, burnt fabric, needle punching, beading and hand embroidery and lies loosely over the third panel.  .

Tranquility 2015
Standing at the lookout point at the top of the Knysna Heads while looking down at the sea going in and out of the lagoon…  My most favourite spot on earth, it grounds me, strips me to my inner core and brings peace within my soul…   The mixture of the green and blue of the water combined with the colour of the sandy beach gives a deep sense of satisfaction, of home and stirs the creative juices deep within…   I completely relate to the following quote:

"It is neither wealth nor splendor, but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness - 
Thomas Jefferson 

Tranquility - Close up detail of the quote by Thomas Jefferson

Tranquility - Close up detail of top section.

I loved the process of making this quilt...   Unfortunately a photograph never does justice to textile art...