A visit to Craft NSW in Sydney at the weekend gave me the opportunity to see this exhibition which covers a variety of skills.
I’ve seen the wonderful flameworked glass creations by Penel Bigg several times and they never fail to engage me. Her expertise is astounding and the range of glass items she makes is vast, from beads, paperweights and other jewellery style pieces through to larger sculptural glass ornaments. I was especially taken with a necklace in a range of greens and other sea colours showcasing not only her larger glass beads but also some beadweaving techniques using small seed beads twisting and turning along the length. The precision, delicacy and translucency of her sculptural sea creature ornaments is something many a glass worker would envy.
Regina Krawets is not someone I have heard of before but her beaded jewellery was spectacular.
This picture shows an indication of her style of work although this is not one of the pieces on display. She had a range of items from subtle, more classic, neck pieces to large feature pieces. Some were stand alone bead weaving, mainly featuring beaded cabouchons of some type, whilst others were bead stitching on to a base support. Some very beautiful work indeed.
The nanduti lace of Isabel Correa was also of a very high quality but isn’t a technique or style that attracts me, although I can appreciate the work and planning that goes into each piece.
Carolyn Cabena showcased some of her dyed devoré and the items were gorgeous. She also exhibited some quite lovely, small stitched fabric pictures. It’s a reminder to me that not everything has to be huge and complicated, sometimes small simplified pieces work just as well – especially when several are grouped together. These collaged and stitched landscapes demonstrate that.
Helen MacRitchie was showing some of her handmade and hand dyed felt in conjunction with her machine lace techniques. This photo was taken outside the exhibition and shows a felt tunic dress with an overlay of machined lace and felt motifs.
Here is a close up of part of the lace. Notice how the free machining isn’t a random lacy pattern, it has been done quite precisely by replicating the design shapes of the repeating felt motif. I haven’t progressed anything like this far in my free machining experimentation (and have no idea how these join together so exactly without any apparent seam where there is a change of colour) and I’m very impressed by the hang of this overlay. Creating a garment with interconnected solid felt pieces and lightweight lace which drapes effectively must be very hard. I know, just from my own recent grids and structural work, that pieces of different weights can become distorted and drag out of shape if the project isn’t planned carefully.
In the photo you can also see a silk scarf with the cut lace end feature and above it one of her felted handbags also with a lace overlay.
Helen has an Etsy shop where some of her creations can be purchased.
I was going to crop the main photo but decided that the very intense window reflection from across the street added some interest. I obviously have a very high-resolution copy of this picture and the reflection is excellent when I zoom in close. It has a slightly watery faded look, a bit like an old water-colour painting.
Rafu-Sen neckpiece by Regina Krawets http://www.chrisbeads.blogspot.com.au/2012/12/melbourne-bead-expo.html
Fabric picture by Carolyn Cabena http://www.artsandcraftsnsw.com.au/MeetTheMakers.htm
Pictures of Helen MacRitchies work with permission from the artist.