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Workshops

Click on the tutor’s name to view their bio and images of their work.

Below you will find Workshop Descriptions for Fibres West 2019, listed by tutor name in alphabetical order. Click on the tutor’s name to view their bio and images of their work.

Workshops are filled on a first-come first-served basis on receipt of the enrolment form and a minimum payment of the deposit. Any waiting lists for workshops are also applied on this basis. If a place becomes available in your first workshop choice, you will be moved into it. If your preferred workshop is full or cancelled, you will be offered a place in your second preference workshop, another workshop or a full refund.

If you have any questions about available courses or the enrolment process, feel free to contact Martien van Zuilen (Convenor): info@fibreswest.com.au or 0427 795 396


SURFACE DESIGN, TEXTURES & COMPOSITION in FELT   |   EVA CAMACHO-SANCHEZ (USA/SPAIN)

Workshop FULL, waiting list applies

In this unique felting workshop, participants will create a large felted art piece by applying different felting, textural, stitching and dyeing methods. We will explore the various techniques behind ‘painting with wool’ and how to incorporate it into your work. We will also modify the look and design of various fabrics using natural dyeing techniques including rust; where iron oxide acts as a colouring agent leaving a permanent print with great potential for decorative stitching. A variety of stitch techniques will be shown to add texture to the felt surface, while hand stitching also acts as a quiet method for reflection by which to build one’s visual narrative and sensory experience. Each day there will be time to work on specific exercises, brainstorming sessions and problem-solving challenges that, with the tutor’s guidance, will expand your personal project. The workshop also includes several Powerpoint presentations showcasing inspirational pieces from various textile and fibre artists. Material Fee: approx. $35

MEMORY KEEPERS: BRUSH-MAKING, MARK-MAKING, EXPLORING VISUAL LANGUAGE   |    LORNA CRANE (NSW)

Workshop FULL, waiting list applies

Dare to be different by creating your own set of handmade brushes and explore mark making with a fresh and exciting approach in a variety of mediums. Break out of your comfort zone to question and define your intuitive self with an experimental approach through guided exercises in a variety of mediums on paper and cloth.  This workshop will be an opportunity to discover the spaces in between our thoughts – ‘the thinking and the non-thinking spaces that speak of the breath in between’. The process begins by making an arts journal of narratives by revealing memories in marks, stitch, lines, texture, shape and light in your desired mediums. Where shapes and forms speak of a sense of time and place. Challenge yourself by building a series of works for future reference. Suitable for all skill levels. Material Fee: approximately $10

QUIETLY AND GENTLY…   |   FIONA DEMPSTER (QLD)

Workshop FULL, waiting list applies

Sometimes we just need to be quiet, to slow down and be peaceful. This workshop will explore the beauty and elegance of working white on white. The limited palette provides both challenges and opportunities, with serene outcomes. Working on paper, you will have the opportunity to explore a myriad of ways to create texture and meaning using different materials and techniques. Embossing, printing, cutting and stitching will form part of the work, and bookmaking will bring it all together. Participants will create a sample book of techniques as well as a personal book working white on white with techniques chosen by the student. We will also create a light slipcase to protect one of the books. Suitable for all levels. Material fee: $30

NEW DIRECTIONS FOR SURFACE EMBELLISHMENT – Fibre, Paper, Fabric, Jewellery, Basketry and More!   |   MARY HETTMANSPERGER (USA)

Workshop FULL, waiting list only

This workshop is packed full of new ideas and directions for many disciplines in Art. Think metal work, weaving techniques, surface embellishments and design applications including (but not limited to) jewellery, paper and book arts, fabric and art quilts, mixed media and collage, encaustic or 3D sculpture and basketry. Students will learn to use a propane torch, incorporate low tech metalsmith and wire-working techniques, use sheet metals, screens, wires, nuts & bolts, eyelets & rivets, linens, papers, fibres, paints, wax, clay, plaster, natural materials, recycled materials and found objects (basically anything) to create works to suit individual interests. The workshop will allow each student to take the techniques and materials offered to pursue their desired direction, making both finished pieces and samples using a variety of techniques and then applying them to create unique artworks. Suitable for all levels. Material Fee: approximately $55 for extensive materials provided by the tutor. 

SKINS AND SKELETONS: 3-D TEXTILE CONSTRUCTIONS   |   MO KELMAN (USA)

Workshop FULL, waiting list only

In this experimental workshop students will learn methods for building skeletal structures with rigid and semi-rigid materials like reed, rattan, bamboo, wood, wire, found materials and recycled frameworks.  Methods will include lashing techniques, formal and chaotic plaiting, wire construction and netting.  To build skins onto these structures techniques for working with gut, rice papers, elastic fabrics and stiffeners will be presented. Exercises, brainstorming sessions and problem-solving challenges will lead to a focused personal project. All levels welcome. Material Fee: between $85 – $120 (for extensive range of basketry supplies, stiffeners, various tools and equipment, gut casings and more).

FUSION ART CLOTH: eco-dyeing, shibori & screen print  |  ANNE LEON (NSW)

Workshop FULL, waiting list only

This workshop is the ultimate fusion of plant-dyeing, Shibori and screen-printing techniques, incorporating photo-emulsion processes to create unique and multi-layered Art Cloths. Students will learn Shibori techniques to dye fabrics using locally sourced plant materials, creating intricate patterns and backgrounds. Then, using local natural surrounds as our inspiration, we will draw and refine images which will become the basis for the prints; transferring images onto screens using photo-emulsion and printing them onto the pre-dyed cloth. The rich layering of dye, print and textures enables a depth of artistry. In addition, maintaining a creative diary and record of experimental dyeing, Shibori and drawings will provide a valuable reference for ongoing projects. This workshop is suitable for students of all levels of experience. Material Fee: $50   

ZERO WASTE FASHION   |   HOLLY MCQUILLAN (SWEDEN)

Workshop FULL, waiting list applies

Starting with a simple introduction to zero waste garment design, in this workshop you will gain in-depth skills enabling you to make a range of zero waste garments; from a simple tshirt/tunic to more complex garments. The first 2 days use the Make/Use approach (makeuse.nz) to introduce participants to zero waste form making in an accessible way, progressing to approaches which use more advanced zero waste approaches; from abstract form making on the body, drape for zero waste, to the careful nesting of pattern pieces to achieve desired fit. A range of zero waste garment design techniques will be demonstrated and participants can either copy in their own fabrics or develop their own design in response. The use of digital design/pattern-cutting software (CLO3D) will be demonstrated. In all, participants can expect to gain an understanding of zero waste design, to advance further through their own practice. All skill levels are welcome, a basic understanding of using a sewing machine is required. Material Fee: $15-$20

THE SPACE BETWEEN   |    ALYSN MIDGELOW-MARSDEN (NZ)

Workshop FULL, waiting list applies

Starting by using a camera, the internet or free drawing to select an image, in this workshop we will develop patterns derived from the gaps between spaces created by repeating and reversing the original forms. You will also explore a variety of materials and techniques to express your work including metal fabrics, wires, papers and stitch. I particularly like the use of metal cloth because it results in a work which is translucent and seems ephemeral and delicate, these metal cloths also have intriguing structural and dimensional properties which we can exploit by using heat and print techniques. We will explore these alongside paper and fabric alternatives. Bringing together the materials and your designs is when you will build a layered and intensively worked piece. One of my pieces using this technique won the Bernina Award for the most innovative use of a sewing machine, the highest award at ‘Changing Threads’ (New Zealand’s premiere contemporary textile art exhibition). This course assumes that you are happy to use free machine stitch in addition to hand work but does not require any prior design or drawing skills. No material fee.

WHERE DO YOU WANT TO BE?   |   JAN MULLEN (WA)

Where do you want to be? What’s holding you back? Honest, fearless answers are the key to progressing your artwork and your art practice. In this workshop, which has a mentoring-based focus, each participant will work with me assessing their portfolio, progressing self-initiated projects and planning future direction. Together we will delve into habits – good and bad. We will look at limitations – self imposed or otherwise. We will strengthen thought-lines and work on strategies to keep you both informed and engaged. Individually and as a group, we will look at what it means to be an artist beyond making the artwork – exhibiting, promotion, inventory, organisation and the myriad background processes that will consolidate your artistic life. My aim is to set in place a practical plan for moving you towards where you want to be – in the production of your artwork, it’s presentation and with full confidence in your ability. No material fee.

LANDSCAPE: MIXED-MEDIA AND MULTI-LAYERED   |   DOROTHY TUCKER (UK)

Workshop FULL, waiting list only

This workshop will involve a direct response to a place through colour, collage and mark making on paper and cloth.  We will consider the essentials of landscape – light, space, composition etc. – and combine our explorations to build mixed media pieces, which can be further extended by cutting away or adding layers of paper or cloth, hand or machine stitching. Ideas may surface which could lend themselves to digital printing; these will be discussed only with a view to providing avenues of exploration to be pursued after the workshop. This mixed media – multi layered approach will result in series of working samples, one or two pieces which are resolved and can be completed, and new directions for future work. Material Fee: approximately $60 for extensive supplies provided by the tutor.