Archive for the ‘leather’ Category

2011 SAQA Auction Quilt

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

This 12″ square textile, just completed but as yet untitled,  is my offering for this year’s SAQA Benefit Auction  At this link you can see some of the early submissions to this year’s auction list, and find full details of how you can particpate and acquire a fine small art quilt for your textile or quilt collection  (I suggest mine of course! )

The Auction will run online from September 12th to October 2nd.

This piece fits in with the Timetracks series, and yet I think I may have another title in mind, but am thinking it over.  No rush.

Small Works with Leather

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

The learning curve consisted of working out how to do a fitted bed-sheet kind of arrangement with the metallicised under layer of leather. Edges were then turned back and the mighty new stapler used to tack all that in place.

The textured leather (very daggy, really)appears to drape over the under one – enhanced with judiciously placed old gold wax. Black and gold thread was used to stitch lines of large stitches, some of which are crossed over by others.

Each panel is approx 8 in/20cm size.

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Wonderful Leather

Monday, August 18th, 2008

Upper pic One of my dearest friends, W, a fellow fiber artist, attending a sale somewhere in Perth during the past few months, noticed a decent sized scrap of black leather, about a fat 1/4 equivalent, and thinking of me, bought it for when I next turned up there, bless her. So she gave it to me while I was there in early july, and I brought it back here. It’s fabulous, beautifully fine and soft with the most amazingly landscapey texture stamped or etched into it. I have pictured a little au naturel beside a small snippet over which I lightly rubbed gold wax – and, I have some metallic machine sewing thread the same colour. Even as I write, something’s brewing around this.
Lower pic The leather that I blogged ( 22/6/08, Leather Factory Visit) has been calling to me to experiment. The leather as I bought it, with my cut-out, is beside another piece waxed with pewter. I just love the metallic waxes, and was fascinated that a ceramic artist friend in West Australia also uses it to highlight some of her works. The texture of the chemically treated hide lends itself to really fine handcut shaping. Sewing across it without thread in the needle, adds more texture – see gold below.

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Leather Factory Visit

Sunday, June 22nd, 2008


A couple of days ago my friend Virginia arranged for us to go and visit a leather processing factory managed by someone she knows. Over the phone the employee she liaised with there was really fairly convinced that there would be little of interest there for me, as the leather they produce is all ‘very thick’ and she felt I’d not be wanting any of it.

As Virginia passed this back to me, I could tell she felt that could be so, too, and I had to remind her that well as she thinks she knows me, and thinks she knows my work, she really could not interpret what I’d find ‘interesting’. When browsing in a shop or a market, and asked what I am looking for, my answer is generally a polite form of “I’ll know it when I see it”. Sometimes there is a particular thing in my mind’s eye, but so often a material sparks an idea, and so it proved this time.

One of several the company, Zenda, operates in different countries, this factory is on the northern outskirts of Montevideo. http://www.zendaleather.com/ As modern as tomorrow, it’s huge. Which is hardly suprising considering the huge amount of beef that is raised here for local and export markets. As the animals graze on natural pastures and are gently moved around by men on horseback (gauchos) in a relaxed unhurried fashion, it is hardly suprising that it is oh-so-tender, and full of real flavour. Everyone who comes here remarks on the meat, and although prices are rising like everywhere else, the market price is controlled and so meat is reasonably affordable. And the very top cuts are still priced far lower than the equivalent cuts in Aus or USA markets.

The admin section was really like visiting a modern upscale mall, with a clearly architect designed interior of modern materials, soft neutral colours, sand blasted glass partitions, brushed metals and leather of course. The reception area, meeting and conference rooms featured some large paintings of one of our favourite local artists, Donner, on the walls. It is all so drop dead modern and gorgeous I could live there. I’d love to have taken snaps but didn’t like to as we swept through to the lower floor of the processing plant itself.

There, racks and racks, holding thousands of hides in various stages of processing were set out through a huge area, which was well lit, with exhaust fans operating everywhere over the processing areas, and barely a speck of dust on the floor. Very organised, efficient and orderly. We went over to a spot where there were many different hides folded and stacked showing a variety of colours and finishes, including some interesting stamped textures that really looked like the reptile skins they weren’t. Several there caught my imagination and so I bought these two whole hides, they don’t do offcuts – the usual order from furniture or clothing manufactures is multiples of 100 hides. The company even offers a cutting and sewing service to a client’s requirements, presumably as long as you’re talking grand scale – airplane seats for example.

The upper leather pictured has a bronze metallic finish, and of course, is right up my street emotionally speaking. A coat out of it would be fabulous! but I will use it in my art.
The lower piece reminded me of crazed ceramic, and is clearly the result of some chemical treatment which stopped just short of one leg corner, so I have shown the edge of that to give you a bit more of an idea: the pewtery metallic finish is intriguing. This is very inspiring, and I know there will be somewhere I will even use just this edge, too, although it’s only about 20cm long. I’ll blog with pics when I start to use it.

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Work in Progress

Wednesday, July 4th, 2007


I blogged the first stage of this work last week, and this is how it is proceeding.
Already, other ideas are coming into my mind and I think I will need to put a few of them on paper. Back around 1992 opffspring #1 gave me a blank paged journal which I have used intermittently to sketch ideas into – not really an organised journal , more just pencil sketches of ideas, diagrams really. The other thing that goes on some of those the pages is lists – sometimes titles that I think of as I’m going alongwith the quilting, or different tchnical possibilities to tackle the same idea. Also, now that these pencil diagram/ideas go back so far, I sometimes look back and see something with a fresh eye. Sometimes ideas have led to particular works and I have gone in and written the name of the quilt and the date on it in that case.

Despite a good burst of progress this afternoon, I was not able to finish the stitchery but could do so tomorrow.

What is helping it move right along is listening to “Emma” by Jane Austen, read by Prunella Scales with her wonderful voice and sense of appropriate expression. It is many years since I read the book or saw a movie version, and I have found this recorded book totally absorbing, and rather reminiscent of the style of my two maiden aunts’ lives. Emma’s father’s obsessions about health issues, the weather and in fact any activity that might have any bearing at all on on his state of health (always precarious/delicate, at that ) is a male version of my late aunt, J. Her sister, M, who remains alive, is not likely to read that comment, and if she does, not being a lover of good literature, she won’t understand the allusion anyway.

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