07 Apr Meet some of our contributors in the March 2021 magazines!
We thought you’d like to know more about some of our contributors who bring you the projects and special articles in our magazines. Click on any red text to be taken to various links to find out even more about our contributors.
Textile Fibre Forum issue 141:
Vishna Collins is a Sydney based curator, designer and arts writer specialising in Art Knits and Wearable Art. She holds a Bachelor of Education (Visual Arts) from Alexander Mackie College of Advanced Education (1980) (now UNSW Art and Design), Master of Museum Studies from Macquarie University (2007), and Master of Philosophy from UNSW Art and Design (2021).
She is an award-winning designer who has exhibited at numerous international museums and galleries including Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, Sydney; Goldstein Museum of Design, Minnesota University USA; Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry UK; Redcliff City Art Gallery, Brisbane Qld; Wardon Park Museum UK; Fairfield City Museum & Stein Gallery, Sydney; Perc Tucker Regional Galley, Townsville Qld; The De Morgan Centre for the Study of 19th Century Art and Society, London UK; International Lace Biennale, Palazzo Inghirami Sansepolcro, Italy; Austrian Forum of Culture; Austrian Embassy Rome, Italy; Craft Queensland Gallery, Fortitude Valley Qld.
Vishna has a background in high school Visual Arts education and fashion design. Her Master of Philosophy, oral history thesis focuses on Body Adorned and the Art of Dress: Australian Wearable Art 1970s-1980s. She is Chair of Textiles, Popular Culture Association of Australia and New Zealand (POPCAANZ). In 2004, she was awarded a Silver Medal at XI International Lace Biennale in Sansepolcro, Italy. In 2006, she curated Blurring the Boundaries: Fashion Design Innovation in Contemporary Knitting, an international fashion exhibition hosted by Fairfield City Museum & Gallery. Research interests include oral history, interaction between fashion and art, the history and the phenomenon of wearable art, fashion curation and sartorial display, the kimono, aesthetic dress, and social history of textiles.
Moira Simpson is a professional writer, a practising artist, and Editor of Textile Fibre Forum magazine. She trained first as an artist and then as a museum and gallery curator specialising in education.
Drawing upon her interests in visual arts, cultural diversity and museums, she has published extensively in academic and professional journals and completed two books: Making Representations: Museums in the Post-Colonial Era (Routledge: 1996 / 2001) and Museums and Repatriation (Museums Association: 1997). In 2010 she was awarded a doctoral degree for her research into the development of culturally-appropriate ethnomuseology, and museum repatriation as a mechanism for cultural revitalisation.
She now works full-time as an artist, writer and editor and runs Evocative Art and Heritage, organising workshops taught by guest tutors from Australia and overseas. She has a passion for textiles, practising and teaching nuno felting, stitched textiles, and encaustic arts and regularly contributing articles to Textile Fibre Forum magazine.
Click here to see a full list of Moira’s publications, examples of her artwork, and the current program of workshops.
Award-winning quilt maker to the stars, fearless leader of the Glitterati, and spiller of truth tea, Molli Sparkles originates from small town, USA, but has called Sydney, Australia his home for over fifteen years.
He has a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master of Fine Arts from the University of Sydney.
Molli started his journey with textiles in 2012 after deciding he wanted to make his grandmother a quilt.
He likes drinking champagne while sewing, and if there’s one thing he’s learned, “it’s just fabric, you can’t break it!”
Visit Molli’s website for more glitter and fun!
Svenja works from her home studio in Brisbane, where she lives with her husband and unwitting ‘Patron of the Arts’, Matt. A previous World of WearableArt® addict, as of 2019 she has had thirteen garments accepted into the iconic New Zealand competition and show. In 2017 she graduated from TAFE Brisbane with her Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology. Svenja continues her studies each year by participating in textile art workshops across Australia.
She is inspired primarily by the natural world, exhibiting in 2009 and 2011 in Morphology – Exploring the fascinating surfaces and forms of fungi and lichen through contemporary textile practices. Most recently in December 2019 she spent 5 weeks on King Island studying kelp and the shoreline as part of an artist residency fostering a change in direction of her work from wearable to low-relief wall and sculptural work.
Visit her website and blog to keep up with her adventures in textiles and life!
Embellish issue 45:
Carole is a well-respected textile artist who works closely with traditional artisans and small stitching units in India to produce unique items of timeless quality.
Through her shop, The Conscious Cloth Company, she brings us sustainable and ethical wares for the body and home.
COVID-19 has played havoc with the small group textile tours to India and New Zealand which Carole leads, and we hope they are back soon!
A multi-skilled artisan living in Queensland, Australia, I run a full-time practice which includes fine art, photography, fabric, felt, paper, bookbinding, sculpture, polymer clay and a great deal more. I teach, write and regularly contribute to Embellish magazine. Right now I’m enjoying soldering irons!
I am fortunate that I can wake up every morning and decide what I want to create that day; something new or work on a longer term project? How lucky can you be. Creating – in a myriad of forms – is what life is all about. I made the choice long ago of making money or creating. The first option has no true value. I started sculpting and painting as a young child, now I’m a lot older and still going!
For more information, check out my portfolio.
Anne Mitchell has been teaching fabric and silk painting in Australia for over 40 years. A former High School teacher, Anne also held teaching and management positions with Hobbytex before starting her own business in 1999.
Anne has travelled extensively throughout Australia and New Zealand, hosting fabric painting workshops and product demonstrations. In conjunction with Derivan, one of Australia’s leading acrylic paint manufacturers, Anne has developed a unique range of paint and dye products that are produced exclusively for Genesis Creations.
“The love of what I do motivated me to start my own business, which, for many years has allowed me the freedom to share my knowledge and skills with other craft professionals and enthusiasts. Now we have amazing products like Liquid Radiance as well as other fantastic paints and dyes that actually stay where you put them on the fabric!”
Anne has created many wonderful projects for Embellish ♥.
Dale Rollerson is a textile artist and owner of The Thread Studio. She is passionate about all areas of textile art and tries to be as cutting-edge as she can.
Dale enjoys machine and hand stitching, developing ideas using a needle felting machine and playing and experimenting with all manner of textile and mixed media ‘stuff’ . She has written a few books, and has been published in many magazines around the world.
Lynda is a full-time textile artist after previous lives as a medical research officer (researching in the field of Immunology, including creating monoclonal antibodies from scratch), and business and resources manager. Art and crafting, across a wide range of arts and crafts, have been part of her life since she was very young.
As a textile artist, her varied and original works cover many techniques. In 2006 she had her first solo exhibition, “A Journey In Textile Art“, showcasing works covering the previous decade including garments, fashion accessories, fabric bowls, 3D fabric sculptures and more. Lynda’s original design gowns have been entered in Australian Gown of the Year, Flair Fashion Awards, The Australian Wool Fashion Awards, and Art to Wear. Her works are influenced by textures, Australian flora and fauna, and the Australian landscape.
Her textile art is predominantly free machine embroidery and mixed media. However, more recently, hand embroidery has been making in-roads into her works.
Lynda is Editor of Embellish as well as Editor-in-Chief and Craft Editor for Vintage Made magazine. She also volunteers her time to help with our administration and as our contributor contact point and advertising guru.
Yarn issue 61:
Hi I am Simone, Owner and Dyer of Gum Blossom Yarns. I am a scientist and a teacher whose hobbies are knitting, crochet, botanical dyeing, and walking in the Australian bush.
I was searching for softer, more natural yarn colours to craft with than was capable with synthetic yarns. I now use my research skills to find new, attractive and sustainable botanical dyes in plants.
I dye yarn using native plants: eucalypts, seasonal berries, herbs, seeds, and garden flowers foraged in my local area of Brisbane Australia.
If you would like more information about these yarns, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit my website.
Follow my discoveries on social media @gumblossomyarns or #gumblossomyarns. Information on seasonal products is available in our blog.
Michelle was born in 1971 in Newcastle, Australia, where she still resides with her husband, son and two cats.
Initially earning a degree in Mathematics and teaching for several years, an injury led to a change in career. Having always had an interest in knitting, Michelle started submitting knitted items to local shows. Some of these were her creations.
Interest in these original pieces propelled Michelle to try designing clothing. With no formal training, she taught herself the basics of pattern writing and design from books and magazines.
With a focus on flowers and animals, her designs usually involve multiple colours and pictures. Michelle also includes three-dimensional aspects to her knitting whenever possible.
In 2016, Yarn magazine accepted her submission for a jumper. Over the subsequent years other designs have been published.
I got the gardening bug from my Father. Every evening after dinner he would go and potter around outside until dark. On weekends, if he couldn’t be found inside it was a surety that he’d be in his beloved garden.
Watching tiny seeds grow into beautiful plants, enjoying the sound of calming water on a summer’s day, this is what gardening is for me. Gardening is not a chore; it’s about creating a thing of beauty in harmony with nature. It is an extension of who we are and brings a sense of peace into an otherwise hectic life.
I studied garden design at the Blackford Centre while living and working in West London. The course provided me with the tools to take my love of gardening and turn it into a new career. While studying I was a volunteer gardener at ‘Osterley House and Gardens’, a neo-classical house owned by the British National Trust. I graduated earning a diploma with merit shortly before migrating to Sydney and starting my own business. I am a qualified horticulturist, having studied horticulture both in the U.K. and in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. I have designed, maintained and built gardens in England, Wollongong, Sydney and the Southern Highlands.
As well as being a keen gardener, I have a passion for conservation. Where possible I strive to source all my materials locally and sustainably. I like to recycle materials as this is more environmentally friendly and can give a garden that ‘weathered’ look rather than being shiny and new. I compost as much as possible and all uncooked vegetable waste and copious amounts of coffee grounds make their way in to my large, very healthy composting piles. More information can be found on my website.
Award-winning author Amy Lane lives in a crumbling crapmansion with a couple of teenagers, a passel of furbabies, and a bemused spouse. She has too damned much yarn, a penchant for action-adventure movies, and a need to know that somewhere in all the pain is a story of Wuv, Twu Wuv, which she continues to believe in to this day!
She writes contemporary romance, paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and romantic suspense, teaches the occasional writing class, and likes to pretend her very simple life is as exciting as the lives of the people who live in her head. She’ll also tell you that sacrifices, large and small, are worth the urge to write.
We have some of her previous writings available HERE.
For more, see her website.
Rie Natalenko is a passionate craftsperson: felting, working with textiles, knitting, sewing, crochet, appliqué, fabric painting, embroidery, spinning, weaving….. perfect for the Editor of Yarn magazine.
Rie has a doctorate in creative writing and is also an educator. She is the face behind The Write Impression.
I started knitting early in life, probably an attempt by my Mother to ensure I didn’t fall overboard when we travelled by ship from Australia to England. After that I was pretty well hooked. Throughout our lives we were encouraged to be creative and learned to sew and embroider – knitting was always my favourite. During my music studies it was a stress release after many hours of scales and battling with the violin.
When my daughter was born she became the recipient of many of my creations and whilst I’m not sure she was always terribly thrilled, craft sustained me through a nursing career and then a stint at Paton’s Australia, where I honed my pattern writing skills and perfected my crocheting under the eagle eye of Lucia Russo.
I have given knitting workshops at the CAE and in my home studio. In my spare time I work on my trapeze routine and foot juggling for various cabaret shows and try to spend as much time as possible with my two grandchildren who are now the main inspiration for my knitting. I also play with a String Quartet, playing at weddings and other events on a regular basis.
Inspiration for my knitting comes from many places. I love colour and have an enormous collection of wool, all sorted into different shades. Although I don’t have a large garden anymore I love gardening and often knit flowers into or attached to my designs.
My daughter has now discovered the joy of knitting and I have taught my grandson to knit. So, including my Mother, that is four generations of knitters in our family. I am also about to finish a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice – no idea what use I’ll put that to but it has certainly been good for my brain.
Rachel Preston has been experimenting with felting techniques for a number of years, creating unique pieces of felt art and projects that inspire others to experience the art of felting.
Rachel enjoys the creative process of taking something as soft and supple as wool and manipulating it into something that has strength and substance just by adding a little soap, heat and friction. It inspires and intrigues.
Margaret Stump has been a pin loom weaver ever since aged 10, when her mother brought home two pin looms. Over the years she has woven many blankets, scarves, pouches, purses and other items… including a number of really ugly cushion covers that were so ugly she threw them away, but now wishes she had kept, just to help track all the things one can weave on pin looms.
Margaret came to write her pin loom weaving books without ever seeking out a publisher. She had written her own amateur book, Weavies One, that included a number of pin loom patterns and that she sold on the internet. One day she received a note from someone requesting a free copy of the book on the basis that they were a publisher and were considering publishing a book on this craft. She remembers thinking, “Good heavens, people will say almost anything to get a free book”. But she did send the book, which led to Pin Loom Weaving; 40 projects for tiny hand looms.
Since then Margaret has completed two further books of pin loom patterns and shares information, patterns and techniques via her website.
Margaret lives in Minnesota, USA, with her husband, Jerry, and a couple cats. She is working to avoid Covid-19 by spending almost all of her time weaving at home or riding her bicycle.
Elayne has been creative all her life. She inherited a love of crafting and creating from her mother, who tried to teach her to knit and crochet when she was a child. It took many years before she realised that she loved the same things, and then she had to re-learn everything!
She enjoys all sorts of crafts—not only textile-based ones—and is tempted to try every one of them. She wouldn’t call herself an expert in any of her endeavours, merely proficient, but she loves to give her ideas a try! She is not a perfectionist, and has found that some really creative accidents come from mistakes.
Elayne lives in Sydney with her partner and her two cats.