Fragments of Calm

Carolyn and I are doing a project we hope to exhibit later in the year. It’s about the calming effects of sewing and externalising and stitching down our multitude of anxieties. I had meant to document it earlier but I’ll do it now instead.

April 1

April 2

April 3

April 4

April 5

April 6

April 7

April 8

April 9

April 10

And that is the first ten days 😀

New Beginnings

I’ve been struggling to push all the OCA stuff down now that I have dropped out of that and plan to continue to use my domain name to put in my own personal research and work plans.

I’ve completed my BFA last year and this year am just trying to enter a bunch of exhibitions, mostly quilting, but also others, with a view to having ongoing goals this year. Then next year I hope to do honours, because I really miss the place and the people and want to continue to pursue an art focus into my golden years 🙂

Caroline Sharkey Workshop

This weekend I attended a workshop run by Caroline Sharkey, who is an Australian textile artist. It was under the banner of the Tasmanian Quilting Guild but she does not consider herself a quilter but rather a Textile artist.

A small quilt of hers entered in the SAQA trunk show 2014. Viewed 8 Jan 2018

This workshop was concerned with a technique she has developed for making a new fabric to work with.

Fragments of fabric are applied to a stiffened background and then covered with a water soluble vilene and heavily sew down to keep the fragments in place. The water soluble is then washed out and the resultant fabric has new colour and texture.

The butterflies and sequins are included to play to a quilting audience I believe.

This fabric was then combined with other fabrics to create a final 2 D work

This is my work in progress at the end of the workshop. I have left the background carpet in the photo because it goes quite well. 🙂 Here I am using this technique as part of a background to try and showcase my hand and rust dyed fabrics.

Nellie Zimmerman

An artist that references the Australian landscape in her dimensional painted works. They are highly colourful and look almost like quilts, and so are quite relevant for my proposed Australian outback Ebb and Flow quilt. Viewed 31 December 2017

I have moved away from my initial idea of circles to squares but I am drawn to circles like these and have used them previously. In this she references aboriginal dot painting to some extent which I alway find a bit fraught. I guess you are unlikely to inadvertently use aboriginal symbols that belong to the songlines of a specific indigenous group, but I still feel it’s difficult to distinguish yourself from indigenous art. Whilst appropriation is considered legitimate, it may be considered inappropriate to appropriate from indigenous works.

Assignment Two: Stitching placed and spaced

This is my first textile work and it was heavily worked in layers, partly because I kept not being happy with what I had done and wanting to add more to improve it. This is in part how I work and it’s not all bad because sometimes it can result in more complex works and with unexpected results. And you know how I like unexpected results. I am excited every day to see how works turn out and if I knew that all in advance it would lose the thrill for me. 

The idea here was to take the graphic qualities of the T shape evident in the red collage and interpret this in cloth melded together with stitch and manipulation into a single work. I tried to use Joomchi principles to meld the red cloth together and then on to the backing cloth but it really is of limited success in cloth. Even using silk fibre between the layers didn’t help much and I finally resorted to needle felting the fibre through to help bind the layer together. Once I had this done I then stitched in fairly regimented lines of T shape stitch. It all looked a bit sterile and flat so I added contrast in shape and colour by draping a piece of scrap of a random shape on top. I thought the shape looked a bit like another organic T so I went with that and moulded it a bit more to reference this. Then some red stitching on top to have some clear stitching to appreciate amongst the jumble of stitching on this work. In my red collage I get the sense of the T shape falling or tumbling randomly and I have tried to translate this into the red stitching on the surface of this work. 

This second work went through a number of translations before it ended up like this. My idea was to highlight embossing in the preparation of this textile for stitch. I tried to do this by using padding (a disposable towel from work) and cutting in to this and then stitching in the depression.  Originally all three motifs here where still part of the one layered towel but I wasn’t happy with the look or configuration so I choose to cut out the partial stitched motifs and re arrange them on a red background. Now I had the chance to highlight the raised nature of the individual sections by stitching along the background and then up on to the white sections. 

I have also tried to reference embossing with the raised couched stitching enclosing ribbon or thick thread under stitch. 

Each individual little stitch work references things in my drawings. The red net appearance of the top layer of the red collage, the woven appearance set into the embossing and the small red squares themselves in the red square embossed drawing.

The disposable towel I used is a bit thick and tough and not exactly as malleable as I would need to highlight embossing.  I was quite pleased with the raised couched ribbon and the running stitch but again I could have spent more time working the thing into more of a unified whole. 

My final textile work is my favourite. There is a more minimal approach to stitch and more focus on the luscious fabric. It is a piece of hand dyed silk organza that has not been manipulated other than to be dyed in my now signature red for this series. 😀. I am happy with the linear marks bound at the top and free at the bottom reminiscent of my partial joomchi stitched paper work. I intended this work to be hung as shown to highlight the drape and fall of both the fabric and the line. 

The silk thread stitching has been worked twice in reference to the twice drawn line in a kimono drawing and its translation in to stitch on paper. I was pleased with the way you can see both the front and back of the stitch through the thin organza giving the line a more continuous quality. 

I think this is the strongest of the three in highlighting drape and interesting line quality.  Plus I’ll be able to repurpose it as a scarf later. 


All this paper manipulation got me thinking about rusting paper. Out here there is rusted metal everywhere and I have collected some bits and and old rusted metal box. 

I put the lot together with some water and vinegar and popped in a piece of organza and some paper. Two days later I have this piece of silk organza after washing.  Paper still needs rinsing. Not particularly related to my drawings but related to the environment I’m in at the moment. 

Welcome to my OCA learning log:

This is the learning log for Susan Lacey 516733 for the unit ‘A Textiles Vocabulary’.


Photos of all my works are included in the blog. The drop down heading Coursework/Part One will display all the coursework for this section, but each exercise is also individually categorised with its number in a list down the side of all posts. Research can be viewed by highlighting the Research and Reflection tab, but is also categorised into books and exhibitions, and internet. For Assignment One the Assignment tab contains only an overview and reflection.


Again the drop down menu Coursework/Part Two should display all the work for this section but each individual exercise is also categorised by number. The Assignment Two tab contains all work pertaining to the final three textile works for this. Reflection on Part Two will be found in the Research and Reflection drop down menu.


Exercises are again categorised by their number and the dropdown menu Coursework/Part Three should include all the work. The dropdown menu item Assignment Three contains a documentation of the Colour Communication book once assembled. Work that didn’t make the cut into the book is documented as part of each exercise in coursework. Research and Reflections are under the drop down menu item and the reflection on Assignment Three can also be found under the Assignment Three tab.


Exercises are under Coursework/Part Four and their number. Assignment tab has the final work and reflections.

Research point 2

Elizabeth Blackadder:

I was expecting that with a name like this she would be a younger person that had chosen that name. Turns out I was wrong and she is a now elderly painter and printmaker known for her paintings of flowers. Viewed 23 August 2017

Flowers on an Indian Cloth, 1965, Oil crayon on paper

This is a wonderful colourful drawing with loose but expressive lines that capture the colour and life of the subject . Viewed 23 August 2017

 Another beautiful drawing. Normally I don’t like a composition like this surrounded in white, but on this occasion I think it serves to highlight the detail, variation and colour in the individual leaves.

Now here I’m guessing we are looking at the interior design company Zoffany rather than the  18th century neoclassical painter Johan Zoffany, who doesn’t seem to have done many flower drawings 😊.

I’m going to include a photo of a Zoffany fabric called Rothko in celebration of the wonderful depth of colour in a Rothko painting I assume. 

Obviously this is taken from a commercial site, the details of which are at the top. This doesn’t relate to flowers specifically but I couldn’t resist the name, the colour and the weave variation. There are other wallpapers and fabrics with repetitive damask flower patterns but the regular less organic patterns appeal to me less. 


Erdem Moralioglu is a fashion designer that studied at the Royal College of art. I was attracted to the winter collection with its patchwork of stylised flowers, appealing to my quilting background. The lush fabrics combined as patchwork give an exotic mood to more traditional stylised motifs. Normally I don’t like flowers such as these but in combination they convey further depth and story. In these works he has attempted to combine traditional English motifs with lush Turkish fabrics as a celebration of his dual heritage. Viewed 23 August 2017

William Morris: Viewed 23 August 2017

William Morris was a designer that drew heavily on floral imagery, and was part of the arts and crafts movement in the 19th century.  A lot of his imagery is densely patterned and with long repeats creating an all over design that is not immediately seen to be repetitive. In the tiles above you can seen an example of a mirrored repeat. I’m not very atttracted to repeats although am interested in the effects that can be achieved through mirroring. The use of all over design creates the luxurious effect of dense foliage. 

Takashi Murakami: Viewed 23 August 2017

Touted as the ‘Japanese Andy Warhol’, Takashi Murakami make brightly coloured works with flower motifs amongst them. He has a style he calls ‘super flat’ which references the flat nature of earlier Japanese works. 

Timorous Beasties:

Another textile design company. Lots of floral and nature based designs, with an underlying foundation of the intertwining of nature and society.  Viewed 23 August 2017 

The site had a fun program where you could input a variety of textile designs over a generic room. This is my result using all nature based textile prints.


Another commercial site. I’m not used to looking at these. I struggled here to find any information about the use of floral motifs, and in fact not much imagery of floral motifs. Viewed 23 August 2017

 Jane Askey:   Viewed 23 August 2017

On her site Jane talks about painting based on textile background. Floral motifs that are often associated with textile and flattened pictorial space. I have chosen this one because I like the way the vibrant hues in the foreground resonant with similar more subdued hues in the background. Despite talking about flattened pictorial space, the differential vibrancy does create some depth. 

Tore Boontje:   Viewed 23 August 2017

Tore is an industrial designer that uses floral motifs in his textile work, and here in collaboration with a ceramic company. He is combining an interest in nature, materials and technology to create beautiful work.