Sunday, June 23, 2019

A carry bag using off-cuts and fabric inspired by nature

digital printed fabric inspired by historic bottletop tree
pant off-cut and digitally printed fabric inspired by nature
combining old and new fabric to handmake a new carry bag

When I purchase pants, I usually need to shorten the leg and find it hard to throw out the off-cut. Over the years these off-cuts have been re-purposed into cleaning clothes, fabric buckets, pin cushions, zippered purses or cut up and stitched into a quilt... How do you utilise offcuts? With this off-cut, I particularly liked the stitch detail and wanted to keep it intact. The pant leg was reinforced with fusible wadding and became the flap on a message style bag. The lining is leftover shirting fabric, and the body of the bag is using one of my nature inspired fabrics called 'bottle tops round 2'. 

The BottleTop Trees located at Lake Annand Park in Bright Street, Toowoomba inspired this fabric. We had a brief stop at Lake Annand Park while out day tripping, the shape and size of this unique tree caught my eye; I've since learnt the tree in this park is thought to be over 50 years old and is listed on the Natural Trust Registry.   

When you select a textile design, you have over twenty varieties of fabric that the design can be printed onto, making it really easy to get the right weight and type of material for your chosen project. For this project, I have used organic cotton and interfaced it. The linen canvas is my favourite fabric for bags and really lovely to sew.

Sustainability is at the heart of the Spoonflower process, and less than a thimble full of water is used to print 5 yards of fabric. Being able to combine offcuts with something new that has used sustainable manufacturing methods is quite satisfying.

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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Nature influences us in many ways, dare to explore

fabrics inspired by nature available through spoonflower

bark texture of the gumtree

fabric inspired by nature, designed by melforrest

gumtree texture

natures diversity influences us in many ways

inspired by explorations in local areas

As an artist, we know inspiration is about finding someone or something that is inspiring and drives us to take action to create. Taking the time to explore and enjoy our local area is something husband, and I enjoy together, the fresh air, simple discoveries and an invaluable opportunity to gather and collect inspirational moments

These short discoveries not only influenced my first solo exhibition 'Sunday Drives' they also have an ongoing impact on my well being, artworks and fabric collection. A camera and/or sketchbook accompany me on most explorations. With these tools, I capture images, sketch and record thoughts. A resource I can return to for research and inspiration. 

Texture, shape, colour and 'out of place' items caught my eye in our earlier explorations. Over time, I've dived more in-depth into the theme, taking a closer look and exploring different angles. My sketchbooks and digital library are filled with images of bark, trees, trunks, fallen logs, rocks, ants, flowers, leaves, insects, rusty items, canopies, foliage, feathers, seed pods...etc. And lots of skies inspired images.

Recently we returned to Karawatha Forest Park, located South East of where we live. The park is approximately 900 hectares and is one of the most significant remnant bushlands situated just within the city. There are picnic tables, barbecue facilities, and walking tracks at the park. 

Karawatha Forest Park is an essential refuge for over 200 species of wildlife, including a selection of threatened or endangered species such as the greater glider, squirrel glider and rare frogs. The forest also supports red-necked wallabies, swamp wallabies and eastern grey kangaroos. Birdlife is the most visible form of fauna in the park, with over 100 bird species found in the park.

Karawatha Forest contains mainly open eucalypt forest with areas of heath, wetland and woodlands. There are over 320 native plant species in Karawatha. The area includes a variety of habitats from freshwater lagoons and sandstone ridges to dry eucalypt forests and wetlands. It also contains some of the last remaining water heathlands and melaleuca wetlands in Brisbane.

Natures' diversity influences us in many ways, enjoy the moment and dare to wander without purpose or reason. 

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