Sunday, February 22, 2009

for craft hatch

I will be selling bird head brooches mounted on thin log rounds. These will be a series of australian wrens:
Mallee emuwren (stipitrus mallee), Superb fairy wren (Malurus cyaneus), Purple-backed wren (Malurus assimilis), Lavender-flanked wren (Malurus dulcis), Lilac-crowned wren (Malurus coronatus), Grey grassren (Amytornis barbatus), Lovely wren (Malurus amabilis)

Yesterday I made this head while watching a dodgy saturday afternoon tv movie.
It is a lilac crowned wren (malurus Coronatus). It is Nuno felt, made using alpaca fleece, hand stitched with bright purple thread.

The cut rounds are from a wattle tree which came down in a storm. As the timber is still green, I'm seasoning it in the oven.Unfortunately for one batch I had the temperature up too high and split most of the rounds. Because of that, I know 50-80 degrees is a good range to work in. After reducing the moisture content, these will be sanded, shellaced and varnished.

I anticipate the brooches to look simliar to the above picture, only the log rounds will be varnished.

Friday, February 20, 2009

nuno, nuno, nuno

I spent the early part of the afternoon making some nuno felt. I layed out my pre selected colour palette.

Superb fairy wren: I love the electric blue of the suri lock!

Crimson Rosella: For a mounted head. I went silk crazy, lavishing vivid bougainvillea purple raw silk. Can't wait to work with this....and i've never made a parrot shaped beak either...ooohhh...

Butterfly base: ulysses and cairns birdwing. This clour block will be cut up and sewn to make wings. The butterflies will be used along side Bogon Moths as icing for a tiered cake. mmmm insecty....

My mum helped me, as we worked on the 3 pieces at the same time. It was like having an apprentice which was awesome...but strange as mum is the one with more knowledge, and I still ask her 'Is this right?' or 'more water?'

hummingbird update

Hummingbird slowly coming together. I've been swamped with sewing other stuff, so this has really really been lagging!! At least now it has some skin on it, but it still looks like shit at the moment :)

Monday, February 16, 2009

the venue

C3 COntemporary Art Space

Lovely space, and people at the Abbotsford Convent

Doing work without actually doing any work.
This afternoon I was selecting coloured fleece for specific animals and putting them in fleece pouches, so that whenI'm ready to make that animal, the colours are ready to go.

So far I have colour schemed
- Bogong moth
- Cairns Birdwing Butterfly
- Mountain Blue Butterfly
- Royal Spoonbill
- Numbat
- Ghost Bat
- Boyd's Forest Dragon
- Fairy Wren

I still want to try some of my own dyes, and have been collecting plant specimens to use.
I probably with felt some white/cream then dye, because I'm afraid that if I dye carded fleece, I may not set the colour properly and lose the brightness of it duringthe felting process.

Animal Heads

Secondary to animals as food we have mounted heads, the following are a few I have been thinking about. Reptile, Bird, Aquatic mammal, flying mammal.
The ghost bat and boyd's dragon are endemic to Australia, while the spoonbill can also be found in NZ, PNG and Tonga. The Dugong's conservation status is vulnerable and although it has a large range in Indo-Pacific waters, Australia has the largest population with groups of around 10,000.

Mounted heads:
Boyd's Forest Dragon (Hypsilurus boydii) From Tropical Queensland
Royal Spoonbill (Platalea regia)
Dugong (Dugong dugon)moreton bay, shark bay largest population.
Ghost Bat (Macroderma gigas)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

homework day

I spent yesterday catching up on some exhibition homework and made somoe real headway *yay*
One of the problems i was having is it's all fineand dandy choosing cute little possums and bandicoots, but how do you make them into a food dish and still have them recognisable?? Meat looks like meat doesn't it. Then, a moment of inspiration.
I have been at this from the wrong direction. Maintain distinguishable features; tail, beak, colour, covering.
-Pygmy possum tails as napkin rings

-Cake/dessert items 'iced' with Bogong moths and/or blue mountain butterflies. I saw a picture of the moths clustered together like a shingled roof.

- 4+ 20 black bird pie. in Oz we have a meat pie brand four and twenty, and i thought the blackbird componant could be currawongs and magpies. feet protruding from a pie crust, with the pie presented on a feather lined plate.

-In place of the traditional roast turkey/goose/chicken a black swan, served a la henry 8th with the skin/feathers pulled back over the cooked flesh.

- Echidna, display for food jammed on its spikes. It's tacky, reminds me of cheese cubes and bits of sausage on tooth picks

- Marbled emu eggs

- Emu or heron or spoonbill feet done like chicken feet.

- and possible have small creatures like spinifex mouse and dunnarts appearing in floral arrangements or near the foot of the table, as a reference to the english furniture style where mice/dormouse were carved on table legs, edges, etc.

Behold the chicken scratch doodles

Sunday, February 8, 2009


Rufous Hummingbird....well the inner body and beginnings of the wing structure. At the moment it kinda looks like a baseball meets a fetus with wire handles, but in the picture below you can see how things will take shape.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Craft Hatch April market

I'm taking part in Craft Victoria's Craft Hatch again. It is an incubator market for student and emerging designers. I am a stallholder at the April market, taking place in the city library on Degraves st, Melbourne.

This year I will be selling birds, birds and more birds! Specifically embroidered brooches and nuno felt sculptures. These items will go online after the market and be available for purchase through my ETSY store ( ... so if you are without cash on the day --the library has no eftpos/credit facilities-- or unable to attend, you get another chance to scoop up some awesome bird art.


I can finally get down to making a felt hummingbird...Heat wave over... A couple of weeks ago i finished nuno felting the colour scheme i will use to make a Rufous Hummingbird. They have amazing irridescent quality to their feathers, and I find that rather exciting to try to replicate.
Below is one of these awesome birds and a photo my felt scheme.