Category Archives: dyeing

solace – sunlight falls, my wings open wide

“Solace” project: India Flint is doing a residency in South Australia in June this year, and has invited people to make flags to hang.

“Make a triangular flag or pennon [meaning a personal ensign, derived from the Latin penna meaning a wing or a feather] preferably using a piece of pre-loved cloth. Stitch on it a word or a phrase or a sentence that might act as a wish for peace or an acknowledgement of beauty, imply a sense of stillness or simply something that gives you solace. It can be as brief or as long as you like. A haiku, a snatch of song, a word that takes you where you want to be. Attach ties to the tethering end of your flag”

& then post it to the address on the page. she’ll dye them, and photos will go into a book/online. has the details.

I made one tonight using a song snippet:

“sunlight falls, my wings open wide” from orpheus by david sylvian, on the secrets of the beehive album, because it always gives me solace when i play it.
japanese cotton with wool thread


some others in the Sketchbooks and Experiments for Textiles facebook group are going to make one too

David Sylvian – Orpheus lyrics:

Standing firm on this stony ground
The wind blows hard
Pulls these clothes around
I harbour all the same worries as most
The temptations to leave or to give up the ghost
I wrestle with an outlook on life
That shifts between darkness and shadowy light
I struggle with words for fear that they’ll hear
But orpheus sleeps on his back still dead to the world

Sunlight falls, my wings open wide
There’s a beauty here I cannot deny
And bottles that tumble and crash on the stairs
Are just so many people I knew never cared
Down below on the wreck of the ship
Are a stronghold of pleasures I couldn’t regret
But the baggage is swallowed up by the tide
As orpheus keeps to his promise and stays by my side

Tell me, I’ve still a lot to learn
Understand, these fires never stop
Believe me, when this joke is tired of laughing
I will hear the promise of my orpheus sing

Sleepers sleep as we row the boat
Just you the weather and I gave up hope
But all of the hurdles that fell in our laps
Was fuel for the fire and straw for our backs
Still the voices have stories to tell
Of the power struggles in heaven and hell
But we feel secure against such mighty dreams
As orpheus sings of the promise tomorrow may bring

Tell me, I’ve still a lot to learn
Understand, these fires never stop
Please believe, when this joke is tired of laughing
I will hear the promise of my orpheus sing

Joanna Fowles – Sydney textiles designer

this morning I read the articles that had arrived in my inbox and webpages overnight and discovered a talented Sydney based textiles designer called Joanna Fowles via this article in TDF (the design files). Joanna is originally from the UK, though has lived in Australia previously – when she did a year-long TAFE screenprinting course. she then returned to England where she studied textile design at Chelsea College of Art. I love her geometric designs – featuring many large and overlapping dots. she specializes in Shibori dyeing and printing, using the Shibori indigo as well as other colours to create her scarves and fabrics. I notice Fowles also has a design featured in the wonderful “Digital Textile Design” book by Melanie Bowles and Ceri Isaac, which “covers everything students and practitioners of textile design will need to learn about designing and printing digitally”.

I made a few nice discoveries from this article too – The School is a studio and education space in Rosebery, Sydney where Fowles runs some workshops. I’ve signed up for one of her classes to make a Shibori scarf. it’s a little expensive but from all reports is worth the money, so I’m looking forward to trying this at the end of April.

also, Fowles mentions a couple of stores in Surry Hills – I went to these today, as it’s been years since I went shopping in Surry Hills – though there’s a fabric store nearby that I’ve been meaning to visit for a while – and found a lovely handwoven beach / bath towel at Collector Store. I had a look in The Standard Store located on the other corner of the block but the garments, whilst lovely, were out of my price range. I particularly liked the colourful hand-knits from Erotokritos and if I’d had a spare $250+ and were a couple of sizes smaller I might have bought one. in the meantime, I joined their Facebook page so I can see if there’s other fabrics I like.

other discoveries include Kinfolk magazine – I tried the ipad versions of the first three issues – unfortunately subsequent issues aren’t available for the ipad. I might try find a printed copy of it, as those first three issues were great – it’s just the amount of time it takes to arrive from the USA that puts me off often. also, Patternity has some great patterned images, and Synaptic Stimuli is aptly named for the visual feast that it is.