Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Auckland Anniversary Weekend 23-27 January 2009

Our plans to leave Auckland late afternoon on Friday to get to Katikati were complicated after David was caught up in gridlocked traffic. Police had closed the North-western Motorway after a man that had snatched a bag in Glen Eden fired shots, took off in a stolen car, and eventually tried to hijack a van on the motorway. The Armed Offenders Squad shot and killed the van driver by accident, but did catch the crim.

In the end we met up at my parents house, leaving his car there, and I drove my car down to Katikati to surprise Becca, who’d spent the last week with the Grandparents.

We went via Waihi, and once we’d had some rather good Chinese takeaways, stopped to have a look at the Martha Hill (hole) open-cast gold mine. An enormous hole in the earth, there was a group of diggers that were dwarfed by the depth.

Becca was absolutely thrilled that we arrived on Friday night, instead of Saturday, but was disappointed that we wouldn’t be going home till Sunday afternoon. She’d enjoyed the stay, trips to the beach, petting zoos, Karangahake Gorge and getting some good books from the library, but was ready to go home, and have life return to normal.

One of the main reasons for leaving on Friday evening, other than to miss the worst of the holiday traffic, was that I’d arrange to meet some ladies who are members of the Rust Dyeing and Alternative Quilt List groups I belong to, to talk about rust dyeing. On Saturday morning I drove to Thompsons Track Road, which was once considered as an alternative route over the Kaimai Ranges, to find Barbara Hilford’s place, where we were supposed to meet. Being me, I decided to drive to the end of the road. It ended in a beautiful stand of ancient Puriri trees, tho the track carries on into the forest. I didn’t have time to do more that chill out in the peace and calm of ancient forest.

Barbara, Deryn Pittar (the lady I’d been communicating with), and Beryl (an Art Teacher and artist) weren’t expecting me till nearly 11.00, so they were sitting having morning tea on the verandah of a beautiful white stucco two story house, with amazing views of Mt Maunganui and Tauranga, when I arrived just after 10.00. These three women have obviously known each other a long time.

After some lovely scrummy shortbread, and a glass of cold water, we went thru to Barbara’s workroom, where she showed us some of the projects she’s working on, including a piece that Deryn re-named Rusty Rivers, and a beautiful black tree on hand-dyed red-orange-yellow silk with echo quilting.

Deryn showed us her rust and tannin dyed fabrics, and gave each of us a small container of Sulphate of Iron, a pack of Tannin, and a rust/tannin dyed silk scarf. She has achieved some amazing deep-indigo patterns, and demonstrated how to do this after lunch.

Beryl showed us a landscape about 20cm sq, that she had woven from a photo of Clyde, framed by roofing iron.

The rest of the weekend was spent completing the setup of the inlaw’s new computer. It was great to get home on Sunday afternoon, tho the dogs were completely neurotic after spending the weekend at my parents, with their new dog, who seems to have bullied them constantly.

(Happy birthday to me!) – bathed 2 stinky dogs, 3 loads of washing, shopping, and spent 20 minutes waiting at a counter at Spotlight for a woman with no available credit on 3 different cards to give up and go away. She eventually had her friend pay for her purchase.

Deryn made the following comments on the “Emergence” piece I’m working on: ‘I like the flow of your emergence but couldn't pick out the face so didn't click that it was a woman. Yes, a little bit "fussy" but that could just be the cataract in my one eye. I always avoid faces. Can't do them at all. However, I like the idea. Can you perhaps put hands on the end of the arms and have them grasp something? Or put more at the bottom of the piece so it is heavier at the bottom to balance what you are doing at the top. The bits sewn onto the sides could be removed. All in all I like your idea and as I said - couldn't pick out the face so missed the idea of a woman completely, till you pointed it out.‘

I’ve followed some of her suggestions, but now added other bits to the sides, and am not sure if they work. I had a Plan A for a face, which was to print my face, cover it with Gel Medium, peel off the backing, then adhere it to an acrylic button. Unfortunately it didn’t work with an ink-jet print. Plan B is to use some bugle beads to make a “face”.

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