My name is Julie-Anne and I am a workshop junkie. I admit it. There is no point in denying it. If I won the lottery, I would probably spend most of it travelling the world and learning from artists in every country. What a life that would be! At the moment I am trying to learn free motion machine embroidery. For someone who has always done things by hand, this is really something different!
I have learnt the hard way that online courses just don’t do it for me. I have subscribed to many and finished none. I like to be in a room with like-minded people, learning from our much-admired art guru. I get to meet the artists that I follow, ask questions of them and sometimes even make friends of them. I love the camaraderie that abounds when a class gets so excited about what they are creating. There is little that is better.
A few weeks ago I had the privilege of learning free motion machine embroidery from Meredith Woolnough. Her work is unique and immediately recognisable. She has perfected the process on water soluble fabric. Not only was I excited to learn from her, I know her mother, Rae Woolnough, well. Rae is a wonderful felt artist and has such a bright, sparkling and friendly personality that I was confident that her daughter would be a lovely person. I have learned free-motion machine embroidery in the past from another artist. That person is an amazing artist and I love her work but, unfortunately, she wasn’t a good teacher. Meredith has been a high school art teacher so knows how to teach well. Not everyone can, so to learn from an artist who is not only talented but can pass on her knowledge well was absolute bliss and my money was well spent.
The dabbling that I had previously done was exciting and I have done a few pieces that I am quite happy with, but this course gave me so much more information and there were several ‘AHA!’ moments. Now I know how to layer and blend colours, how to keep the dissolved thread mess in slightly better shape so that I can lay it out for drying more easily, and more.
If you are in Australia and are interested in learning this technique, I highly recommend Meredith’s workshops. (And remember, I am the junkie and I know workshops!) If you can’t make it over here, she is in the process of writing an online course. (Maybe you are better at finishing these than I am) She has also published a stunning book that is eye candy on steroids and has plenty of instruction, along with many of her tips.
I may be a junkie, but I refuse to go into rehab!
Helen Zammitt says
Helen from Sydney sketchers. I’d be interested to hear if you are exhibiting. I sometimes travel to the Central Coast so could factor in an exhibition. Anyhow hope you got home safely?
Julie-Anne Rogers says
Hi Helen. So sorry but I don’t check this email address often enough and I have only now seen this. At the moment I have a piece showing at Nowra in the Shoalhaven Regional Gallery. The exhibition finished on 3 July. Nothing on the Central Coast at the moment but a brunch group that I run has been invited to show at a cafe in Wyong. I will keep you updated!