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Newsletter March 2011

Dear ALL,

Here it is - the first newsletter for 2011.

Dates to Diarize

· A.S.A.P - send images of your Kimonos Unlimited artwork for advertising and marketing purposes to Odette:
· March 31 2011 - Deadline for entry form and payment for SA National Quilt Festival
· April 29 2011 - Deadline to register your interest in one of the competitions at Festival of Quilts 2011 (Birmingham NEC)
· May 1 2011 - Deadline for delivery of quilts for SA National Quilt Festival
World Textile Art Organization XALAPA, MEXICO CITY and OAXACA Mexico
· 13 May Deadline for Kimono exhibition. Please send entry forms. More on this later.
· June 6 - 11 2011 Kathryn Harmer Fox will present 2 workshops in Dana Biddle's Studio - 1. Make your own Shoes and 2. Papier-mâché
· July 1 - 7 2011 - SA National Quilt Festival
· August 11- 14 2011 - Festival of Quilts 2011 - Birmingham NEC
· 28 August - 11 am Opening of Kimono exhibition at Artisan gallery in Durban.
· 2-7 October 2011 - 11th Southern Hemisphere Felting Convergence 2011 which will be held in Bunbury Western Australia.
· 6 - 9 October 2011 - Knitting and Stitching Show, Alexandra Palace, London

Next meeting: Friday 3 June 10 am at Margaret Ruxton's house - 25 Glenart Road, off Pearson Road in Kloof. KwaZulu Natal members can bring their works for the Kimono exhibition to this meeting so they can all be sent together to Stellenbosch. Margaret's telephone no is 031 767 4221

Minutes of Fibreworks meeting held at Helga's house on Friday 4 March 2011.

Present: Jeanette Gilks, Leonie Malherbe, Jean Powell, Odette Tolksdorf, Margaret Ruxton, and Rosalie Dace, Helga Beaumont.
Apologies: Judy Breytenbach, Jutta Faulds, Annette McMaster, Carolyn Zelenka, Lynette Douglas, Margie Garratt, Margee Gough, Dana Biddle, Sheila Walwyn, Sue Akerman and Sue Physick

Odette Tolksdorf chaired the meeting. She welcomed everyone and thanked Helga for having the meeting at her home.

The Kimono Exhibition:

Title: 'Kimonos Unlimited'

1. The SAQG National exhibition "Alive with Colour" in Stellenbosch 1 - 7 July 2011.
SAQG Entry Form Deadline: 13 May (if you are exhibiting at both venues)
SAQG Submission Deadline: 15 June (work to be with Sheila Walwyn: 021 683 5497; 3 Marne Ave, Claremont 7708)

2. The Artisan Gallery in Durban opening on Sunday 28 August at 11am.
Artisan Entry Form Deadline: 19 August (if you are only exhibiting at Artisan)
Artisan Submission Deadline: 23 August (work to be with Helga: 084 551 3883, P.O.Box 749, Kloof, 3640 OR 21a Alexander Ave, Kloof 3610)

Artists do not have to exhibit at both venues, but we would like to encourage you to have work for both shows if possible. The works that come in for the Stellenbosch exhibition, will automatically go on to the Durban exhibition.
Artists will pay for their work to get to the exhibitions, but Fibreworks will pay for the works to move from Stellenbosch to Durban, and will also pay for the art works to be delivered back to the owners, at GPO rates.

NB. PLEASE NOTE: Sue Greenberg of Artisan Gallery has asked for images as soon as possible for advertising and marketing purposes. Please send your pics to Odette:

The Kimonos Unlimited entry form is attached to these minutes. Sheila Walwyn is very keen for wearable Kimonos.

Here is a repeat of the responsibilities of the artists as set out in the Constitution Guidelines:

Artists Responsibilities:
Submission of information by the due date. This includes:
A short - about half a page - updated CV to Fibreworks exhibitions co-coordinator, if applicable. This will be placed in the Fibreworks file of exhibiting artists that accompanies any national show.
Your personal mission statement, if you have one.
Completed Entry Form to the Fibreworks exhibitions coordinator/curator.
You are also responsible for submitting the actual work by the due date.
Your updated CV and any personal press cuttings to the Archivist. Remember the Archivist can only archive what she has been given.
Please note that the insurance of the artwork during transportation is entirely your responsibility.

Your work must be submitted as "hang ready". This is:

Professionally packed. This packaging could be used when the work is returned to you
Work signed and dated on the front and / or back
An appropriate hanging mechanism that works with no fuss
Clear instructions regarding the hanging mechanisms/display

NB if the work /paperwork is late, the Fibreworks coordinator/curator reserves the right to exclude it from the show.

A reminder will be sent out to all members as they may not exhibit if they have not paid their subs. If unsure if your subs are paid, check with Margaret Ruxton at

Web Site:
Please send information and images to Helga by end April for the annual website upgrade. If you are unsure what the format is, check the website:

Description: no more than 100 words.


Roy Starke and Jenny Hearn: Tokyo
Both Roy and Jenny exhibited in Tokyo very successfully in November last year. Below is the letter Roy sent out to various members - we thank you Roy for sharing with us what must have been a memorable trip for both of you.

And we send a prayer to all the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami.

Dear Friend,
I am back from a very successful exhibition at the Yokohama Quilt Festival. More than 30 000 tickets for the event was sold and it was a major success.
I have updated my website with photo's :
I would like to make use of this opportunity to thank everybody for their good wishes and support received in the preparation of this major event.

Christmas Greetings and may the New Year be very interesting and full of colour!

Roy Starke
Master Quilter / Fibre Artist

Quilts for Japan
Sue Stevenson from Sew Together in Amanzimtoti is making quilts for donation to Japan. There will be various sewing days in April starting on 5 April from 9 am to 4 pm if anyone wants to make help make quilts. You can also donate R5 a block for Sheshwe fabric if you wish to contribute towards the cause. Her contact details are - or Her telephone no is 031 903 1527, 084 519 0912.

The Director's Challenge:
Many Fibreworks members participated in the 3 country (Japan, France and South Africa) Director's Challenge that Colleen Roberts co-organized. There is information and pictures of all the entries in the February/March 2011 "Stitches" Magazine.

Interesting Articles

Courtney Jordanis the editor of Artist Daily.

Dear Artist Daily Subscriber,
When you feel you're reading to market your work to galleries, you want to make sure you know as much as you can about the business side of the art world. J. Jason Horeis, owner of the Xanadu Gallery, in Scottsdale, Arizona, is the author of Starving to Successful: The Fine Artist's Guide to Getting Into Galleries and Selling More Art and the creator of ArtTracker, an online service where artists inventory and track their artwork. Horeis is offering Artist Daily members a special discount on Starving to Successful and an ArtTracker subscription. If you're seriously considering going after gallery representation, this could be a great place to start.

Warm Regards,
January 27, 2011

Four Surprising Ways to Get into Galleries and Sell More Art
A Special Offer for Artist Daily subscribers from Xanadu Gallery to help you step up your marketing in 2011

Throughout the last year I have spoken with hundreds of artists from all over the country. As you can imagine, the over-all story I have heard from many artists is pretty grim. It's no secret the art market has been hurting. The economy has been especially cruel to the art business. I have met artists whose sales have dropped a lot in the last three years. I've talked to artists who have nearly given up on hopes of being profitable again. I have seen galleries that have had to close their doors. Times are tough.However, you might be surprised to learn I have also met artists who have taken advantage of the down economy. Instead of giving up, they have worked harder than ever. They are already starting to see an increase in sales and are getting representation in great galleries. These diligent artists are positioned to achieve great success as the economy comes back around.I have been, shares what I have found. This book not only gives you valuable information from my discussions with artists, it also gives you an inside understanding of how galleries select their artists and what you can do to successfully approach galleries.

Increase Production! This suggestion is probably exactly the opposite of what you (and many other artists) have done. When sales start to slow many artists tend to pull back from creating. It's hard to invest in materials when the prospect of immediate sales has retreated. It's tempting to pull into your shell and wait for the storm to pass. Now is the time to do exactly the opposite. While everyone else is pulling back, you have the opportunity to get ahead. If you can continue to build your inventory and expand your gallery representation, you're going to increase your sales. You'll also be in a position to capitalize on the increased sales that are sure to come as the economy continues to improve. I have found that successful artists are those who are consistently and constantly in the studio producing. They are often described as "prolific". If you can put your energy into building an inventory of strong pieces then you will be in a position to secure good gallery representation.·

Set a consistent allotment of time every day, during which you commit to being in the studio creating; then stick to that schedule religiously. Consider your time in the studio sacred, and ask your family and friends to respect that time.·

Set a goal to create a certain number of works per week. My father has long had the goal to produce two paintings per week. Some weeks it's two medium sized works, while others it's a large work and a study; but every week he diligently strives to get to that magic number, and every year he has completed over 100 pieces.

Get distractions out of the studio. If possible move the computer to another room, or at least turn it off during your studio time. I am always amazed how I barely click "send" on an e-mail to an artist, only to have an instantaneous reply in my inbox. I figure one hand must be on a paintbrush and the other on the keyboard. Focus! Artists generally love their freedom. They want to experiment. They love a challenge. They crave variety. All good things, except when you are presenting your work to a gallery. The work you present to a gallery needs to be unified. It doesn't need to be repetitive or formulaic, but it must present you as a consistent artist with a clear vision.

Often I feel I am looking at the work of multiple artists as I review a single portfolio. To avoid this problem you need to find focus in your work. If you work in several media and a variety of styles, focus on just one for the next 6-12 months. Create a body of work that feels like a "series". Once you have 20-25 gallery-ready pieces, you will be ready to approach a gallery.You can further create consistency by presenting your work in a consistent way. Use similar frames for paintings and photographs, compatible bases for sculpture, unified settings for artistic jewelry. Make it very clear all of the work is by the same artist. If you simply can't rein your style in, consider creating multiple portfolios, one for each style. Don't confuse the galleries you approach by presenting multiple styles in one portfolio.

Raise Your Prices! This is perhaps the most surprising advice I can offer. I find that the vast majority of artists I encounter are under-valuing their work, and as a consequence their sales suffer. I understand the temptation to keep prices low. You can probably list a litany of good reasons. "I am not as well established as other artists." or "I'm already not selling well - won't it get even worse if I raise prices?" or "The economy is down" . . . and on and on. My counter argument is simple. Because the value of art is arbitrary, art collectors and gallery owners have no way to know the value of your work until you tell them. Set your price too low and the collector will think you're not well established, or worse that there is something wrong with your work.In my book I offer concrete suggestions for systematically pricing your work. Although I don't have space to lay them all out in this note, I can tell you the most important include:·

Be consistent when pricing your work.·
Institute a pricing formula.·
Base your prices on comparable artists. Pricing is one of the most important and most difficult aspects of marketing your work. It's important that as you put your work out into the marketplace you be able to confidently assert your value. Get Organized! Finally, as you ramp up production and build more relationships with galleries, it is critical that you organize your work. I know that organization probably doesn't come naturally, but if you can put a system in place to get organized and then stick to it then you can take the pain out of putting your studio in order. You can implement several ideas to start systemizing your organization process: ·

Move your inventory record-keeping to the computer. Having a good, simple inventory program in place to organize your artwork is going to vastly simplify your record-keeping process. We offer a terrific software option on our website called ArtTracker. This program was designed with you, the artist, foremost in our minds. This means the software is simple to use, and it's affordable. With a few simple clicks you can record all of the important information about your work and then have instant access to it.·

Start using an inventory number with each piece of artwork. Having a numbering system in place will allow you to instantly identify work and tie it back to your inventory system.·
Include all of the information about your artwork on the artwork.Getting your studio organized will free you to put more focus on your work, and it will make you a hero to the galleries you work with. In addition to the tips above, you will learn how to prepare your portfolio for approaching galleries, gain insight into what galleries are looking for and how they will perceive you and your work, and most importantly, you will get a clear picture of the steps you should take to get your work into galleries and build solid, profitable relationships with them.Sincerely,J. Jason Horeis
Owner Xanadu Gallery

The World Quilt Competition is an annual event and forms part of the World Quilt and Textile shows held in the USA. This year ten countries will enter works in the juried and judged contest, competing for over $10,000 in prizes. Best of Country from among the entries for each country will be chosen as well as the prestigious Best of World Award. The maker of this quilt will receive a prize of $2,000 US.
A brochure with entry form is available from me (May 20, Entry Form Deadline). Anyone can enter in either the traditional or innovative quilt categories. The Delivery Date Deadline (July 13) makes it possible to send your quilts after they have been shown at the South African National Quilt Festival in Stellenbosch. I look forward to receiving your entries so we can present a fabulous show of South African quilts in the USA.Please forward this message to your quilting friends and colleagues who may want to enter the competition.
Kind regards
Odette Tolksdorf

1. Sewing your own Shoes (or Handbag) / Creating from Paper, Cardboard and Glue Workshops will be presented by Kathryn Harmer Fox in Dana's studio in Heidelberg.
6th and 10th June 2011 - Papier-mâché
7th - 9th June 2011 - Sewing your own Shoes (or Handbag)
Please contact Kathryn Tel: 043-737-4814 / 082-350-7024 Or Dana Tel: 0163492949 / 083 268 5856 for more details or to book your place.

2. The National Quilt Festival will be hosted by Good Hope Quilters. The next Quilt Festival will be held from 1 - 7 July 2011 at the Bloemhof Girls' School in Stellenbosch and the theme is "Alive with Colour" Please be sure to visit their website for more information Contact: Wanda Carmichael 3.

3. Festival of Quilts 2011 - Birmingham NEC, UK, Dates for 2011: 11th to 14th August.
The Festival of Quilts (organized with the support of the Quilters Guild of the British Isles) has earned a reputation over the past eight years as the largest, most inspiring quilting event in Europe - with good reason! The Festival of Quilts boasts a host of gallery exhibitions from leading international artists and groups; the list for 2011 will be announced in February/March.

4. 11th Southern Hemisphere Felting Convergence Bunbury 2011 Felt Convergence Bunbury or

5. The Knitting and Stitching Show will be held at the Alexandra Palace from the 6th to the 9th October 2011

6. The annual Design Indaba which was held in February in Cape Town is highly recommended - it shows the latest in all categories of design in South Africa.Professional publicity / promotions agent. We discussed the possibility of employing a professional publicity / promotions agent for Fibreworks. Does anyone have any suggestions?

Interesting websites: ARTRIGHT is a resource of business, legal and educational information for the South African visual arts community.,,

Two of our members have husbands who have recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer and they have asked us to remind our husbands / partners to please go to their doctors for regular check-ups. Good advice. We send our very best wishes to them.

Written by a reporter interviewing the Italian artist Morandi: "He had a little reproduction of a Cezanne watercolor landscape above the sink where he cleaned his brushes. I looked at it with no formal art knowledge. 'I don't feel the importance of Cezanne' I said to him. One of my great life lessons was Morandi's response: "Continua a guardare." (Keep looking)." Time invested in complaining is time stolen from creating." Robin Sharma

That's all for now! If you have any news for our next newsletter, please send it to We would love to hear from you!


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