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Newsletter March 2013

Dear ALL

Dates to diarize:

  • Paul Schutte exhibition - 14th February - 15th March 2013 (see invitation below)
  • 2 April 2013. IQCA (International Quilt Convention Africa) Challenge 'Free to Express' Entry Forms to be submitted. More on this later - their web site :
  • 12 - 14th April 2013 Major Minors IV exhibited in Kenya. More on this later.
  • 30 June 2013 IQCA 'Free to Express' images to be e mailed for jurying. More on this later.
  • 1st July - 7th July 2013 National Quilt Festival in Bloemfontein. See web site for more details.
  • 19 August 2013. Submission date for National Portrait Competition. See previous newsletter.
    For entry forms:
  • 31st August 2013. Fibreworks exhibition at IQCA work to be with Dana Biddle. Submission deadline
  • 6 - 8 September 2013. IQCA - International Quilt Convention Africa - at Emperor's Palace. More on this later.
  • 2014 Fibreworks VIII. More on this later.
  • 5th December 2013 'Threads' exhibition Tatham Art Gallery. More on this later
The next Fibreworks meeting will be on Friday 24th May, 9 for 9:30 am at Margaret Ruxton's home. Address is 25 Glenart Road, Tel: 031 767 4221

Minutes of Fibreworks meeting held on Friday 22 February 2013.

Present: Helga Beaumont, Margaret Ruxton, Jeanette Gilks, Odette Tolksdorf, Jutta Faulds, Annette McMaster, Sue Physick, Jean Powell, Leonie Malherbe, Rosalie Dace.

Apologies: Dana Biddle, Carolyn Zelenka, Sue Akerman, Gillian Gerhardt, Jenny Hearn, Karin Arbeter, Sheila Walwyn, Cornelia Robinson, Sally Scott, Margee Gough.

Jeanette Gilks chaired the meeting. She welcomed everyone and welcomed the members from Pmb that drove up for the meeting.


Major Minors IV

Jeanette Gilks and Helga Beaumont organized for the Fibreworks Major Minors IV exhibition to travel to Kenya for a Kenya Quilters Guild exhibition in Nairobi 12 - 15 April.

More details will be available on Dena Crain's blog soon, so keep an eye out for it.

Depending on the Kenya Quilters Guild, the works may travel on to London, Ontario in Canada. We are still in negotiations regarding the costs involved.

We looked at insuring the works for travel and were asked the following by an insurance company:

- who are the owners of the artwork?
- what type of artwork is it?
- where is it going from and where to in Kenya? How is it travelling?
- how is it packaged?
- do you have a professional valuation?

At the meeting we discussed this and decided that as the works are already in transit, we would not insure the works. The work has arrived safely in Kenya. We remind you, once again, of the wording on the entry form that everyone signed:

"Whilst every care will be taken with the handling of the art works, Fibreworks cannot be held responsible should works be lost or damaged in any way. We suggest that you insure your artworks for the duration of the exhibition. Fibreworks will handle enquires regarding sales of work and will liaise directly with the exhibition curator. "

We have sent the price list to Kenya and if anyone shows interest in buying our art works, we will contact you and the buyer directly. We do not want to get a third party involved in the sale of our work. It's not fair on the Kenyan organization and customs issues are complicated and complex when work is sold overseas.

Fibreworks VIII


At the Fibreworks meeting on the 22 February, Jeanette asked Odette to write a brief report about the Fibreworks NAF proposal and what has transpired so far. She has been in close contact with Cathy Knox in the eastern Cape and this brief memo is condensed from a memo written by Cathy. It contains important information regarding the proposed Fibreworks VIII exhibition at the National Arts Festival (NAF) in Grahamstown in 2014 so please study it carefully. The proposal is still in ongoing process, however, and once submitted, will go to the NAF Exhibition Selection Committee. Cathy and Odette will keep us posted regarding further developments.

Cathy Knox worked through the long document and had an appointment with the NAF director Ismail Mahomed. Cathy's comments about the meeting: "What a positive meeting, what a wonderful man: just the right person to work with artists!" She also gave Ismail Mahomed a copy of the new Fibreworks CD which Helga and Odette put together.

VENUE: It was decided that Fibreworks would hold an exhibition at the NAF only if we secured an invitation to the Main Festival, not the Fringe.
THEME: The theme is ENERGY - a broad-ranging topic.
SIZE: There will be three specific sizes ONLY for exhibition work: 25cm square or 90cm square or Outsize (no side shorter than 120cm). Work submitted in only three sizes will reinforce the coherence of the exhibition as an installation rather than a bricollage of individual pieces.
DEADLINE: Required by the NAF: The exhibition must be complete (i.e. all the actual exhibition work must be completed and juried etc) by 2013 year-end - yes, that's the end of December this year!
JURYING: The exhibition will be juried by email and we have started a list of possible jurors. Fibreworks is responsible for choosing the jurors.
FINANCES: If we are selected and invited to exhibit as a main event, we can then apply to the NAF for financial assistance for many of the expenses associated with exhibiting.
PUBLICITY: The NAF would automatically provide the exhibition venue at no charge and pay for all publicity in all media nationally.

More information will be sent as it becomes available. Meanwhile let's all start working on wondrous new works and completing those amazing pieces that we've already started.

International Quilt Convention Africa at Emperor's Palace JHB.

As you already know, Fibreworks members have been invited to participate as Fibreworks in this exhibition. Dana received your e-mail entries, and your work has to reach her by 31 August.

This quilt convention also has a juried section. If you want to participate, your entry form must reach the organizers by 2 April 2013. There is a R15,000 first prize, and the theme is 'Free to Express'. For more details visit their web site:

'Yesterday's News, Tomorrow's Promise' now at MACS PMB

Jutta reported on the MACS Exhibition 'Yesterday's News, Tomorrow's Promise', and said it was a thought provoking, innovative show that challenged people's perceptions. The Tatham Art Gallery in Pietermaritzburg exhibited the show there in December. Apparently it started as a Marlene Turner suggestion to 'free up' traditional quilters to work in other mediums, but only two ladies from the Pmb guild participated! Luckily, many other artists from a number of different art disciplines took up the challenge. The exhibition will be up at Macs and until you want to pick up your piece from them. Mac's phone no is 033 386 6500, so please make arrangements with Joy for your work's return, as quite a few Fibreworks members participated. Well done, the show looked great.

Threads exhibition Tatham Art Gallery PMB

The Tatham Art Gallery is celebrating Jutta's 80th birthday with an exhibition of Jutta's work, and other artists, and you are invited to submit a work to the Tatham. We will keep you updated on further developments

Paul Schutte. Boomenslik exhibition at North-West University

Additional exhibitions

Jean Powell, who is an authority on Art Deco architecture, said that there was an international architectural conference converging on Durban next year. She would look into the possibility of having a Fibreworks show to coincide with the conference. More on this later, should it materialize.

Members Achievements:

  • Odette Tolksdorf
Both Odette and Rosalie were approached by Jaap le Poel for a Skype interview for his web based magazine Colour Objects. They approached them from the Fibreworks website, so if you get approached it's not a hoax.


South African textile artist Odette Tolksdorf has a personal preference for warm colors. Her preference and also her artwork reflect the surroundings she lives in: Durban South Africa. There's a lot of earthy colors in her work, but Odette will use any color under the sun. So for her Moroccan inspired pieces, as well as 'The Backbone is connected' she used more colors: there we're more colors needed to represent the topic well. When she starts with a sketch of what she's going to make, she doesn't start with colors though. 'Value does all the work, while colors get all the credit!', she starts with the tonal values, relative differences between light and dark in her pieces. This is what makes a piece work. It's only after the tonal values have been decided, that she considers which materials and colors she'll use to achieve the right effect. Her travels influence her work greatly, so she'll select colors that she remembers from these travels. Like in the 'Lost in Marrakesh', where the colors in the piece directly reflect the colors she experienced in Morocco.
Odette uses a wide variety of materials, like cottons, corduroy, and linen, but she uses silk a lot simply for how it shows the colors so intensely. Odette runs a website showing a collective of African textile artists, called Fibreworksart. Check it to see more Odette Tolksdorfs work and that of several others.
Below: Lost in Marrakesh is a representation of Marrakesh Morocco. It shows the colors she saw from the Majorelle Gardens, where she found wonderful Majorelle blues also worn by Tuareg, through the city with its green gardens, terracotta and colorful markets to the arid areas outside the city. The lines are a simplification of the Marrakesh street plan.


Above: Using old flour bags as a base to work from, profile face was inspired by the Mona Lisa painting. The patterns you see represent barbed wires, an analogy to life in South Africa and the modern world. In a serendipitous moment she realized the strings she used for the barbed wire were AIDS ribbons, connecting the entire piece together.
Belo: The Backbone is Connected. The inspiration for these two pieces comes from beaded corsets worn by Dinka warriors (see example at bottom). The corset expressed energy and vitality, which she beautifully captured in the work.


  • Jeanette Gilks
Jeanette had an artwork accepted for a travelling exhibition curated by Gordon Froud - 'Tom Waits for No Man' The exhibition opens at the KKNK exhibition in the Eastern Cape and will then travel around the country.

Fibreworks CD: Helga Beaumont and Odette Tolksdorf

At the 2012 AGM last year, Odette and Helga agreed to make a CD of a selection of Fibreworks images for publicity purposes. The CD was drop-boxed to Cathy Knox who is currently working on the Fibreworks VIII members show in Grahamstown. Here is what she wrote to Odette and Helga:

Dear Odette and Helga,

The CD opens perfectly. I got goose bumps as I started scrolling through the images. It is BEAUTIFUL, pristine, immaculate, terrifyingly impressive ( etc etc etc). And then when I saw that my Prayer shawl was included, I had to resuscitate myself with strong coffee. Thank you. I am so honored and encouraged!
Look, I know this is a string of hyperbole ...
I am trying to say: Well Done!
How proud we are all going to be to show this CD!

love to you both

Many thanks for these comments, Cathy, and for all the hard work you are doing to get Fibreworks VIII to the Grahamstown Festival. Congratulations too to Helga and Odette for an excellent job. It's always amazing what can be done when people pull together.

Interesting Articles - articles for artists

Interesting Websites

A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty. - Winston Churchill

We encourage members to send their news to Dana for the newsletter. The aim of Fibreworks is to liaise with members and to share!

Love to you all
Dana, Jeanette and Helga

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