The textile journey so far..

My current textile journey is a continuation of life-long passion for colour and texture.  The school years of domestic science and later making clothes and home furnishings were the beginning. A very varied working life as a management accountant and mother dented my creativity for a while. Later on when time allowed, I pursued cake decorating in earnest and became an Ikebana teacher. After arriving in Australia, I set up ‘Corporate Graffiti’ which provided promotional products to businesses.

As a hobby I was an active member of a floral art group and subsequently became a professional florist. My bricks and mortar florist shop, ‘A Touch of Class Florist’, was one of the first to go online in Perth. Along with the normal floral range, my creative bouquets of chocolate, cookies and baby clothing proved popular. Since selling the business I have more time to travel and indulge in textiles of all kinds.

Textiles in earnest

Everything changed in 2001 and previous creative interests changed to all things textile. An introduction to free machine embroidery was my ‘light bulb’ moment. Transported on a journey of exploration with fibre and textiles I fell in love with machine embroidery, dyeing and manipulation. I love to incorporate fibre, fabric and occasionally some rather unusual elements in both my felt and textile work. What really appeals to me is working with unconventional materials and mixing media in unconventional and surprising ways. I don’t worry about what the purists may think and no textile technique is off limits!

Later – the felting journey
Sara Quail
Even in Peru, no Alpaca is safe

In the last few years my textile journey has been focused on the art of felting and learning as much as possible. Books, workshops and magazines have been my source of inspiration for exploring traditional and contemporary felting techniques.  I have been lucky enough to have participated in workshops by some wonderful tutors. They include the likes of Marjolein Dallinga, Fiona Duthie, Dawn Edwards, Martien van Zuilen, Pam de Groot, Elena Talakova, Pam McGregor and more.

Transforming delicate wool fibres into 2 or 3D objects is quite a magical process.  In the past I thought of felt as flat, matt and boring. Now I see so many options, I don’t think there are enough hours in the day. I am lucky to have easy access to the super fine merino wool we have in Australia and the time to pursue this craft.

Textiles with a difference

People have commented how varied my work is. I think I know why. I have lived all over the world – UK, USA, Trinidad, Venezuela, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Australia – with a lot of travelling in between. Nothing has been constant for very long. As a result though, I have had an amazing life full of opportunities and experiences which I think transcends into my work. I would be bored repeating the same style or thing. I explore new techniques and then spend many hours researching them before putting them into practice. Then I move on to the next thing – experimenting, learning and creating is what makes me tick.

I have exhibited (and sold!) in the following exhibitions:

2016: MACRO|micro – Feltwest – Northbridge, Perth
2015: Churchlands Senior High School – Churchlands, Perth
2015: Cervantes Art Festival, Cervantes, WA
2014: ‘What lies beneath’ : 84 group -Wanneroo Library and Cultural Centre – Wanneroo, Perth
2011: ‘Thread connections’: Old Bakery, Maylands Perth -Collaboration with 2 other textile artists
: Newman H S Art Show – Churchlands, Perth
: Cervantes Art Festival, Cervantes, WA
2010:‘The travelling thread’ : 84 group – Old Bakery – Maylands, Perth
2002: Heathcote Gallery- Melville Council, Perth

Articles / Features:

Dec 2016: Felt – Issue 16: MACRO|micro exhibition article
Dec 2014: Down Under Textiles – Issue 17: Contemporary textiles by the 84 group: What lies beneath
Jun 2013: Fibreline -Atasda: feature on ‘Meditation’

Currently an active member :
The 84 Contemporary textile group

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