OCA textile student get-together in Sydney

Kath, Eva, Claire, Judy

Kath, Eva, Claire, Judy

Today the stars aligned and four of the five Sydney based OCA students were in Sydney, and in the Art Gallery. It was great to meet up, to share stories and support, and to show each other a bit of what we’ve been doing.

OCA_Sydney_201501_04Kath has recently done an online workshop with Dionne Swift – Developing Sketchbooks http://www.dionneswift.co.uk/store/developing-sketchbooks-online-workshop-2/.

OCA_Sydney_201501_03Her results were really exciting. What had started life as a standard A5 spiral bound book of cartridge paper had been transformed. Pages were added, moved, larger foldouts inserted (changing dimensions and orientation), cutouts, mini-flips, plus there was development of a theme with lots of ideas to explore, extract, combine, change… There was a real sense of energy, the book now bulging with ideas.

OCA_Sydney_201501_05Kath also showed us some stitching in progress, including a microprocessor and stitches in conductive thread. Apparently there is a light that will flash. A very interesting area to become involved in.

Eva described some of her recent work, sketching and also stitching on her mapping theme. No photos – her kayaking on the harbour in the morning had run late, and she didn’t have time to pick up her bag of goodies. What a very Sydney problem 🙂

OCA_Sydney_201501_02Claire brought some examples of her printing-stitching combinations. The photo on the right shows paper that has been marbled and then stitched. Other examples are in her blog here. She also gave me a goody bag of samples from our indigo dye day – a range of different fabrics, with matching swatches dyed and undyed. A great addition to the resource folder.

Claire has recently done a two-day masterclass in printing, which has revolutionized her work. Some of the drawbacks of distance study with OCA – no demonstrations, no immediate feedback and advice from tutors, and instructions that can be rather vague and brief to keep options open for students with access to different tools and materials. Frustrating, but on the other hand we’re building self-reliance, experience in our own toolsets – and it’s said you learn a lot from your mistakes! Still, with so many short courses available, including many online, there are ways to supplement our learning as required.

OCA_Sydney_201501_06I was wearing my show-and-tell – a light summery top from indigo dyed cotton.

Getting together like this is another way of supplementing our learning. Fun, informative, invigorating – a real boost.

8 Responses to “OCA textile student get-together in Sydney”


  1. 1 Lyn January 26, 2015 at 12:22 am

    How nice for you all! I often feel isolated in my studies, and wish I had that type of interaction.

  2. 2 fibresofbeing January 26, 2015 at 7:26 am

    Yes, there’s facebook and the student forum, but there’s nothing like sitting down together and the immediacy of a chat. That’s another plus for extra workshops – connecting with people.

  3. 3 starrybird January 27, 2015 at 3:44 am

    Judy, this is so cool! Can I suggest that you submit it to weareoca? Or perhaps I could reblog it on the OCASA site?

    • 4 fibresofbeing January 31, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      Thank you. You’re welcome to reblog if you provide a link here.
      Perhaps I should come clean and say that none of us is actively studying textiles at the moment. Claire is busy printing as her elective module. Eva‘s two years have run out, but she is continuing to work privately on A Creative Approach. Kath has also run out of time, and is continuing her hectic schedule of workshops and learning. I’m on pause, waiting for the new level 1 textiles course. Perhaps we’re not a good advertisement.

      • 5 starrybird February 1, 2015 at 8:24 am

        Maybe you’re right, but if not a good advert for OCA, you’re great advert for life long learning and the fellowship of women! I was hoping to use you all as an example of students getting together, but you show me that that is too narrow a view. Go it girls!

  4. 6 MegWeaves February 1, 2015 at 8:15 am

    Does anyone know if there are students from New Zealand doing a similar course? Textile people preferable, but I’ll take anyone…


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