Sunday, January 3, 2010

Australia!!!! 2001

First stop - Tasmania!!

Di Williams made it happen. I taught for the Basketmakers of Tasmania, in Golden Valley and in Hobart. We toured the island, saw kangaroos and wombats, hiked at Cradle Mountain, and looked down on Wineglass Bay. Di became a friend for life.

Next stop - Melbourne -

Melbourne is a beautiful city on the Yarra River, a mixture of architectural delights, both modern and traditional. Wendy Golden, an incredible tour guide, Pam Borchart, and Jane Henry escorted us (three American tutors: myself, BJ Crawford, and Joan Michaels Paque), around the city. We had a boat tour down the river, visited the Victorian Tapestry Workshop (see photo below), and even created "The Fork Police" as the Australians taught us Americans the proper way to hold utensils.

Next stop - the Fibre Forum at Geelong -

Each year, Janet De Boer and TAFTA (The Australia Forum for Textile Arts) take over the Geelong Grammar School and turn it into an incredible Forum, a place for people to come to learn new skills, to meet new people, and to have a very great time.

The 5-day classes are taught by tutors from around Australia and the world, covering a myriad of topics. I was teaching basketry. My students were wonderfully enthusiastic and worked hard. They learned a lot; I learned a lot as well. One thing I learned is that costumes are very important for the TAFTA Forum parties!

On to Sydney -

I took the train, a day's journey from Melbourne to Sydney. I saw the countryside, the occasional kangaroo, and quietly watched the world go by. Back in Sydney, I re-visited my favorite spots - The Rocks, Darling Harbor, and the Opera House. I spent many happy hours at the Powerhouse Museum, enjoying both the building and the exhibitions.

For several days, I taught basketry at the Loomcraft conference in Sydney. Another great class of students. And exceptional tutors, including Margaret Mecchia, Jeanette Appleton, and Ruth Lee. They made my time in Sydney even more special.

.... the last part of my journey......

Di (from Tasmania) joined me in Sydney. We "hired" a car and drove south along the coast as far as Akolele. It was a meandering journey. We stopped in towns, visited wineries, and fed the birds.

At the Pebbly Beach National Park, we came upon a herd of kangaroos. They were obviously used to us tourists, and were happy to pose for photos. I was delighted!

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