A Sense of Place

Hi again

In this post I’m going to share another work by Caroll Pichelmann. Caroll is a longstanding member of the Guild and a gifted textile artist. I’ve had some long conversations with her recently while arranging for her work to be photographed for the Members Gallery.

Lyn’s Postcard

This story starts with a postcard that Lyn Baldwin (another member of the Guild) stitched and sent to Caroll. Lyn draws with thread and fabric and her postcard featured some sandpipers. Here’s a fragment of it

Sandpipers on Blue Book Cover by Caroll Pichelmann

Caroll is highly creative and very focussed on the potential of materials for making art. Textile art isn’t static for her and she can see future stories and purpose in anything she makes. She constantly recycles pieces and they evolve over time.

She also has a very strong sense of place and how it can be evoked in fibre and yarn.

So when she received Lyn’s postcard she didn’t put it away or on a wall or somewhere safe. She sent it on a journey.

Textured Seascape

In the postcard’s next life the sand pipers have found a context and a sense of place in this textured seascape that was in the Guild’s 2013 Annual  Exhibition.

Contemporary Textured Seascape

Contemporary Textured Seascape by Carroll Pichelmann

Detail of Textured Seascape

Detail of Textured Seascape by Carroll Pichelmann

Diary Cover

Then Caroll decided to look more closely at these shorebirds and their habitat along the shoreline – especially the inter-tidal zone where they feed.

So she deconstructed the seascape and out of this morphed a diary cover that evokes all the rich detail of life in that zone.

It’s worked in wool in many forms and with a relatively restrained palette of stitches – darning, couching, Tunisian crochet, french knots, chain stitch, fly stitch, buttonhole stitch, back stitch, some needleweaving. But the main story is the wool – the variety of yarns, fibres, colours all put to awesome use in freeform stitching.

Here’s the diary opened out

Blue Diary Cover 3 by Caroll Pichelmann

And here are the covers and then detailed close-ups of the surface textile. I’ll leave you to enjoy the richness of the detail

Blue Diary Cover 1 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 4 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 2 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 8 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 9 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 10 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 15 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 7 by Carroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 16 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 17 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 18 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 11 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 12 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 13 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 14 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 21 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 20 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 6 by Caroll Pichelmann

Blue Diary Cover 5 by Caroll Pichelmann

I feel like I’ve been looking into rock pools and under rocks and beach combing along the shoreline when I explore this piece.

Did I mention that Caroll is also the most generous of people? So where are the sandpipers now? Back with Lyn of course and on the cover of her annual diary.

Caroll’s creative process where all the textiles are forming and reforming into new stories and surfaces reminds me of Jude Hill. You can see her work on her Spirit Cloth blog here

Have a great weekend


2013 Exhibition 1


The Guild’s 2013 Exhibition is on right now.

On Thursday it went from this:

Setting up 2013 Exhibition

to this…….

Exhibition 2013

in the space of a few hours. Amazing!

Young Stitchers

One of the first things that visitors see when they walk in is the table with the work of the Young Stitchers:

Young Stitchers table at Exhibition 2013

Haven’t they done some awesome stitching?

Caroll Pichelmann Retrospective

A special feature of this year’s Exhibition is a retrospective of the work of Caroll Pichelmann. Carol came to Australia from Austria in 1960 and has had a lifelong love of all things creative in embroidery.

She’s always encouraging other members to think outside the square when it comes to embroidery. She’s an artist with both the technical expertise and imaginative flair to pull off ambitious contemporary textile works like this one:

Cityscape by Carol Pichelman

This work My City Lives is large, three dimensional and with a strong architecture. It’s intensely worked and detailed and there’s a surface richness that’s hard to capture in a photo.

The city itself is a composite of favourite places in cities around Australia that Caroll has visited. Here are some details that I picked out from the foreground…..

Rocks and plants…

Detail Rocks and Plants from Cityscape by Carol Pichelman

The rock garden up close – you can see how the stitches create a landscape effect…

Detail rock garden cityscape by Carol Pichelman


Gate detail from Cityscape by Carol Pichelman

and a mossy tree…..Detail Cityscape stitched by Caroll Pichelman

It’s an inspiring and powerful work and it’s been a hit with visitors to the show. What do you think?

Some other Sumptuous Surfaces from Caroll

Caroll uses many techniques to create the complex, layered and interesting surfaces to her textiles. Here’s a sample of other work:

gum leaves…..

Detail gum leaves by Carol Pichelman

lid of a small chest…….

Chest lid in gold green and purple by Carol Pichelman

a piece created with Tunisian crochet…

Tunisian crochet flowers by Carol Pichelman

I’ll be sharing more of Caroll’s work in later posts on the Exhibition.

Other work

And here’s a quick impression of some other work on show….

In earlier  Looking Over Shoulders posts you saw Fran’s A Siennese Treasure in progress. Here’s the finished lid of her box: 

Siennese Treasure Lid by Fran Novitski

Hazel has stitched an intricate  goldwork butterfly:

Goldwork Butterfly by Hazel Frances


While Sarah K has made her Perugino embroidery into an elegant pencil case…

Detail Perugino Pencil case stitched by Sarah Kimmorley

Doreen G has done a colourful sampler of stitches on canvas:

Sampler of stitches by Pat Bootland

and Anne E has given her special touch to another vintage embroidery:

Detail Strawberries stitched by Anne Eccelston

Alison K has used machine embroidery and beading to give a contemporary twist to her leaves. Here’s a close-up:

Detail Just a pile of Leaves by Alison Kennedy

and Margaret J has made a decorative cushion with a cool blue cross stitch:

Blue Jars x-stitched by Margaret Joy

Tomorrow’s the last day of the Exhibition and if you’re in Canberra then make sure you don’t miss out on this chance to see some great stitching….

And when you need a break there’s the cafe’s excellent coffee and the retail therapy of The  Gift Shop and the Recycle Table.