I’ve wanted to learn taxidermy since I was small, late primary school age, probably about 10. When I was in year 8 (the first year of high school in Australia) I said that I wanted to be a taxidermist (when asked “what do you want to be when you grow up?”) Wanting to be a taxidermist (and actually saying that) are probably not the best moves for someone just starting high school, but whatever.
I finally got a chance to try it out in one of Mickey Alice Kwapsis’ workshops when she came to Brisbane.
Very excited to try more taxidermy. In fact I have to order some scalpels this evening.
When the rabbit was first done I had to pose it It has dried out really well but is a bit top heavy.
I forgot all about Ovaries in a Jar! I really dropped the Ovary on that one! But now the Ovaries are in my Etsy shop in a cute little jar. They’ve been away since 2012.
I’ve also been thinking that I need to make the anatomy to suit the jar, not make the anatomy and try find a jar. I don’t want to keep buying jars when I have so many available to me already (I also collect them for Terrarium Workshops).
Hands On Brisbane is a workshop program based in Brisbane, Australia that aims to deliver affordable art, craft and design workshops. We’ve just launched the Spring workshop program, including a few new workshops.
Hands On Brisbane is my “day job,” although I sometimes wonder how you choose which is the main job and which the extra. Hands On Brisbane brings me better pay than my own business, Your Organ Grinder, but I spend more time on Your Organ Grinder, so which is which? Well anyways, Hands On is one of the things I do.
This term I am taking 7 workshops, that includes 2 terrarium workshops and 2 screen printing ones, plus a resin workshop, shrinky dinks and polymer clay. I’ve been teaching Terrariums for ages and probably showed over 150 people how to put together a Terrarium. My favourite workshop is definitely Shrinky Dinks, the participants get so excited about the shrinking plastic and want to make more and more. Every time every person is thrilled with the results.
We’ve got a Beginners Fabric Design workshop coming up soon so I wanted to design some fabric and turn it into a cushion cover. I wanted a very easy design to work with and had a triangle of stamp rubber on my desk so decided to go with that. As the workshop revolves around stamps and screen printing I also made a triangle screen design. It is great to be working with something a little different for a change.
Here are the colours I am playing around with. The blobs are the screen printing ink colours and the triangles are the stamp colours. What colours go best with what other colours do you think?
Some super cute Terrariums were made at our Terrarium workshops this winter for Hands On Brisbane. More Terrarium workshops planned for Spring and Summer. Send me a message through my contact page if you are interested in learning to make your own Terrarium.
A couple of weeks ago we had the Rag Rugs Workshop for Hands On Brisbane. The workshop was taught by Naomi, who I went to primary school with. Naomi taught us how to make Rag Rugs from old fabrics using just fabric and a safety pin.
I’ve started two rugs, the bottom one is probably 1/3 finished. The purple one is on hold until I get some fabric. The bottom rug is made from some second hand sheets, the purple one is from my collection of hand dyed fabrics (that I no longer use). It is great to be able to use old sheets for something.
If you are in Brisbane and want to learn this technique for yourself you can book at the links below.
Hands On Brisbane launched its Winter 2014 season today. We are offering lots of new workshops with plenty of old favourites still in the mix. We’re also bringing back a few that had a break (workshop annual leave??) For Winter we are moving to The Gardens Club in the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens (up near QUT, gardens point) and I am looking forward to being inspired by the gardens that will surround us.
Book early to avoid disappointment, these workshops sell out fast!
I teach participants how to make a Terrarium, Screen Print with Stencils, share a few pointers for working with Polymer Clay, and show you how to create Shrinky Dinks. But that is not all, there is a host of other workshop hosts who share their skills and help to broaden yours; from block printing to making paper flowers, sterling silver to mini-books. There is something for everyone.
Although I spend most of my time researching and making Anatomy I also have a casual day job as the Hands On Brisbane Coordinator with Bleeding Heart, part of the Wise Foundation. Hands On Brisbane happens Saturdays at 166 Ann St Brisbane City.
I run a few of the workshops each term and we have just announced our Autumn 2014 season. My favourite workshop is Terrariums. When I teach a workshop I hope to provide the attendee with enough info, and the confidence to be able to give a craft a go at home and let them know that there is always so much more to learn and they can easily find out lots more with just a little bit of research.
f you’d like to attend one of my workshops, or one of the other Hands On Brisbane Workshops follow the links below. I’d love to see you there! Bookings are essential!