Collaborative Fibre Art

What do you get when you marry a lost traditional craft with one-off design?

Three pieces of unique and valuable fibre art!

In January, it was decided that it was time for the members of the Sunshine Coast Rug Crafters to “fly solo” on a collaborative community project that would challenge them to design and handcraft a series of fibre art pieces that would ultimately be donated for a community fund raising project.

Sushine_Coast_Rugmakers_with_RugHooked_project_for_Beerwah_Friends_of_the_LibraryJudi Tompkins (group coordinator) recognised that some members were not convinced they “really” had the skills to produce fibre art of a quality that it could be offered for public display – in spite of the fact that nearly every member had been besieged to “make me something” by a friend or family member.

Behind the scenes, Judi thought this community project would be an ideal way to let the group prove to themselves that they had the skills to carry off such a major project and planning sessions were held regularly at Judi’s studio. (Judi did not work on any of the pieces but was available to discuss traditional techniques and design.)

???????????????????????????????The group decided to design and hook three wall hangings using the theme “Under the Sea” and guidelines were developed to insure that the three pieces could “stand alone” or be displayed as a triptych of the chosen theme:  “Under the Sea”.

Each piece incorporated some of the same fabric so the theme was carried through with the materials as well as the topic.  The members sorted themselves loosely into three teams and over the next nine months gave birth to three healthy, unique pieces of fibre art.



A spectrum of positive outcomes resulted from this group collaboration:

  • The project confirmed members knew more about this craft than they realised.
  • Through collaboration they developed skills to give and receive praise / criticism.
  • Recognition they possessed good problem-solving skills – they didn’t need “the teacher” to fix things.
  • Members’ knowledge / skills of other crafts led to innovative solutions.Underwater_treasures_back
  • All learned to project plan every finished project – not just those for public display.
  • They can each confidently offer advice and help to others.
  • Collaboration is a great way to work – at least once in a while!

In appreciation for their support of the Sunshine Coast Rug Crafters, the triptych of wall hangings were delivered to staff of the Beerwah Library and the “Friends of the Beerwah Library” for their fund raising activities.

This project was well documented to see more images click Sunshine Coast Rug Crafters at work.

3 thoughts on “Collaborative Fibre Art”

  1. What a great idea of collaborating in a group of likeminded people, it must have been so much fun to create, and the result looks really beautiful. Is it going to be displayed in the Beerwah library, and for how long? – Congratulations,

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