For almost two weeks have I been in Australia, far too little time to get to know the country. Yet, the people, places and landscapes I met made me fall in love with this part of Earth. Here are some impressions that I collected in Newcastle and Ballarat.
Newcastle is a coastal city in New South Wales that welcomed me with nice weather, beautiful beaches and fine little shops. My wonderful host Anne Kempton runs the Timeless Textiles Gallery in a part of Newcastle’s former lock-up. This was also the venue for my three-day-workshop Crocheted Stories. Anne inspired me with her dedication to fostering contemporary fibre arts, her commitment to community work and – last but not least – her delicious veggie food.
My next destination was Ballarat, Victoria, some 1,5 hrs out of Melbourne. The energetic Glenys Mann had invited me to teach a workshop during the Fibre Arts Australia Winter School that she organizes on a regular basis. For five days I had my students explore ways to take paper apart and put it together again. We even had time to alter some books! The whole week was a lot of fun, with a tribe of fibre arts women from 8 different workshops bustling about, with entertaining events to top off the day, and with yummy traditional Australian desserts on every single evening.
Despite the intense work on paper projects, there was time left to get to know a bit of Ballarat. Lake Wendouree with its sanctuary for birds was just around the corner. And one of my workshop participants made sure I got to see some kangaroos and koalas at the local Wildlife Park.
I left Australia feeling blessed with new inspirations and friendships.