Annie Huntley has a lifelong involvement in textiles which began with completion of a Degree in Fashion at Emily McPherson College, Melbourne, Australia. She then worked as a pattern maker at Crestknit an Australian fashion garment manufacturer. She progressed into a business of her own - operating a Knitwit franchise in Heidelberg, Melbourne, which quickly became one of the best performing stores as she developed her skills in workshop tutoring, creative design and personal retailing.
Subsequently, Anne and family moved to Queensland when she took an Advanced Creative Needlework Certificate at Tweed TAFE - at the same time lecturing in the Fashion Department. Her interest in, and love for fabrics had moved from hobby to business to the academic world!
In recent years, Anne has refined and applied her knowledge and passion for textural embroidery in a private tutorial format and also conducting sessions for many Embroiderers Guilds throughout Australia and of course Koala Conventions!
Her business 'Room For Threads' at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast, Queensland, has become a mecca for embroiderers as a source of specialized threads and embroidery - through personal shopping, mail order, or via the Internet. Anne is one of those passionate embroidery artists who works hard to keep the wonderful world of needle art vibrant!
Cathy Moon is an Australian Shibori Artist who originally studied textile and design teaching at Newcastle CAE. Her love of fabric design enticed her to enrol in a Fabric Printing and Design Course at New England TAFE in Armidale NSW. She became fascinated by the shibori process. After attending workshops by well-known shibori artists, Marg Barnett, Patricia Black, Phil Hali, Anna Lisa Hedstrom, Jean Cacicedo and the founder and director of the World Shibori Network, Yoshiko Wada, she emerged ready to develop her own shibori designs.
Cathy now produces one of a kind art clothing and art pieces influenced by the huge variety of rich and intense colours that are so much a part of the Australian landscape. She endeavours to reflect the combination of these colours, together with her interpretation of shibori techniques within her work.
Cathy has won awards for her designs and she is active member of several textile and Shibori associations. She mostly works with natural fibres, particularly silk and cotton enjoying experimenting with all shibori but particularly the stitching techniques including Kumo, Mokume and Karamatsu.
Jenny has been teaching embroidery and trading under her business name 'Jennifer Bee Embroidery' for over 16 years. Her daughter born after 3 sons was the inspiration for this venture and she started with smocking classes at the local Adult education centre. There are only so many dresses a girl can wear, so Jenny started making them to order, and was then invited back to the same Adult education centre to pass on her knowledge of smocking she had gained.
Jenny has successfully completed a Tutor training course and has worked with many other talented tutors, gaining valuable information and techniques which she has then used in developing her own style of embroidery.
Her website www.jenniferbee.com is testament to the many types of embroidery she has mastered. Always interested in Art from a young age, she has the vision to picture a piece of embroidery completed and passes this knowledge on to her students in any one of the many classes she teaches weekly from her shop. She also works with the intellectually impaired in a weekly class and has children from as young as 7 coming to classes at after school sessions.
Hazel Blomkamp from South Africa has dabbled with all the needlecrafts since childhood. When her children were babies she developed a passion for embroidery to break the tedium of life with toddlers, using it as her evening reward for having got through the day with her sanity intact! Her children are now young adults, but she still embroiders in front of the television every night.
She has been designing for the past 20 years. Preferring to design projects which appear to be traditional, she pushes the boundaries by introducing other forms of needlecraft into traditional techniques, exploring further in everything that she does. As well as constantly designing new works, she has written two books (Crewel Twists and Crewel Intentions) and she also runs a busy fine needlecraft website business. Her books and most of her kits are also available on Australian Needle Arts at www.australianneedlearts.com.au
Hazel also teaches at her home studio, in Pietermaritzburg, KZN, and travels throughout South Africa and often to Australia teaching embroidery and fine beadwork. She is a regular contributor to South African and Australian embroidery magazines and is a columnist for South African Stitches Magazine.
Hazel is a total character, her crewel work is beautiful and her students love her classes at our events.
Di van Niekerk
Di was born in Pretoria, South Africa and was artistic from a very early age. Her mother Joan van den Berg was also a successful artist. After training as a nurse and midwife, as a sensible ‘back up’ to a career as an artist, Di began her textile career in patchwork (sewing together small pieces of fabric into a larger design ) Using this method she then went on to create quilts, soft furnishings and even clothing.
In 1988 She started her business, Handicraft Designs incorporating a successful on line business. She also taught patchwork, appliqué, candlewicking, painting on silk, and quilting from her studio. Around this time Di began writing books on Quilting and Candlewicking.
Di later incorporated silk ribbon embroidery into her appliqué and quilting & soft furnishing designs. This has lead to the fabulous prints she now embellishes with silk ribbon embroidery and produces her own range of hand painted silk and organza ribbons. She is regularly invited to teach at needlecraft conventions around the world, including Koala Conventions! Over the years she has writing ten books and her latest books and many of her patterns are available on our Australian Needle Arts website.
Katia Mokeyeva lives and runs her design studio 'Feuer und Wasser' in San Francisco, California. She actually graduated from the Moscow State University of Arts and Industry. Her exploration of various artistic methods and mediums led to a development of a more specific direction that sparked love in the realm of textile and fibre art.
As an extension to her education, she completed the junior and senior years at California College of the Arts in San Francisco, focusing on fashion design and textile. Partaking in a short summer study abroad program in London's Central St. Martins College of Arts and Design gave her a new spectrum of inspiration as a clothing designer. The possibility to create one-of a kind items from scratch with the use of artisan textile led her to the particular technique of nuno felting.
Nuno felting involves the felting of wool fibres with the inclusion of various fabrics like cotton or silk, with looser or tighter weaves being a medium for texture outcomes. These weaves not only create the resulting texture, but also complexity and shape depending on combinations and techniques employed in the process.
Kay Stanis is an internationally known fiber artist, designer, Master Craftsman, and Graduate Certified Teacher of the Embroiderers' Guild of America, Inc. (EGA) and Kurenai Kai Traditional Japanese Embroidery. Her embroideries have received numerous awards and have been shown on the covers of Kurenai, Inspirations, NeedleArts, and NeedlePointers. She exhibits her needlework widely and is a juried member of the Fiber Forum group and is the recent recipient of EGA's Diana Grossman Memorial Award for Excellence in Needlework. She has recently won a Judge's Choice award
She has studied internationally: in Paris at the L'Ecole de Broiderie D'Art, at The Royal School of Needlework in England, and she was invited to Japan to study with Master Saito at Kurenai Kai. Her travels are always interlaced with textile exhibits and workshops with internationally known teachers in the US and abroad the most recent being Australia and China.
She teaches and lectures on silk and metal embroidery in the US and abroad and has written and is presently teaching three correspondence courses for EGA. Today her responsibilities for EGA include: Chairman of the Master Craftsman in Silk and Metal, chairman of the Certified Teacher Graduate Program. She is also Treasurer of Fiber Forum, EGA's exhibition group.
Karen Torrisi has been embroidering professionally since 1994. She formally trained in Fashion in Sydney, then specialised in the study of Beading, Tambour Beading & Embroidery in Australia with the late beading author Maisie Jarratt.
While working in London she received the Queens Trust Grant for Young Achievers to study Haute Couture Beading and Embroidery at the Ecole D’ Broderie d’art Lesage in Paris in1999. Karen was also the First Prize Winner in the Open Category of the
prestigious UK Hand & Lock Embroidery Prize of 2011.
Her creations are internationally known and include the following:
The dress Olivia Newton John wore at the Opening Ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, Singer Delta Goodram’s dress at the 2004 Aria awards & 2005 World Music Awards.
Film Costume commissions:
Moulin Rouge, Dark City, Peter Pan, Star Wars II Attack of the Clones,
Star Wars III Revenge of the Sith & Superman 2006.
Stage show commissions:
Sunset Boulevard, Chicago, Show Boat, My Fair Lady, Miss Saigon, Phantom of the Opera, Mamma Mia, The Lion King and The Producers, Spamelot, Wicked, Mary Poppins & Love Never Dies.
Karen now lives in London and has been involved in beading fashion collections for selected designers. Her upcoming projects include managing online marketing for the London Embroidery School, creating a Haute couture beading & embroidery sample collection and writing a new series of books on beading techniques.
I first discovered Stumpwork when a girlfriend of mine, invited me to go to a class with her at Jennifer Bee's embroidery store in Sale Victoria. I went along thinking, Stumpwork ! What the hell is this! How can that be embroidery? Why would you have a stump in your needlework? After that first class, even though the project wasn't finished, I was hooked! I loved the way there was no consideration of scale to the elements we were working and how life like you could make the project. I still have this project hanging on the wall in my studio.
I started designing my own pieces straight away, it was like a lightbulb moment! and worked my designs as gifts for family and friends. When I moved back to my home town of Grafton in 1998, I approached the local embroidery store about teaching Stumpwork classes and the rest my friends is history.
I have been teaching and tutoring workshops ever since. I hold regular classes here in Grafton and Maclean each week and also travel and teach embroidery guilds and private groups across the country. My classes are friendly, fun and interactive. I encourage discussion of various techniques and styles. No question is ever a "dumb question" chances are if you are thinking of that question, someone else is also thinking that. I love all needlework but my special love is Stumpwork.
My passion for needlework continues to inspire me to create beautiful designs suitable for all levels of stitchers. I have met the most wonderful ladies and made lifetime friends during my needlework journey.
Wendy Bailye has been felt making for nearly 20 years and runs a vibrant felt art studio from her home in the Samford Valley, close to Brisbane. Her classes very much revolve around individual creativity being brought about by the felting process. Wendy has taught her skills at many events in Australia and overseas and felt has proven to be an enduring medium that has gained in popularity immensely over time. When Wendy first began making felt there were only two books available that were inspiring –now we are inundated with wonderful new titles every year!
Wendy has won many awards and enjoys working with a very eclectic mix of wool fibers, fabrics, silks, threads and recycled materials to produce rich artworks. Each piece tells a story. The making of handmade wool felt is an ancient technique that has developed into a very advanced contemporary art form including the use of a wide variety of modern materials in the process. Felt making is indeed a process of transformation. Wendy is always refining her skills by collaborating with many other talented artists and students who so generously share their wealth of knowledge with her.
Felting provides Wendy with a creative outlet that is both unique and full of challenge. It is always the process that inspires her and fires her imagination; the finished product is often far from her thoughts. By playing so much is learnt!
Jan's love of embroidery has always been part of her life since childhood days in Mt Colah, NSW. Jan's mother always made the children's clothes and did embroidery and patchwork later on in her life. Prior to moving to Grafton, Jan produced domestic pottery and taught students in her home studio. She continued this in Grafton, however, as the children grew her passion returned to embroidery.
Jan commenced this new chapter in embroidery exploring Stumpwork; starting with smaller projects, she became known as the 'Frangipani Lady' and even boasts a tattoo to match! From this, Jan developed her own Stumpwork style and designs moving into Australian Flora and Landscapes. Many of her designs have been published in several magazines.
Jan specialises in surface stitchery embroidery, gold and metal threadwork, stumpwork, beading and felting. She enjoys combining these techniques across her embroidery designs and Australian flora features predominately in her work. She is also an Accredited Guild Tutor with The Embroiderers' Guild NSW Inc. and enjoys travelling to teach nationally.
Christine Thompson first learnt to sew at the age of 30 when it became necessary after paying someone to hem her trousers. This started a quest to learn as much as she could in the sewing field. When the school of fashion was closing down at Katoomba TAFE, she decided to enrol in Millinery as this was the last subject being taught at the school. This was the best decisions in her career!
She is now an award winning milliner with over 20 years experience in Opera, Theatre, Film and Musicals. Her credits include "Carmen", "The Magic Flute", "Madame Butterfly", "My Fair Lady", "Phantom of the Opera", "Love Never Dies", "Dr Zhivago", "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang", "Moulin Rouge", "King Kong", "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead" and "The King and I".
In 1995 she signed on to work as a milliner's assistant to Connie Kerr at the Australian Opera Company, which later became Opera Australia. In the year 2000 she was seconded to Fox Studio's to work on the film "Moulin Rouge", where she was responsible for making Nicole Kidman's black velvet top hat.
On her return to the Opera Company, Connie Kerr retired (at the grand age of 80), Christine then became the head milliner and remained in this position for a further 10 years before leaving to start her own business. She now runs a successful business in the Blue Mountains; Christine's Millinery, working as a freelance theatrical milliner and producing original, one of a kind head pieces for formal occasions, smart casual wear, bridal parties, and the racing carnival. Teaching millinery forms another part of her business and we are very lucky to have her teaching for us at Koala Conventions.