Sunday, 5 September 2010

Brisbane Writers Festival (1)


It was one of those weekends - so much on, and I had to make some choices that I'd rather not make.  The Alice Awards or going to an event where I would meet dancer and author Li Cuxin.  I chose to go to the Alice Awards, and missed meeting Li - but I now have my book, "Mao's Last Dancer" signed by him and the children's version ready for Christmas gift giving.

I stayed with my friend Heather Jacobs at The Chiffley at Lennons in the city, and after breakfast in the Mall we returned home early on Saturday morning.  I then had a meeting of WOO - Women on Oxford - a group of writers and we are currently working on producing an anthology for later this year.

From there I paid a visit to the Brisbane Writers Festival.  Now this event I like to spend many hours on as many days each year, but on this occasion because of other commitments with family etc I have only had a small window of opportunity to attend.  Saturday afternoon.

I started by going straight to the Information desk and collecting a variety of useful brochures - including the insert from The Australian (wish I'd bought The Australian in July and then I would have been able to research early.)   I was disappointed in the 12 pages of information - in previous years there has been more information about the writers and guests.  I'd tried to print out the brochure online but it was so small and such a waste of paper to print it ALL out, and even then it was unreadable.

My next stop was the Queensland Writer's Centre, which just on 9 months ago moved from its daggy but full of atmosphere digs at the Metro Arts Building in Edward Street.  The new venue is marvellous - housed within the hallowed walls of The State Library at the cultural precinct on the Brisbane River, between the Queensland Art Gallery and the Gallery of Modern Art.

I purchased a few things there - one being the book that I savour each publication - The Australian Writers Marketplace.  Then I wandered the sparse collection of small marquees.  There were two publishing organisations - some writers organisations, and a display of paper making.

The artist Lesa Hepburn was a very friendly and chatty lady.  I had done paper making before - self taught (something that I do - too impatient to do classes, and when I do get to do them I am frustrated that I have to go through stuff I think I know!) - to show grandchildren about paper making.  Lesa's display was fascinating and I found myself drawn in to learn more about the art and she willingly shared some of her "secrets".

I saw some small cards - held together with cotton string to make a small booklet and I explored the making of the smaller cards.  My frame is A5 - and the papers I have made languish in a cupboard somewhere, but I learned I could easily make them into smaller versions with a pain brush, water, and a ruler.  It was interesting to see the tools that make up the paper making kit she has on sale.  I found things around the house - even tearing up an old cotton sheet to use in the paper making process and Lesa uses nappy liners.  

She's clearly one talented lady with a few paper arts in her repertoire.  And she does paper making classes, and paper making parties.  Will have to think about that idea - perhaps I can find a group of ladies interested in learning the art.

Meanwhile Lesa has an interesting website, and I'd reckon her paper making kit is worthwhile as it has not only the materials, but a CD with the instructions.  Sounds like a good investment to me.  You can check it out at her website.


1 comment:

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Must have been very interesting Di. Things are moving forward for you. good luck for the future!