Australian Tapestry Workshop

This afternoon husband and I managed to tear ourselves away from the Olympics and embark on a Very Small Adventure. I say small, because we really only ventured a few blocks from home.

This weekend is Open House Melbourne 2012. It’s the one chance each year that the average Melburnian gets to have a peak inside some of the city’s most special buildings.

First we went to the South Melbourne Town Hall. A gorgeous old building with an amazing ballroom. Unfortunately we didn’t get to see into many of the rooms. Husband was particularly disappointed that we weren’t allowed up the Clock Tower!

Next stop was Australian Tapestry Workshop. I had no idea just how amazing this place is. If I’d known, I would have taken a camera, so excuse the iPhone pictures.

The Australian Tapestry Workshop in South Melbourne is in a National Trust listed building – opening in 1885, an example of Victorian Free Gothic architecture.
The actual Tapestry Workshop is the only one of its kind in Australia (I think in fact the southern hemisphere), focusing on the production of hand woven tapestries.

Some interesting facts about tapestry:

Each spool is filled with approximately six strands of merino yarn, in slightly different colours, so that even when something looks like it’s just one colour, when you get up close it’s almost like a painting.

The cones of yarn on the trestle tables make up the complete colour palette for that piece.

Many of the larger pieces are woven by two or more artists.

Behind every work-in-progress is a drawn copy of the original art work. This is transferred onto the cotton warp threads.

Yarn is dyed in-house in the Dye Room. There are approximately 360 different colours.

An absolute inspiration. Just makes you want to learn to weave, doesn’t it?

…. now back to the Olympics….

3 thoughts on “Australian Tapestry Workshop

  1. Hi there came your way from Tricky Little Stitches blog and was blown away by this post . Goodness me these photos are amazing and I cant believe the scale of them. Indeed very inspirational oh and by the way loved your pictures !!


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