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This Blog is a personal record and an honest illustration of my life as a full time embroidery artist. I hope that you find it entertaining and inspiring.

shown here are the Copyright of Louise Gardiner 2012.

Saturday, 18 September 2010

That's one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind!

Its been an eventful week (in the New Zealand sense of the word 'eventful').

It all started off when having left Miranda, I bused it to Coromandel.  We are talking about a school bus here of course, as there is only one a day and it also takes the local school children on their hour and a half 'trup' to and later, from school.  They were an interesting bunch of kids and quite a few of them were rather large and they all listened to music on their mobile phones.  
The journey took us all along the Coromandel coast on a road right next to the sea.  Most of the beaches were covered in dark volcanic rock and there were lots of birds sitting there contemplating fishing.  I saw several Kingfishers as you do in New Zealand often
The Coromandel is extremely undulating full of peaks covered in lush bush, cabbage trees and New Zealand shrubbery.  There were little lambs jumping around the fields and a beautiful sunset.  I arrived and was immediately picked up by lovely PAM and PETER!  We drove to their amazingly placed house , right next to where all the mussel boats go in and out collecting their daily harvest.  Millions of tons of fresh green lipped mussels leave there by the lorry load every week to be shipped off all over the world.

The next big event and you better sit down for this, I had to……. 

Pam announced that at the workshop next day ….. are you sitting down? !


Yes you heard it.  

A MAN on the workshop!

The award for FIRST MAN EVER ON A GUILD WORKSHOP in not only New Zealand but also the UK goes to this fine fella...

Ok so I might sound shallow but I was flabbergasted.

He was a very nice man indeed and as you can see, pretty dandy!  
I am sorry S I have to make a big thing of this but it is quite something..... I have met several male textile artists including the lovely Garry Clarke, Michael Brennand Wood and I even met Kaffe Fasset in France last year, I have taught men at Universites and colleges but this is the first time in 15 years of teaching Guild workshops that there has been a male student.  And I am travelling around NZ on an embroidery course where morning tea is the most exciting happening of the day and if you dont learn to go with the flow then you mearswell go home..... so a man on a workshop was really quite something.

Look at this 'MORNING TEA' spread.......

And look at this pair ..... tucking in at 11am in the morning!  
How can you say no to homemade scones, fruit loaf and chocolate mint surprise biscuits made by a gorgeous bunch of New Zealand Coromandel ladies! 

THEN.... for lunch ....cheese pastrie covered caper berries, fresh mussels from down the road,  
hot New Zealand Savoury Rolls (speciality here) and GUESS WHAT .... Louiji Gardinelly FIsh SOUP made by the gorgeous ANN from BERRY.... who has been here for many years but still has her wonderful accent and a passion for embroidery and cooking!  I was so exited when she told me she had made my fish soup and would bring me some to taste...... She said she had made it for her husband and it had blown his socks off.

Anyway Back to THE FIRST MAN EVER!!!!!! 

I asked my students to bring a hairdryer to dry the paint on their pieces as we are always so pushed for time on the 2nd day.  

My FIRST EVER WORKSHOP MAN brought a Black and Decker paint stripper heat gun!  How cool is that.
I awarded him my last  'Evil of the Needle' badge as a token of my appreciation for signing up to the stitchery witchery wand of Louiji Gardinelly.  Brilliant!

Its about time …. there is no reason whatsoever that men can't get creative on sewing machines ( "Oh Fantastic I am soooooo excited! " I hear all you chaps shout as you run off to the nearest sewing machine shop).  

YOU may snort onto your lapel, but we are just talking 3 dimensional drawing with a lot of throttle here.  
Its just like driving guys!  And as dangerous!

Ok you're right, theres nothing sexy about sewing.  Even when I am doing it.  (GUFFAW!!!)  
You could wear a black negligee and stockings but once you started revving that sewing machine pedal, bent over your bit of felt and switching into zig zag, thats it, forget it darling, you're about as sexy as a wet ball of wool.  

So yes, its unlikely to attract gorgeous 'Diet Coke' style hunks in white vests ….. but maybe its only a matter of time before Machine embroidery attracts the Nigel Mansells of the craft world and their leave their lathes and glass blowing equipment on the side and start revving.  

So all I can say is ' Good on you S!  If John Galliano can do it so can you!'  
You may be the first ever…. but surely you're not the last!

Loulady Vroom Vroom

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