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As a migrant to Tasmania from Canada, I didn’t know about billytea until I went on a youth group camping trip when I was in grade 9. I wanted to capture this discovery in my work, and contrast the traditional (slower) process of making tea and the newer (more instant) method. In the bush, a gum leaf was usually added to the billy with the tealeaves; perhaps it happened accidentally the first time! Part of the ‘texture’ of Tasmanian history.
To make this art quilt I began with a piece of vintage damask tablecloth eco printed with eucalyptus leaves and found rusty objects using a shibori folding technique. The featured embroidery is based on my drawing of a billy can and mug from my vintage enamelware collection, on a background of fused tea bag paper saved from my daily cuppas, stitched down with the actual tea bag strings. I also added running stitch and seed stitch in an intuitive and abstract way using perle cotton.
Eco dyed vintage damask; tea bags and string; perle cotton. Background: a found piece of micro suede or similar fabric.