Meet the talented Instructors from Australia
Michelle De Groot
Hi, I would like to introduce myself, my name is Michelle de Groot, I've in rural Victoria near Ballarat
on a 70 acre hobby farm. I have a studio to work in which is 14 x 6mt in length and width.
I have been sewing since I was a child, all sorts of projects from latch hook rugs to tapestries and
cross stitches, at school and at home I was taught how to sew clothing and make my own
clothes from patterns and home made patterns that my mother and I had changed to suit my
height, being 6 foot tall has its disadvantages when growing up :)
While in town I saw a patchwork shop and walked in amazed at the lovely quilts on display and
thought straight away, “I can do this”. And I did. I started like most people with the basics, early
on sewing my quilts together by hand piecing and hand quilting. I then progressed to machined
sewing as I realised I wasn't going to live long enough to make all the wonderful things I wanted
After realising I had found a new love and addiction, I then wondered how I was going to quilt
them, hadn't tried that part of it at that point! So I started taking classes and practiced a lot at
home and after 4 years of constant practice I began to quilt my own quilts, saving me a fortune!
Once this was achieved, me being the forever wanting a challenge, I decided to try my hand at
textile arts. And WOW did I love that! I then set about learning and learning and learning, making
sure I didn't miss anything, always striving to be better at what I was doing. Once I found myself
at a point where I had found my niche I then decided, after many people asking me to teach
them to do what I did, that it was time to start teaching what I had learnt over many years.
And here I am today, a textile artist, professional quilter, artist and tutor in my own right!
Michelle de Groot
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/michellespatchwork/
After retiring from nursing after 30 plus years working in the operation theatre. My next door neighbour asked me to come to her card making class and that’s where the past 15 years has taken me, into papercraft!Over the past many years I have designed and made greeting cards to sell and taught weekly classes from our studio in card making. I now design and make cards for weddings, birthdays and holidays on consignment. I also make paper tags for marketing our pottery, paper boxes and teach at a scrapbooking shop in Newcastle. With Bobbi Oliver’s encouragement I now make voodoo dolls from fabric transferring my love of colour and texture into fabric that we sell in our stall at Psychic Fairs. I look forward to introducing you to the wonderful world of papercraft.
Bunbury, WA 6230
I am a West Australian based, mixed media artist, sculptor and teacher who has been creating since I was a child. My desire to create and my inspiration has always been from the visual way I see the world I live in.
My background training is a combination of makeup artistry, clothing design, dance teacher and many and varied arts practices both taught and self-taught. I completed most of my initial training while living in Sydney in the late 80’s but have always kept on learning and stretching myself over the years. Teaching others also rewards me with lots of learning given back to me from my students!
Enjoying the process of making art is of uppermost importance to me - the bonus is the positive response my work has on others. My sculpting, textile and painting practices allow me the freedom to create without boundaries and the opportunity to use all those little things I have collected over the years! I strongly encourage my students to reuse and recycle where they can and base most of my Art around this principle. With a few tools and some clay, and lots of practice, you can make almost anything!
The last 15 years I have been travelling to the US and around Australia to teach workshops. I find the mixed media world is such a happy place to be for a tactile person. Colour is paramount to my work and the same basic art principles transcend all mediums, making my journey so much richer as my practices are combined together.
I hope that the passion for what I do can inspire others to follow their own creative journey...and if I can do that, then I have achieved something worthwhile!
I see myself as a creator and connector; an artist and a teacher. Ultimately most of what I do is about celebrating life and connecting people with their inner creative voice. I know that hearing and responding to that voice transforms and empowers. I see it regularly in my classes and in my work as a mentor with women involved with Samunnat Nepal, a project for women escaping domestic violence.
For over twenty years my primary medium has been polymer although I often combine it with other materials. Every day I learn more about the potential of polymer and I am endlessly delighted by its possibilities in terms of colour, form, texture and function. I love to make art that tells stories and promotes mindfulness. Or that just makes you feel gorgeous.
I have taught in locations as diverse as outback Australia and eastern Nepal; and in classes ranging from single day workshops, six week programs to four day creativity retreats. I teach in Nepal twice each year and, having recently moved to Canberra, will teach locally from my studio.
I presented at the IPCA Conference in Malta in 2014 and have contributed to The Polymer Arts magazine, The Bead Society Journal (UK) and am featured in Polymer Clay: Global Perspectives by Cynthia Tinapple. My work is exhibited in various galleries and my first solo exhibition was held in 2013 at the Broken Hill Regional Art Gallery. I teach not as one with all the answers but as one who lives the questions. And as one for whom too much jewellery is hardly enough.
Janice has been creating Art Dolls and sculptures for several years at her previous Victorian studio and most recently in her new studio "STONECREST CREATIONS" at Murrumbateman just north of Canberra. Her work has been featured in several National and International Craft and Art magazines. Over the years Janice has worked with all sorts of mediums, including Paverpol, Apoxie Sculpt, Makins Clay and Polymer Clay to name a few, however recently Pal Tiya and ceramic Clay have been favoured.
Over the past couple of years "Gourd Art" has started to feature and been included in her designs. Gourd Art is becoming popular in Australia and Pyrography, (wood burning), is an enjoyable and satisfying form of art. "It is important to know how to prepare and use the gourd" Janice says.
Janice feels very humbled to be invited again to join all these talented ladies at the Contemporary Craft Retreat, Canberra. It is probably the highlight of my craft year to be able to teach and also learn, surrounded by so many talented people.... "it is wonderful and such fun"!!
A Certified Instructor for Paverpol, a Gold Seal member of NODAAA and also the CCIP (Contemporary Clay Instructor Program).
Being self- taught, the minimal training leaves her free to approach clay sculpting with no preconceptions as to how it ought to be used. Ignorance can be genuinely constructive, particularly in a medium as adaptable as clay.
Her tutorials and amazing work have featured in multiple publications including the Australian Doll and Bear News and Dolls Bears and Collectables, Australian Beading Magazine and the USA Publication Polymer Café, Mixed Media & Steampunk, plus Passion for Polymer magazine.
Lex is one of 3 Aussies published in the Prestigious Polymer Journeys Book 2019
Arts and crafts have always been a passion of mine, for as long as I can remember, but I lost touch with it until the late 1990's, where I re-established my love of all things crafty as a form of therapy. I quit the IT industry and established my craft and wedding stationery business and I also taught within the mental health industry teaching various crafts as therapy to help patients find a sense of self again after illness or major personal trauma.
I work with mixed media and find inspiration in everything I see and do and some of my favourite mediums are Friendly Plastic, Angelina Fibres and Tyvek. Some of the things I make are funky wonky clocks, photo frames, mirrors, cards and jewellery.
| Throughout her life Bronny has enjoyed dressmaking and clothing design with a keen interest in free machine embroidery, crochet, and knitting. Other crafts she has dabbled in include paper weaving, silk painting and collage.|
A chance meeting at a workshop with an old boarding school buddy, Lex Sorrentino, introduced me to Paverpol. It took a couple of years before I came back to it after this but have been enjoying using Paverpol and clay and in 2018 bought the Paverpol Australia business.
Pam is creative; she constantly works with her mediums to produce innovative work. She is a mixed media artist and jewellery designer using metal and polymer clays. She is interested in promoting culture and creative pursuits and also sharing her vast knowledge and experience with her students.
Pam, a former high school art teacher and Art Lecturer at TAFE College, helped in the development of the national certification program, the CCIP or Contemporary Clay Instructor Program and is a Senior Instructor and a Precious Metal Clay Level 1 Artisan. Her work has been published extensively in Quilting Arts & Australian Beading Magazines, Polyformer, Encyclopaedia of Polymer Clay Techniques by Sue Heaser, Mixed Metal Jewelry and The Handbook of Metal Clay, Textures and Forms by Hadar Jacobson and Textiles Now by Drusilla Cole.
In 2017 Pam presented a paper on Metal Clay at the Borneo International Bead conference, as well as teaching classes.
Pam lives in the coastal town of Two Rocks, just north of Perth, where she holds weekend retreats and studio workshops and classes.
WEBSITE : http://www.metalclayartstudio.com.au
Bobbi Oliver has been making her original one of a kind Art Dolls for 16 years. Prior to doll making she was a potter/sculptor. She started working in ceramic clay at age 16 in school. She has had various gallery shows in the USA and Australia. Sold her wares in shops, galleries and from her own studio. She currently sells her creations at festivals and fairs here in AU. In the past owned and operated her own gallery/studio.
She is an American artist that came to Australia in 1999 to live and work. Bobbi was active in the local Arts Council, a government funded organisation in Lakeport, California.
She is a member of the Tuggerah Lakes Potters Assoc. in NSW. She currently teaches pottery, sculpture and doll making in the TLPA studio and other facilities.
She has an Associated Arts degree in Fine Art from Mendocino Junior College in Ukiah, California 1988 and a Bachelors of Arts Degree from Humboldt State University, Arcata, California in Studio Art with an emphasis in Sculpture in 1992.
She is a Member of Gumnut Dollies- Newcastle
Tuggerah Lakes Potters Association-Long Jetty
She has been Featured in-
Dolls, Bears and Collectables plus Patchwork and Stitching.
We are ALL creative. Producing beautiful, unique work is just a matter of having the right tools and instructors and getting out of your head! Oh, and practice. The more you do it, the better you become and the easier it is to be in the zone. Being creative is so good for the soul.
Mel exhibited in The Great Southern Art Trail of WA and at specialty Art and Bead Shops. Creative Beading magazine and Australian Beading magazine regularly featured her tutorials and her mokume gane pendant featured on the front cover of Australian Beading magazine.
Mel is a free spirit and has lived and travelled extensively around Australia and throughout the world. She plans to continue and will be soaking up the beauty that is Australia, in Snoopy, her converted Hiace Campervan, teaching classes as she goes.
LARA LE REVEUR .... having a break in 2021
Lara lives in Northern Germany. She has been a familiar face at the CCR many times. After thirty plus years of teaching Crafting, she is currently working on pursuing more structured skills to finally decide on what she wants to be when she (finally) grows up.
She was born in New Zealand grew up in Canberra and will return home to live with a menagerie of pets and boys in the Macedon Ranges, which is very similar in climate to what she calls Home.
Lara has been involved with the Arts and Crafts movement at some level for most of her life, as she grew up the youngest member of an actively creative family and worked for 13 years in the family business where porcelain doll making and other associated crafts were taught. During that time Lara was lucky enough to have had exposure to several excellent sculpting teachers, which is her preferred method of expression and also travelled to the US to study antique doll conservation and restoration.
In early 2014 Lara returned to the US and completed two Metal Clay accreditation programs.
2015 was a particularly exciting year for Lara as she attended the Borneo International Bead Conference to lecture and run polymer clay workshops. Sarawak, Borneo, is one of the most fascinating places that she has ever visited and there she met many interesting historians and archaeologists who have kindled her interest in looking at the bead as an object with much more significance than being purely decorative.
(aka Jo Fraser of ‘Beadaholics’ in Canberra before returning to Melbourne as Christen Jo Originals / STONE Steampunk at Stringybark Studio).
Jo has had a life long journey enjoying and teaching creativity in many media.
Starting her career developing the creativity of High School Students in Victoria, it was a natural transition for Jo to be teaching adults when she settled in Canberra in the early days of the beading/jewellery making craze, under the name of ‘Beadaholics’, a name generated by the addicted enthusiasm of her students. She became known for her wirework (Wirework Artist of the Year 2008 amongst other awards) writing projects for the popular magazines of the time, Honourary Judge for Jewellery at the Sydney Royal Show for 3 years, teaching in Canberra and at the Sydney Bead Fairs. She exhibited her jewellery as ‘Metamorphosis’, in Bairnsdale VIC,, featuring butterflies, indicitive of her lifelong love of nature.
Moving back to Melbourne in 2010 she explored basketmaking in natural materials for some years. She was honoured to be invited by the organisers to represent Australia at the International Wicker and Weaving Competition in Poland in 2015, along with 160 other weavers from 60 different countries. The pieces she wove there are now in the Basketry Museum in Nowy Tomysl, Poland.
Jo loves a challenge and to explore new ideas, so she then switched to sculpture for a while, revisiting the skills of her Visual Arts qualification which was in clay. Her work was created to support the proposal for a Great Forest National Park around her home in the beautiful Yarra Valley, sculpting Guardians of the Great Forest, endangered species, and more, culminating in her exhibition ‘ Whispers in the Wildwoods’ in Bulleen. VIC. She also joined 12 other sculptors as Artists in Residence creating works in the forest on the Toolangi Sculpture Trail, using materials available in the bush.
Enjoying the many media she has worked in, Jo however one day found a large box of jewellery wire stored in her studio, and, deciding it really needed to be used, got right back into wirework. Jo’s exhibition in 2018 in Warburton, VIC., ‘Cogs and Keys’, included wirework jewellery in the Steampunk genre which she also took to the Steampunk Festivals in Goulburn NSW, and Oamaru NZ, where everyone loves to get dressed up, so they loved her creations.
Jo has now developed a unique pictorial style using the same techniques used in her jewellery, (wirewrapping and wireweaving) but in a 2D format. She loves the detail she can achieve weaving wire and the never ending possibilities for pattern and texture, reminding her a little of embroidery. Her wireworked landcapes also introduce her passion for the environment once again.
Jo would love to touch base with some of her old (we are all getting older) ‘beadaholics’ in Canberra, hoping they are still getting addicted to their many crafts. Those classes were so much fun!
Christen Jo Originals & STONE Steampunk
at Stringybark Studio
FB: STONE Steampunk