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Winter Ushers In Craft Festival

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Success! South Burnett Mayor Keith Campbell put the first rug hooks into a community rug that will be created at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery by visitors to this year’s Winter Craft Festival … the Mayor’s work was supervised by Landsborough rug hook artist Judi Tompkins, above at right, who is exhibiting a selection of her works at the gallery this month

Carol Fleischfresser was delighted to buy this brilliantly hued Alpaca wrap on opening night

June 4, 2019

Kingaroy Art Gallery attracted a large crowd to the official opening of its annual two-month Queensland Winter Craft Festival on Friday night.

Guests were treated to a main gallery full of exquisitely crafted wearable art from The Alpaca Collective, and two other galleries of unusual rug hooking creations by Landsborough artist Judi Tompkins.

Judi has been following her grandmother’s craft for the past 12 years, and has gone on to found the Australian Rugmakers Guild, a national organisation which now numbers 200 members.

She said that if “knit, purl” were the watchwords of knitters, then “hook, prod” were the watchwords of rug makers … or at least, of those who followed the Waldoboro technique of creating 3D rugs that she pursues.

For a bit of extra fun, Judi persuaded Mayor Keith Campbell to try his hand at rug hooking after he performed the official opening.

Guests got to see the Mayor execute his first (and possibly last) rug hooks on a community art piece that will be developed as part of this year’s Festival.

This is the fourth year the Queensland Winter Craft Festival has been run.

It also marks the start of a busy two-month program of workshops, tutorials and activities designed to cater for all tastes and interests.

Kingaroy Art Team president Catherine Woodham said the gallery’s volunteers had worked hard to put together an exciting June itinerary.

It covers everything from Kumihimo braiding to dichroic glass, pom pom making to spinning and weaving, and rug making to print making and mosaics.

Demonstrations and “give-it-a-go” activities are completely free, while “make-and-take” opportunities and workshops have a small fee to cover materials.

On Thursday (June 6), Judy Tompkins will be the focus of a “Meet The Artist” session at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery at 11:30am where she will share her processes, thoughts and skills as she leads guests through a demonstration of her unique approach to her art.

And on June 18, Judi will be demonstrating her rug-making techniques at Kingaroy Library in Glendon Street at 1:30pm.

Next month, the Gallery will unveil the Craft Festival’s second month of craft exhibitions and a new program of art activities and workshops covering a different set of crafts.

  • The first month of the Queensland Winter Craft Festival will be on display at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery in Haly Street, Kingaroy from 10:00am to 4:00pm on weekdays and 9:00am to 1:00pm on weekends until the end of the month. Admission to view the exhibitions is free.

Related articles:

Michigan-born artist Judi Tompkins, who learned the art of rug hooking at her grandmother’s knee, with one of the works on show at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery this month

Are those birds real? No, they’re stuffed and imported … but they were a vital finishing touch for this unusual Judi Tompkins’ craft piece

Cr Ros Heit and artist Lyn Felsman admired the large display of wearable textile art created by The Alpaca Collective on show in the main gallery

Artist Myrie Cobby’s vivid convertible Alpaca shawl was another crowdpleaser on opening night, securing a coveted red sale dot just an hour into the exhibition

Terry and Carol Fleischfresser admired Judi Tompkins’ rug hook piece “The Road Less Travelled”

Arts portfolio chair Cr Danita Potter was another opening night visitor who was delighted with the wearable art on show … last year she purchased a shawl at the Craft Festival which has now become a favourite piece in her wardrobe

* * *

It wouldn’t be a Winter Craft Festival without woodcrafts, and South Burnett Woodcrafters’ members Terry Rouse, Doug Hutcheson, Steve Atkinson and June Bingham were happy to show off a selection of the group’s painstakingly crafted woodworks

Winter Craft Festival Market Day

The Queensland Winter Craft Festival followed its Friday night opening with a Market Day in the gallery’s precincts on Saturday.

Representatives from the South Burnett Woodcrafters, Jumping Ant Arts, The Alpaca Collective and individual artists manned stalls to provide information to passersby about the Winter Craft Festival and show them some of the things they can expect to see at the Kingaroy Regional Art Gallery this June and July.

Inside, Judy Brook was adding stitches (ie. rug hooks) to a community rug that will be created by visitors to the Gallery over coming months, using cut up recycled clothing for rug-making material.

The Market Day kicked off a month of craft-related activities at the gallery which will include free demonstrations and “give-it-a-go” activities, along with “make-and-take” classes and workshops that attract a small fee to cover course materials.

Myrie Cobby, from Booie; Judy N Gray, from Tablelands; and Julia Jeffery, from Chelmsford … Myrie and Julia are both members of The Alpaca Collective which is exhibiting at the Gallery this month, and Judy was demonstrating weaving

Suzi Walters, from Kingaroy, had unusual home-crafted book planters and macrame on sale

Fay Stumm, Diana Bolton and Liz Platz were selling crafts on the Jumping Ant Arts stall

Judy Brook, from Kingaroy, was “frogging” a community rug that will be crafted at this year’s Winter Craft Festival by visitors to the art gallery … the stretcher frame and pegs were made by the South Burnett Woodcrafters and material for the rug has been cut from recycled clothing


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