Stitch up: fabulous Fabrication on again

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madeleine peters_6
Madeleine Peters, from the F Project, with an armful of the Fletcher Jones fabric offcuts and samples that will be used in Fabrication II.

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] S [/dropcap]uch was the popularity of the inaugural Fabrication fundraiser for The Artery in Warrnambool last year that the challenge is on again.

When the Fletcher Jones factory closed in Warrnambool nine years ago, a group of local artists salvaged bags and bags of off-cut material that had been left on the factory floor or tossed in a skip-bin ready for the tip.

Those bags of material filled an entire garage, but what to do with it?

The Artery president Emma Charlton said a group of founding members of the arts group, the F Project – named in honour of Sir Fletcher Jones and which now runs The Artery – wanted to “harness the creative vision of Fletcher Jones, particularly in the face of the demise of an industry that had long-defined Warrnambool”.

They decided to invite creative people to buy some of the original Fletcher Jones fabric and create something new that could then be auctioned.

rachel peters fabrication
The man himself: a fabric portrait of Sir Fletcher Jones created by Rachel Peters for last year’s Fabrication event. Image: The F Project.

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] T[/dropcap]he first Fabrication: Flaunting Fletcher raised $5000 and helped fund new lighting in the gallery space.

The remaining material had been stored in the garage of an F Project member until a month ago, when volunteers again moved it.

“Ten people, five cars, two trailers, five hours, and one emergency doctor’s visit later, and the job was done. There was a lot of dust, and such a lot of material,” Emma said.

(The emergency doctor’s visit was a result of textile artist Ruby Richardson treading on an errant pin, which saw her shipped off to get a tetanus shot during the massive move!)

Fabrication II is shaping up to be even bigger than last year, with rumours circulating that an edgy fashion designer who has local connections is considering making an outfit for the new owner of the Fletcher Jones site, Dean Montgomery.

silver ball liz gannon
This entry by Liz Gannon incorporated fabric and painting to create a wonderful portrait of the silver ball. Image: The F Project.

[dropcap style=”font-size: 60px; color: #DC943C;”] T[/dropcap]he challenge is now on for artists to buy a random box of mixed material and make it into something new.

“This time it’s bigger, and people might like to take on the challenge with a few others, or as a family,” Emma said.

The material is unwashed, and is predominantly in muted tones, although all the boxes have surprises in them, she said.

The idea is to create anything including fashion, homewares, wearable art, 2D and 3D art works, textiles, furniture or anything else that takes hold in the creative imagination.

fabrication sue ferarri
“Fletcher’s Garden,”, by Leanne Goldstraw, was inspired by the Pleasant Hill gardens and is displayed on a wooden Fletcher Jones hanger. Image: The F Project.

[box]A random box of material costs $20; entry to the auction is $5. Boxes can be collected on Saturday and Sunday May 23 and 24, 10am-2pm, from 27 Barkly St, Warrnambool, or email to arrange another time. Entries need to be dropped at The Artery on Sunday Sept 13. They will be exhibited and auctioned at the Artery on Saturday Sept 19 from 6pm. For an entry form, email[/box]

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