Artist’s heartfelt way to stay connected and learn skills
HUMAN connection does wonders for the soul and until recently, it is something that the world never thought would be out of reach.
But fortunately for Bundaberg and other rural communities, one local textile artist is doing all she can to create an inviting circle to get to know other women and learn a creative skill.
Gail Grunske has been felting for more than 10 years after her friend introduced her to the detailed process and it didn't take long for Ms Grunske to fall in love with the art form.
Invented in the early 90s by an Australian fibre artist, nuno felting is a technique that combines loose fibres into a sheer fabric to create a lightweight felt.
"I take a particular type of silk, use wool rovings, put all sorts of embellishments on like threads, silk fabrics and fibres and then I wet, roll, agitate and heat it," Ms Grunske said.
"It's not stitched or glued on or anything, but the wool shrinks and naturally migrates through the silk
… you rarely see these sort of products because it is a lot of hard work, but it creates the most beautiful, drapeable piece of fabric."
Creating beautiful wearable art pieces in vibrant shades, the textile artist can make anything from shawls, scarfs, hats and handbags, to jacket panels and dresses.
Passionate about teaching the unique process to others, Ms Grunske holds workshops at her Bundaberg East studio and also travels around to remote communities to pass her knowledge on.
"Usually people take the beginner's class first so I can start them off with the basics, but they mostly all come back for the masterclasses … I haven't taught one person that hasn't enjoyed it yet," Ms Grunske said.
"I serve morning tea during each session and it is a very important time where women can sit down, connect with others and get to know each other and that interaction is what I really love about it.
"I'm heading to Bribie Island, Quilpie and Charleville and love teaching in rural communities - they have already embraced me as a teacher and invite me into their homes or out to the pub, which is just so lovely."
While COVID-19 prevented the public from socialising for many months, Ms Grunske said many of her upcoming classes had already been fully booked, with sessions scheduled up until Christmas.
All materials are supplied during the workshops and are suited to all ages, experience levels and abilities.
For pricing or to participate in a creative workshop at the Gail Grunske Design studio in East Bundaberg, click here or email email@example.com