If you like scarves you may be interested in going to the National Wool Museum’s exhibition in Geelong. I love scarves so I went.
What I don’t like, however, are scarves that you could never wear. The majority of the exhibits looked very uncomfortable and stiff. Some of them were so rough you could clean pots and pans with them. Artistic? Perhaps. Creative? Definitely. Tempting? Sadly, no.
The neck is a delicate part of your body and does not enjoy being covered in stiff felt appliques or rough yarn that feels like barbed wire. That’s why silk scarves are desirable as are those made of cashmere or possum wool. They are meant to feel luxurious.
If I want to buy a wall hanging then I will do so, but please don’t pretend that it’s a scarf.
Which brings me to one of my favourite themes. Functionality of a product and where artistic design fits into this concept. Let’s take a chair as an example. A chair is meant to be sat on. If it can be made beautiful and interesting, even artistic, then that’s fine, as long as you can still sit on it.
I see absolutely no point in designing a chair that just looks trendy but can’t be sat on. In fact, I would call such a creation a sculpture rather than a chair. Why pretend that’s it’s something when it isn’t even suitable for sitting on?
That sort of avant garde drivel belongs to the realm of interior decorating. Forget the usefulness, just make sure it looks good and is colour co-ordinated. In my opinion, too many decorators are into creating a theatre set and they have forgotten the primary purpose of furniture which is its functionality.
That doesn’t mean that all chairs have to look like Shaker furniture. Far from it. Comfortable chairs can be beautiful to look at too. But a good chair is one that you can sit on for hours without getting a backache.
So that’s why I was disappointed with the Scarf Festival. There were only about six scarves out of the 250 that I could imagine winding around my sensitive neck. Quite frankly, there was a much better selection of wearable scarves in the Wool Museum store. I can recommend a visit to the store itself if you like possum fur jumpers, jackets and pretty silk scarves.
I can also recommend a visit to the rest of the museum which houses a working loom which will create a beautiful carpet for you. There is also an excellent display of the history of weaving around the Geelong area and the wool industry in general.
And the last but not least attraction at the Wool Museum is its fine restaurant called Lamby’s which served the most delicious fish and hand cut chips.
The meal was so appetising that I almost forgot about the silly scarf exhibit.
I would like to suggest that next year the judges should add an extra category to the twelve that won awards this year. Category Thirteen could be “For the best wearable scarf with the least amount of itchy stuff in it.”