The Q'ld Embroiderers' Guild has an extensive collection of embroidery from this state and considering that settlement was later here than elsewhere in Australia and life was 'rougher', that there is so much to collect is amazing. Embroidery is a tool that women have used to help 'normalise' their lives. But, I have to say that I find embroidering with fish scales both odd and interesting and it isn't unattractive.
It was usually worked on a back or blue background and the edges of the scales were 'worked' to shape them.
The mind has trouble accepting the amount of work that would have gone into collecting and then preparing each scale. This piece is made from the scales of two different fish but the main one appears to be barramundi. Being a fresh water fish it would have a clearer a lighter colour to the scales.
These last pieces were donated by a member and were stitched by her grandmother. Life would not have been comfortable for those early settlers who came after the penal colony was closed down. Travel was difficult and Queensland has always been a long way from the southern states. Most settlers would have sailed up the coast because the terrain between here and Sydney is difficult, not to mention the many rivers that would have to be crossed.
I look at these pieces and think of those women. The men wrote of their adventures and what they did and saw. The women wrote their stories in this kind of embroidery and it is just as interesting and adventurous..