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Fiji Time: 6:40 PM on Wednesday 23 April

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Refresher art classes for 60

Shayal Devi
Monday, January 27, 2014

SIXTY women from Nadi and Lautoka learnt quiltmaking and patchwork designing as part of efforts to refresh their creative skills.

They achieved this through a two-week workshop held in Martintar, Nadi, by Australians Frances Piquemal and Denise Lynn.

Ms Piquemal said she had arrived in the country two years ago to teach similar forms of handicraft items to women in Taveuni.

"What the women were doing in the past two weeks is they were making patterns and designs on used fabrics and bags," she said.

"Initially we had planned for 20 women but as we got closer to the workshop we had our 60 participants.

"It has been very humbling for us."

The two will be returning to Sydney today and Ms Piquemal said one of the most encouraging moments for the women had been localising the products they create so that the women had their own identity.

"I will be returning to Australia with a greater knowledge of some of the forms of art here like basket weaving. It's been a cross-cultural learning experience."

The oldest participant at the workshop was 78-year-old Fauorou Akata of Rotuma.

"I mostly did crafts before and made hand baskets and fans," she said.