Thursday, May 05, 2016

"Second Life", a workshop at the Georgia Agriculture Museum in Tifton

 (Above:  The Key to Hope ... workshop demo piece!  Old-fashioned key tagged with machine zigzagged cording to a paper label on which vintage letters were collaged ... stitched to a remnant of dry felted fibers with hand-stitched sequins and beads ... all mounted to a vintage guest towel.  Mat opening:  6 3/4" x 4 3/4". Framed 12" x 10".  Click on image to enlarge.)

On Monday I loaded the cargo van with all the materials, supplies, and equipment needed for the two-day, "Second Life", workshop I taught at the Georgia Agriculture Museum.  By noon I was driving the Georgia back roads to Tifton.  Early the next morning I unloaded and set up the provided classroom.

 (Above:  Second Life, a workshop at the Georgia Agriculture Museum in Tifton.)

My workshops are generally limited to twelve people.  This one had eleven (but one participant had to withdraw at the last minute due to health reasons).  Thankfully, there weren't more people as the room was rather cramped (but very, very comfortable) for the ten people with whom I spent Tuesday and Wednesday.  We had a total blast.  Even the weather held up!  We were able to visit the local, historic cemetery and make lots of great grave rubbings.  By 5:00 that afternoon, one-inch-in-diameter hail pelted our departing vehicles!  Never the less, our workshop progressed perfectly!

 (Above:  Jane Rodgers, my contact at the Wiregrass Quilt Guild who arranged this workshop!)

The quilt guild hosting my workshop boasts over 100 members.  The area in which they live is vast ... as in almost all of Georgia within a 45+-minute drive of Tifton.  Thankfully, Jane Rodgers is an excellent organizer ... as well as a great workshop participant.  She can always be counted upon for a smile and a kind word.  She loves pink and has no problem whatsoever designing anything (even grave rubbings) to include a bit of this happy hue!

I was honored to have the famous Teddy Pruett in my workshop.  She is in the midst of a life transformation from nationally known quilt artist and historic appraiser to the next great author of Southern Gothic literature.  

I forgot to snap photos while we wandered around in the cemetery.  I totally forgot my camera on the entire first day.  Thankfully, I remembered to snap some photos of the class while mounting and matting their tagged keys, grave rubbings, and other small works ready for permanent display as 2D creations.

Everyone left with at least one matted project and more work in progress.

I was particularly happy to spend more time with Sandy Gilreath whose recent publication, 52 Tuesdays - A Quilt Journal includes an entry about my solo show at the Southeastern Quilt and Textile Museum.

Most amazing was the diversity in this workshop.  I've never before had a male participant ... but this time had TWO!  These guys were full of great stories, hard work, and serious dedication to fiber arts and finding new ways to explore family legacy!

(Above:  The Key to Inspiration.  Mat opening 6 3/4" x 4 3/4". Framed: 11 1/2" x 9 1/2". Key tagged with machine-made cording and unique paper label collaged with vintage letters. Stitched to a dry felted scrap  of fiber remnants all on a crayon-on-fabric grave rubbing.  Click on image to enlarge.)

I firmly believe that I should be a "working artist" while engaged for a textile workshop.  Every demonstration becomes a finished piece.  Every free moment is spent using the same provided materials and conceptual content on which the workshop is focusing.  When participants are stitching, I'm either engaged in one-on-one conversation or stitching on my own parallel piece.  Thus, I always end up with finished work after teaching.  The Key to Hope and the Key to Inspiration are examples.   Everyone had equal access to the provided 8" x 10" mats ... including me! LOL!  Today, Steve built frames for the two pieces.

(Above:  Steve holding Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep, 20" x 16". Quilted and non-quilted grave rubbings, crocheted doily, vintage household linens, and buttons on a linen covered foam-centered board.)

I also created this collage ... using the same materials, supplies and equipment I brought for the workshop.  It is a fun and wonderful way to be both "workshop tutor" and "fellow stitcher"!  Below is another image of the piece I created.  Yes, everyone had a 20" x 16" linen covered piece of foam-centered board on which to create a lasting legacy!

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