This week has been WONDERFUL on too many levels to put adequately into words ... but I'll try! I delivered two lectures and taught a two-day workshop in the Blacksburg and Floyd area of southwestern Virginia. "Last Words" was presented to the Floyd Quilt Guild on Monday morning. I got to share my Grave Rubbing Art Quilts, my passion for epitaphs, and try to impress upon fellow stitchers the impulse to use cherished, vintage linens and lace as a way to bring new life to old textiles. On Tuesday night, I gave a power point presentation called "Beyond a Series" to The Quilting Party in Blacksburg. It was an opportunity to share how I've expanded into installation art and use stream-of-consciousness writing as a tool to express concepts in a spatially transformative way. Both lectures were received very well. I felt among kindred spirits.
Wednesday and Thursday were GREAT! I was treated like a "rock star" instructor every moment while teaching HOT: Heat Activated Techniques for Contemporary Embroidery for TAVA (Textile Artists of Virginia). I am truly indebted to Paula Golden and Karin
What's more ... lots and lots of new work was created in the span of two days. I don't think there was a single workshop participant that didn't leave with at least two finished pieces and two or more "in progress". Some left with as many as six or seven! No two are ever alike. It is fantastic to watch the same polyester stretch velvet materials morph into so many exciting designs. The last demonstration is mounting finished projects behind 8" x 10" mats. I took these photos on the last day.
While in Blacksburg, I was treated to a fantastic concert at the Taubman Museum of Art in Roanoke. On display was Homeward Bound, the first regional juried triennial. It was outstanding and included a piece by my friend Lorie McCown. There was an exhibit on Romare Bearden and a solo show Follicular: Hair Stories of Sonya Clark ... work I've sort of been following. Sonya's dedication to a single concept investigated from every conceivable angle inspires me.
On Tuesday, Paula and I toured the area ... visiting two covered bridges and several antique shops. On Wednesday night, Paula and her husband hosted a spaghetti dinner for the workshop. I was also taken to see TRANS + (Trans-plus), a TAVA exhibit at the Blacksburg Library and Wind Chimes: Elements and Seasons, another fiber art exhibition at the Alexander Black House & Cultural Center. It was great to see so many art quilts and textile creations in public places.
Most important, I truly felt like I met new friends.
Many people don't realize that I suffer from low self esteem. Four days in Blacksburg did me a world of good. I drove home with all sorts of happy thoughts and inspiration for new work.
It is said that a workshop instructor learns as much as the participants. This week proves it.
Plus ... I got work done too! I feel it quite important while teaching to WORK LIKE AN ARTIST. Thus, I don't just "demonstreate" ... I "make art". The pieces I create while teaching are called "relics". They are little gems from an experience. I finished this piece while in Blacksburg and framed it today.
(Above: Relic XCII.)
I especially like the fact that I have a working example while in the classroom. When someone wants to know how I do something ... I can show them ... right then and there!
On the second day, I demonstrate my "In Box" techniques ... and make another "relic". This one was finished yesterday in the workshop and framed today at home.
The materials for these pieces are polyester stretch velvet. I buy various yards on-line from Spandex World. A new shipment just came in ... and WOW they are truly garish! I'm super excited though because these are mostly new patterns and colors. Some include holographic sequins and metallic foils ... which are particularly hideous ... but they will be perfect for the new circles in my upcoming celestial installation. It is surprising how these gaudy fabrics can be transformed! I'm excited!
From obtrusively bright and showy synthetics ... the new box contained sentimental and sweet crochet, a donation from a fiber artist in California whose mother recently passed away. She sent me these items to incorporate into other work. She found me through the PBS Quilting Arts program with Susan Brubaker Knapp. All in all ... I feel quite blessed this week ... friends, fabric, and artwork coming from all directions.