Tuesday, June 05, 2018

QSDSN (Quilt and Surface Design Symposium)

(Above:  Composite of photos taken last week during HOTTER, my five-day workshop at QSDS.  Click on any image to enlarge.)

For a year I've been excited by the opportunity to teach both a two-day HOT workshop and an expanded, five-day HOTTER workshop for QSDS (Quilt and Surface Design Symposium) on the Columbus College of Art and Design campus in Ohio.  It's a really prestigious organization that advertises in national magazines and will celebrate its THIRTIETH year anniversary next year.  It's an honor to be on the faculty but it was also a "homecoming". 

(Above:  Composite photo taken during a lunch hour ... showing the spacious classroom from several angles and two examples of participants' works.)

I was born in Columbus, Ohio.  I met my husband Steve during an Ohio State football game in 1977, my second week in college.  I graduated from OSU in 1980 and got married a year later in the same little Lutheran Church in which I was baptized, a congregation still conducting German services at the time.  Steve and I lived near the Anheuser-Busch brewing facility until he finished his PhD in 1986 ... which is when we moved to South Carolina.  Since that time, we've been back to Columbus on only very rare occasions.  The last time was seven years ago.  Much has changed!

Because I never considered a studio art degree, I never thought about attending a real art school. I was quite excited to be inside such a wonderful facility ... especially as an instructor!  It was a dream-come-true!  The five-day workshop was before last weekend's two-day experience.  Whether a longer or a shorter workshop, everyone went home with multiple, finished pieces.  HOT and HOTTER explore heat-activated techniques for contemporary stitching ... and boy did we stitch!  We stitched by machine ....

... and by hand ...

... and with sequins and beads!

Of course, "heat activated" definitely means we put my vintage irons to good use.  The old models get hotter than newer ones.  They also don't turn off when idle.  The nice lady, Robin Hartmann, in the photo above has been a Facebook friend for years.  I was thrilled to finally meet her and a little intimidated to learn her past fiber experiences include costuming for Jim Henson and the Muppets as well as for the movie Shawshank Redemption.  WOW!

In addition to really HOT irons, I bring assorted soldering irons and an industrial heat gun.  We had a separate room with an exhaust fan and respirators (though for really quick "melts" some people didn't bother with the masks!)  Everything about the CCAD campus, dorms, cafeteria, security staff, and especially the QSDS staff was AMAZING!

The program really attracts a wide range of people ... from mixed media artists to both beginner and advanced art quilters.  The lady above actually teaches at the Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio, the location where Quilt National is held.  Now that is a bit intimidating! Yet, every participant really was there to learn something and I really did have something to share, something to teach, something worthwhile no matter where along the creative path each participant was! 

Another great thing about QSDS and being in a proper art college is the fact that every classroom had temporary walls on which work could be pinned. It was really grand to see so many pieces behind each person's work place!

This participant was particularly helpful.  She's a full-time professor at CCAD!  Her work was amazing and we had several great conversations about our distinctly different approaches to fiber arts.  She's usually working on a computer, designing fabric and creating accessories using laser printing!

I was also honored to have one nice woman stay with me for all seven days!  She took the five-day workshop and continued as an "independent student" during the two-day event! 

On the first day of the two-day workshop, one of my vintage irons ceased to operate.  Sadly (as it has been the one I've been using in my studio at home), I threw it in the garbage.  I didn't know that Diane Herbort, one of the hard-working QSDS staffers, fished it out and turned it into a hilarious piece of artwork on its own pedestal in the exhibition space for instructors' works.

(Above: The Treachery of Images also known as "Ceci n'est pas une pipe.", French for "This is not a pipe" by René Magritte.)

On the face of the "dead" iron, Diane carefully wrote "Rest in Peace", referencing my Grave Rubbing Art Quilt series and continuing fascination with epitaphs. For the label, she referenced  René Magritte's 1928-29 famous painting that includes the words "This is not a pipe" in French.  René Magritte said, "The famous pipe. How people reproached me for it! And yet, could you stuff my pipe? No, it's just a representation, is it not? So if I had written on my picture 'This is a pipe', I'd have been lying!"

Diane titled the work:  Ce N'est Pas Un Fer a Repasser (This Is Not an Iron). 

Even more hilarious is the fact that another QSDS staff person wanted to keep the altered iron.  So, the label sported a red dot!

(Above:  Diane Herbort and E nest Pas Un Fer a Repasser.)

The week ended very, very well too.  Steve managed to find an $80 one-way airline ticket late on Friday night.  He visited all our college haunts, surprised old friends, took me to dinner one night, helped me load the class equipment and supplies into our cargo van, and drove me back to South Carolina.

As the first weekend was also Memorial Day, I went to Greenlawn Cemetery on my way into town and left three little wrapped wooden thread spools on my grandparents' grave.

The three little spools feature thumbnail reproductions from Grandma's photos albums.  I thought much about their lives as immigrants to the USA after WWII, German Village, and the fact that I'm already on next year's roster for QSDS 2019 for a five-day workshop called "Second Life", an experience that focuses on personal legacy and turning antique and vintage textiles into new expressions of memory that might speak to coming generations.  Can't wait to return!


Ann Scott said...

Wow, it sounds like a fantastic time and learning experience (even for you!). I was thinking as I read - Don't toss that iron out! I'm so glad it was retrieved. Leaving your memory spools really tugged on my heartstrings. Thank you for sharing your time and writing in this post.

Jo said...

QSDS is a marvelous community of artists! I loved reading your blog entry!
Jo Thomas