Monday, September 8, 2014

Midwest Felting Symposium part 3

So much has happened since the symposium that it seems like years ago. I will have to try to go back in my mind archives and see if I can find some memories of what happened.  Since then I have had another week away from home; on a retreat at the Huyck Nature Preserve with nine of my friends interpreting our surroundings in felt. But that event deserves its own post. I am also recovering from doing my one and only craft show this past weekend. So this post will probably not be the best but I will be able to cross it off my list of things to do. The weekend went well, I sold some of my older work which always feels good, and I got to spend a lot of time with my lovely daughter. Here are photos she took of my booth.

That is my wonderful dad who is another of my helpers without whom I would not do even this show. It is so much work!
Time with my daughter has been especially important since her relationship of over 8 years ended while I was out in the Midwest.  At about 2 in the morning on the day of my NoBodys class my phone rang. Talk about scary. Waking up in a hotel room to a call where all you hear is your daughter sobbing so much she can't speak. I thought someone must have died. I finally was able to hear her say 'Tony doesn't love me anymore' and my heart broke and it was AWFUL not to be there to hold her tight. I was hurting too. Tony was like a son to me and it seemed like he always would be a part of our family with or without the actual marriage certificate. There were a few other phone calls in those wee hours of the morning and a lot of tossing and turning as I worried about them and did my own mourning about the loss of a future we has all imagined. Needless to say it was not a good way to start a day that I would be teaching the class I has the most worries about being successful.
I was right to be worried. The class was listed as advanced with a warning that it would involve intense hand work yet two of my students had only felted once before. I had agreed to take one of the students when Holly, one of the organizers, told me that she had a student who really wanted to take my class but did not have not much felting experience. I told Holly to ask her to practice felting over a resist before the class, sadly that did not happen. Luckily I only had 4 students so I told them that I would do my best to help them succeed but that I had to give equal time to all the students and could not give them special attention. I also asked the class to forgive me that I was not quite all there and explained my troubled night. In the end it all was fine, since the students were happy with their creations and most importantly had a lot of fun. In a way the extra challenge was good for me since it helped distract me from worrying about my daughter. Here are the hollow heads that the students made. Only one was considered 'fully' finished. Pun intended.

This is Ramsey with her creation.

She has wonderful plans on how to finish and accessorize this guy. I hope she sends me a photo to share. I loved the bone through the chin idea.

This is Jaclyn who was one of the newbies. She 'got' it right at the start and seemed to just be able to understand how to manipulate the fibers. She also had the hand strength to be able to full the felt and shape it. She was a natural and it was amusing that she only took the class to accompany Joan.

Ah, biggest challenge but we had so many laughs. I had to borrow a phrase that Karolina Arvilommi uses in her classes when students need to do more fulling; she simply says "little bit more". She says this so sweetly so that you do not hold it against her when she is asking you to push yourself beyond what you think you can physically handle and you just want to be done. Each time I came to Joan as I made my rotation around the room the conversation went like this:
Joan: How is this?
Me: Little bit more.
Joan: with a shocked expression Really???
It got to be a running here she is saying "little bit more".

Finally here is Dominique. Dominique was talked into taking my class (she did not really like my NoBodys) but she wanted to learn as many shaping techniques as possible. In the end she said she was so happy she did take the class. Dominique had just taken a class with Pamela MacGregor; a master of shaping and making hard felt. I was intimidated to teach 3D felt making to a student who had just taken one of her classes. Dominique had a bit of trouble sticking to one concept and started a few different pieces, but she worked after class hours and had a new piece started when I came to class on the second day. Her piece was inspired by the missing Nigerian school girls. She wants to add 200 spikes at the top of the figure to represent each young girl. It was my pleasure to have her in class and especially to have her share her thoughts about feltmaking and life in general. 
Fiber artists are some of the nicest people I have know and feltmakers are the best. Students may come in the door as strangers but it is not long before they seem like old friends.

My final class was back in my comfort zone teaching the one day 'ScapeScarf' class. It went really well and was a great way to end my week. Six lovely ladies created six lovely scarfs. Two of the women used my Springtime themed scarf as inspiration. 
Here is Carol's.

Sue used the same scarf for inspiration yet each woman created a piece that was truly their own. That is one of the cool things about felt. No two pieces are exactly alike.
Here is Sue.

Sharon had her own image idea that she wanted to render. Her finished piece came out just the way she described the scene to me. 

Janet wanted to render a beach scene reminiscent of the Outer Banks. I think her scarf really gives that impression. 

Betty was also thinking Spring when she made her beautiful Cherry tree scarf. I love the idea of a nice warm winter scarf showing colorful warm times of the year.

Carol had in mind a sunset. She used such beautiful colors and her use of one of my yarns was fantastic. I love when students use my materials in a way that had not occurred to me. I always learn so much when I teach.

And now it is time to do some unpacking...and cleaning...and....