Friday afternoon I was trying to get straight in my head which of the three Lindas and two Susans in the class were which. I knew their first names, but I wasn't going to be able to attach the first names to their last names when I looked at the class roster and I wanted to be able to do that when I got home. I knew I was tired when I asked one student (and it should be known that I got her name right all week long) which of the Susans she was. She looked at me and said, "I'm not Susan. I'm Bette." I hate it when that happens.
This class was challenging to say the least. Harrisville was a wonderful experience, but these ladies put me through my paces. They were gracious and excited and they worked very very hard. I have taught many classes with beginners and intermediate students at the same time. This was the first time I had so many though. I think the first thing I learned was that I need to make sure that if I'm trying to teach more advanced concepts, the students take a beginning tapestry techniques class (or two) first. Of course it often is helpful for the people who have been weaving tapestry longer to see the techniques I use which aren't necessarily the ones they are using. The more tools in your toolbox the better.
The studio is a great place to work. It is spacious and they have every sort of tool you could want... including a few I had never used before! (See previous blog post Why I love teaching tapestry so much...)
As the samplers came off the looms on Friday it was wonderful to watch the magic as people turned them over and saw what they had done over the week.
Bette's sampler ended with a great transparency exercise which was extremely successful. She played with which color combinations she needed to use to create the illusion of one rectangle being on top of the next. It took a little re-weaving to find the right colors, but I think she nailed it.
Here are a few other selections from the samplers.
I especially loved the pick and pick on Deborah's.
And look what else you can do with pick and pick if you're Anji!
The yarn table was decimated. I completely ran out of the grayscale and I had brought an extra 4 ounces of black. Next time I teach this many students in a setting where they can work 24 hours a day, remind me to bring extras of the popular colors. Of course if I do that, I'll run out of something else!
My aunt Mary Lou has taken classes at Harrisville. Before I went she said, "They have yarn there. You're in trouble." I assured her that I knew they had yarn, but that I ordered their yarn for my tapestries and that I wouldn't be buying any while I was there. Apparently she knows me well because I did buy yarn. How could I resist trying Nick Colony's new Watershed? I have a hat by Steven West in mind already.
www.pinestarstudio.com. She also does amazing work with fiber.
|photo: Linda Whiting|