Monday, May 28, 2018

John Campbell Folk School Class--one more time!

I am back at the John C. Campbell Folk School this week for a class that I've called "Tapestry--Inspired by Landscape" and the topic is one that's near and dear to my heart since I work with details within the landscape as a primary focus for my own work.  Here's the fiber/weaving studio tonight as I left it heading to my room... still lighted up with energy of people still working:

I have a class of ten and a wonderful assistant who I met when she was a student as Bhakti Ziek and I taught at Penland Concentration in 2017.  Allie is doing a great assistant's job here at JCFS and will also be with me at Arrowmont in a month or so as my assistant there.

Here's Allie, working away as I left the studio tonight.  She finished a small tapestry TODAY that she started YESTERDAY and that I haven't yet photographed and NOW she is almost done with another small one tonight!  Just about 24 hours into her stay here at the Folk School.  Good Lord!

Allie is the speed demon of the group of us... but then she's 23 years old!  Yet the rest of us in the class are 30-somethings -- but the others have also accomplished so much... and in the first day.  Here's a quick walk around the room with my camera.  I didn't capture all that took place but a a taste of the energy that's here.

I truly love the John Campbell Folk School.  The very first weaving class I took as I was learning to weave was here in about 1974 or 1975. And I've taught at the Folk School since the early 1980s. When I was still employed as full-time faculty at the university the workshops I did here and elsewhere were during my summer breaks.  After I retired in 2000 I began doing workshops any time I wanted to and I've tried to get back to the Folk School often.  Each experience has been different and special.

There are a few people who've return year after year to take a class with me and I'm always happy to see their names on the roster.  Thank you for that:  Joann, Ann, Carol, Sidsel, Nancy... and others who aren't here at this particular class.  You've always made my time at the Folk School even more special than it would have otherwise been.

Next year's class I'll be doing at the Folk School will be my last one here.  And as I see it right now, the last one I'll do anywhere except for (possibly) occasional private sessions in my studio as I mentioned a few posts ago--for lots of reasons and all of them right ones, I think.

So... now... four more days to go in this exceptional time here! Onward!

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Into the Nature: Cycles, Habitats & Elements of Place--exhibit at the Hudgens Center

My art work is included in an exhibit opening on May 22 at the Hudgens Center for Arts and Learning, Duluth, Georgia.  Angela Nichols, the curator, is bringing together works of seven fiber artists.  Each is inspired by the physical world to create works in many styles and materials.  My tapestries and works on paper will be featured as a solo component showing in the Kistner Atrium Gallery.

Link to more about this on the Hudgens Center website is here.
Yesterday my pieces were picked up and delivered to the Center.  What a challenge to get them off the walls and wrapped up for the ride in a rental van!  I sent twenty-three tapestries and about 40 works on paper for Angela to select from for exhibit.  Although not all pieces will likely fit into the atrium gallery, I know she'll display as many as possible.

A reception for the exhibit will be held on Saturday, June 2 from 2-4 pm.  There is a Hudgens Center member outing planned to visit my studio in Dahlonega on Monday, June 11.  And then I'll be at the Center on Saturday, June 23 to demonstrate weaving during Family Day from 11 am to 1 pm; I'll plan at least one other demonstration during the exhibition at a date still to be determined.

Next up?  A retreat of Tapestry Weavers South members is coming soon at St. Simon's in south Georgia.  This will be the second version of what seems to be becoming an annual event.  We were there last year and had a great time.  I wrote a little about last year's retreat at this blog post.  Lots of sharing and weaving and discussions about all things tapestry will take place.  The week after that I'll be going to John Campbell Folk School to teach a class and I'm really looking forward to it.  In the class we'll be looking at nature and finding ways to interpret what we find in tapestry. The Folk School at this time of year will hold many visual treasures to inspire.

Now... today... some dyeing and weaving are on my schedule!  After a visit to the local farmers' market to see what I can find.  I love spring!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Cancer is a cruel one

Two weeks ago today our family lost a wonderful person.  My sister-in-law's seventeen year battle with cancer came to an end.

Joanne was funny, interested in others, loved her family and friends dearly.  She was compassionate and always kind.  She was a loyal sibling, spouse and mother.  She was a wonderful aunt, sister-in-law and friend to many.  She was a role model of courage and determination as she met each new episode of cancer and other health issues stoically.  She continued to have a sense of humor and relished laughter.  She will be missed always by everyone who knew her.

Here she was in 2008 when she and her twin sister came to spend a week at "weaving boot camp" at my studio.  I showed them both how to set up a loom and they planned, warped, and wove rag fabric into a rug (Joan) and a runner (Jean).

 At the end of the week I took them on a field trip to John Campbell Folk School and my husband treated us all to dinner that evening--at which time he presented them both with a trophy, blue ribbon and a certificate of achievement he'd printed just for them!  What a fun time for us all.

Joan had such a good time doing the weaving she bought a loom and wove quite a few things with it until other health issues arose that caused her not be able to weave any longer.  I have a hand towel and a table runner she wove that I treasure and I think of her every time I use them.

She will be truly missed by all who knew her.  Here are links to the posts I made when our boot camp was going on in 2008:

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

To every thing there is a season...

And my season of traveling to teach workshops is about over.

As of right now, looks like I'll bow out of the teaching circuit by the end of 2019.  I've had several very nice invitations for next year but have declined those that weren't already on my schedule as of the first of this year.

There are many reasons that I'm deciding this.  One reason is that I need to spend more time at home and with my own work at this point in my life.  Another is that there are many fine tapestry teachers out there who make some or most of their living with teaching and I want to support those folks whenever I can. 

I've been grateful to have now been a teacher for fifty years.  I began in the summer of 1968 with a children's class that I taught between my junior and senior years at the University of Georgia where I was an art education major.   My full-time career as an art teacher started in the fall of 1969 after graduation.  I was in public school (middle & high school) for three years before beginning to work at the Fine Arts Department North Georgia College (now the University of North Georgia).  And I remained at North Georgia as full-time until 2000 and then as part-time weaving instructor until 2009.  I began the weaving program at UNG when I first began working there in 1972 and I'm happy to say that it's still alive and well.

When I left my full-time responsibilities I began to teach short classes and workshops frequently throughout the year.  I'd been doing some summer workshops since the 1980s but the ability to schedule during any time of the year was nice.  I've now been teaching for guilds, fiber conferences or craft schools since 2000. 

It's been tremendously rewarding to spend time with people of all ages and interests in workshops.  Every time has been a learning experience for me as I've developed new teaching materials, seen amazing solutions to tapestry design ideas, and been challenged with lots of "what ifs?"  I haven't always know the answers but I've appreciated the questions and tried to help as best I could.

I won't stop teaching about design and tapestry... just change the way I'm doing it.  I hope to be able to occasionally offer master classes based in my studio here in Dahlonega for one or two people at a time.  Or perhaps something with a larger group in collaboration with the university's art department may develop in the future.

So... until the end of 2019 I'm looking forward to these upcoming classes:
John C. Campbell Folk School, Brasstown, North Carolina, May 27-June 2, 2018
Arrowmont School of Crafts, Gatllinburg, Tennessee, July 29-August 4, 2018

Aya Fiber Studio, Stuart, Florida, March 4-8, 2019
John C. Campbell Folk School*, April 29-May 4, 2019

Links to these are in the side margin of the blog.  Maybe I'll see you there!  And if not, maybe you'll think about coming to Dahlonega in the future when I have classes going here.  I'll be sure to announce whatever may be coming up in my blog.

*The first weaving workshop I taught was at John C. Campbell Folk School in the early 1980s.  It was a basic weaving class using the looms that had been at the school for many years and held in the building that now houses the History Center at JCFS.  I feel it will be quite fitting and appropriate to end my teaching years once more at the Folk School in 2019, book ending many decades of instruction in a beautiful spot that holds a very special place in my heart.