Monday, March 7, 2011

James Koehler--in memory

Last summer I was given the gift by fate to be a member of James Koehler's workshop in Santa Fe.  I say "given" because truthfully I'd wanted the other workshop when I signed up.  But I was too late with my registration and so was assigned a space in James's class instead.  However, I went willingly because I know that there's always lots to learn from whomever I study with and I've been an admirer of his tapestries for many years.  So... off to New Mexico I went, ready for an adventure with sixteen other participants in Koehler's class, July 26 through July 28, 2010.

In James Koehler's studio with fabulous wall of hand-dyed yarn behind

James Koehler had become legendary in his teaching and many who studied with James took workshops with him whenever they could.  And, once in the workshop, I immediately began to learn why.  His gentle nature put everyone at ease right away.  His insights into concepts for design were inspiring.  The handouts he gave us held gems of ideas.  In the handout titled Quality he said:
Only by acting consciously and methodically can one attain some quality or value in life and in work.... The creative process is an unceasing metamorphosis of the quantities of our experience to a level of quality, an awareness of the mundane to an awareness of the essential. 
Here are photos from the workshop and also the visit we were able to make to his home/studio.


Last week on March 3, 2011 James Koehler's time in the world came to an end.  Those who were very close to him are heart broken.  And for those, like me, who'd just begun to know him--our hearts are also hurting.  His untimely death has left a large hole in the world of tapestry as well as in that of his friends and family.  But how brightly do his gifts still shine through his wonderful tapestries and in the teachings shared with so many.



6 comments:

sallyrae said...

well done. He was a gem.

lyn said...

Tommye, this is truly beautiful.

Linda said...

thank you for your eloquence, Tommye. And for the photos of that lovely evening at James's studio. You said what was in my heart. Linda

robin gibbons( robertgibbons36@btinternet.com) said...

Thank you far all your comments, being a friend of James from long time back and in England, I didn't discover his death until Google brought up your news, I suspected that something must have happened, his last email to me a few days before showed him still struggling.
He was one of my dearest friends, I certainly loved him well and know that he did me, but his sudden going forth is a bit of an ache that will take many of us a good while to heal,but it will, his greatest tapestry is that which we are all weaving for him now with our memories. do keep me informed.
Robin Gibbons

robin gibbons( robertgibbons36@btinternet.com) said...

Thank you for all your comments, being a friend of James from long time back and in England, I didn't discover his death until Google brought up your news, I suspected that something must have happened, his last email to me a few days before showed him still struggling.
He was one of my dearest friends, I certainly loved him well and know that he did me, but his sudden going forth is a bit of an ache that will take many of us a good while to heal,but it will, his greatest tapestry is that which we are all weaving for him now with our memories. do keep me informed.
Robin Gibbons

Becky said...

As a five-time participant in James' workshops, I appreciate your words and add my sorrow--he was a great teacher and mentor. I am grateful especially for your photos of James' studio: although I studied there twice, I never thought to take pictures!

Becky Powell