Friday, June 29, 2012

Arrowmont--day four in the studio

So much happened today!  Completions, continuations and beginnings were the way the day played out.  Completion for a sampler, continuation of a tapestry diary to record the week at Arrowmont, and beginnings of three new tapestries... two to be completed by tomorrow at 6 when we have to be out of the studio (and they have to remove their pieces from my looms so I can pack them up and take them away with me), and one tapestry-in-progress to go home with the student on her newly made (by her) tapestry loom.

What a great group of students this is!  I so much appreciate their willingness to take the journey of the week's challenges along with me.  Arrowmont is a fantastic place to both visit and to spend time at... if you've ever though about taking a class here, please go beyond the "thought" stage... and DO IT!

P.S.  I have no financial connection to Arrowmont... just have had rich personal experiences both as a student in the past and more recently as an instructor.

So, lots of photos with little text follow:

And visitors to the studio tonight included:
This young man is taking the jewelry class with Bob Ebendorf... he visited the weaving studio tonight--is he having a good time with metals, or what?!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Arrowmont, day three--cutting off happens!

We had lots of applause tonight in the studio as three pieces were cut off the looms!  They'll re-warp tomorrow and begin their second tapestry -- it may be a small one and they'll be designing it based on the techniques/skills they've learned through the sampler.

Today was also the "Rug Guy" day to visit... and we spent a few minutes after lunch ohhing and ahhing over the wonderful Middle Eastern textiles he sells.  He talked to us about the pieces and let us walk over them and do photos, even though none of us bought anything.  He lives not too far away and comes over to Arrowmont on Wednesdays... I'd mentioned this in the post about my Arrowmont class in 2008 here.

Beautiful fabrics he had...

The students also wanted to photograph the beautiful details!

Cutting off several first tapestries tonight was the major excitement, as I mentioned above... so here's how that went:

This is followed by the finishing of ends.  Tomorrow is another day and new warps will appear on those looms and by Friday afternoon we'll have another cutting off celebration!

Meanwhile, Janette continues her tapestry diary...

She has two looms in use, one to sample on and one dedicated to the tapestry diary concept.

More tomorrow...

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Arrowmont, second full (very full) day!

So much was accomplished today that I can't even begin to describe it.  I think there were several lightbulb moments from every student, in one way or another.  And several for me, too.

Once upon a time, say about twelve years ago, I was in the last few months of a thirty-one year career in public education teaching, three at high school level and the rest at a university.  As my retirement approached, in celebration of my full-time career with the institution, I was given a retrospective exhibit.  At the exhibit reception, my husband (who always seems to ask the most pointed questions) said, "So, tell us what you want to do now that you're retiring from teaching."  I thought about his question for a few seconds and said, "I want to teach."  He said, "You're retiring from your teaching job... and you want to teach!"  That interchange got quite a chuckle from the guests.  And it made quite an impact on me, as well as my husband.  Not the chuckle but that I'd said my desire was, after an official working life as a teacher, to be a teacher.  Suddenly both he and I realized that being a teacher was not something I was now leaving behind.  I would only be changing my arena for teaching and that my being a teacher was part of me in a deeper way than I'd ever realized in my thirty one years of full time teaching.

Anyone who's involved in the politics of institutional learning knows something about the frustrations and the drama experienced with a life in a full-time job of teaching.  Yes, much good can and should be attempted and accomplished.  But anyone who's experienced a workshop teaching/learning experience like those at Arrowmont knows that the essence of teacher-student relationships that feels so fulfilling and rewarding immediately can still exist--and does.

The lightbulb moments are what any teacher lives for, I think.  I believe they are probably the most important part of what makes student/teacher interaction so rewarding.  In the intensity of short one or two week long workshops, many lightbulbs are turned on all over the place, day by day... and they aren't restricted to one studio.  What a light that's created!  As the second full day here ends,  the light is glowing at Arrowmont tonight.  It certainly was bright in our tapestry studio.

So... a few of the photos from tonight as I left the studio:

 This is the new loom... the parts were in the last post... Elaine cut these pipe pieces and assembled the loom!

 Janette has warps on two looms now and has woven her tapestry diary entry for June 26, 2012 on one of them -- as well as exploring hatching in several ways and angles.

 Judi is now interpreting a stylized flower drawing she'd made, using color blending for her shapes.

 Sheree was ending the day with pick and pick examples after exploring angles and adding a third color.

Janette is also photographing her colleagues' progress.  She's posting about the class at her blog:

More tomorrow... if the energy level holds out!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Arrowmont, day 1 (really day 2)

Since we started with our classes last night, this is really our second day of studio time.  Last night in the studio we introduced ourselves to each other, then I did a slide show of tapestry diary work (mine and that of several others), we looked at the examples of my tapestry diary work and the tapestries from other artists I'd brought, and chatted a bit about the plans for the week's work.

Today, by 8:30 a.m. we were all in the studio and eager to get it all underway.  So, although class "officially" starts at 9, we were up and running as soon as everyone was there--and that was early!

So, today involved putting together and warping the Archie Brennan-style frame looms I'd brought and beginning the first exploration of meet and separate.  We got to the point of hatching by the end of the day and we'll do diagonals, add a third color (and get the meet/separate sequence correct), and pick & pick tomorrow.  After that, they'll have the option of warping a second loom and developing a cartoon to follow.

Here are a few of the stages along the way today:

a loom in the ready-to-be-made stag!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

And so it begins today at Arrowmont

I got here too late yesterday to unload the car into the studio so I did that this morning.  I left home about 1 p.m. but the drive up was slower than usual because of tourist traffic throughout the mountains of Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.  It was a beautiful Saturday and it seemed like everyone was out and about to enjoy it.

So here's downtown Gatlinburg as I arrived... I've been here many times but I'm sure to some it must be quite a culture shock to see this and then to see Arrowmont's campus.  One might read about the wonderful craft school on the school's website or get one of the beautiful catalogs and not know that Gatlinburg, Tennessee is a hot tourist destination in the Southeast, complete with Ripley's Believe It or Not and Hard Rock Cafe, aquarium and water park, among hundreds of other "must-sees"!  And thousands of people cruising the strip in all modes of transportation, including their own feet, to take it all in.  It can take a motorist on a mission (like me) 15 to 30 minutes to get only a few block along--and the Arrowmont entrance is about at the mid-point of all this action; don't know how many blocks but do almost know how many cars, motorcycles and pedestrians to that point--at least those I waited through yesterday!  And, yes, in Gatlinburg, pedestrians have the right of way at the multiple cross-walks.

At last, around 11 this morning I was able to get into the studio and also get the car unloaded, with very kind help of another of the instructors.

After several hours of sorting, arranging and dragging tables around and about, here's the way the room looked as the students arrived this evening (although most had been in the room before our "official" meeting time following the group's orientation in the auditorium.)  One of the studio assistants made hooks so I could hang examples in the panels at the end of the room.  He's a young man who's working on an art degree with emphasis in sculpture... he jokingly told me that each hook he was making was a one-of-a-kind and would be only $5 each.  

The examples hanging include my work with tapestry diary process, as well as a few other small tapestry pieces.  And I brought four of the treasured tapestries in my collection from other artists:  Susan Martin Maffei, Pat Williams, and two anonymous tapestries bands from Central America.  Those are all hanging on the right side panel, along with two Exquisite Corpse pieces done at the Penland Concentration in 2011 by eight people.

We stayed in the studio until around 9:30 tonight and will begin tomorrow morning, nicely rested and ready to warp looms and set for good work in the week to come! I'll share our journey as the week goes along.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Packing the car now...

... and quite a job it is!  I'm leaving tomorrow but wanted to load up the car today with as much as I can.  I'm leaving heat-sensitive things out right now and will put those last few things in tomorrow as I leave.

Here's the yarn suitcase, jammed full of 20/2 wool cones (bottom of the layers) and Vevgarn balls.  Yes, I was able to get it closed but had to practically sit on it to do so.  No, we won't be using that much yarn in a week-long class--there's enough in the suitcase to make several goodly sized tapestries.  But we'll have quite a few color choice from my stash.  The two small plastic bins on the table have lots of colors of embroidery floss, too.

These are a few of the things waiting until tomorrow for their place in the car... if there will be a place!

Oh, also got a suitcase of clothes to stick in there somewhere ... front seat is empty right now.