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.