To another place AND another time zone this weekend! Well it wasn't far from home, but our neighbors Indiana, for their art educator's conference. Held in a suburb of Indianapolis, at a high school (great idea by the way!), we had the treat of sharing fiber with a bunch of excited Hoosier folks.
After a three and a half hour drive, it makes you feel pretty good when you start unloading your things and teachers walk by and literally start cheering that Esther's Place is here. I mean clapping, hootin' and hollerin', and everything! What a welcome wagon.
The day started out with my class first thing, which I really liked. We made leapfrogs and trumpet flowers to demonstrate wet and needle felting techniques. What an awesome feeling when you keep watching people trickle in and you run out of seats. I had standing room only and I think almost 30 teachers in the class. I was very pleased to have three male teachers attend. I strive to minimize the genderization that sometimes subconsciously occurs with fiber art, and having confident male teachers helps that cause out!
The class was great but my favorite part of class is when we do introductions. I really like to get a group of people to learn about each other and find common ground that gets them sharing. In this instance, they share their name, where they teach and what ages, and I ask them to share their passion. Art teachers are artists first, and their insatiable desire to create sometimes gets pushed aside for the practical. Hearing about their passion, whether it was blacksmithing, stained glass, mixed media, etc, was inspiring. We really needed a session or social media platform just to share pictures and ideas and interact about what we do, and learn from one another (hint, hint!).
The booth was hopping, of course, and thanks to my dear friend Amber, lots of folks were making super cute candy corns! I know there will be lots of creativity going on, because lots of fibers went home with new felters. I did enjoy seeing one gal, Kendra, who shared with us the picture of her felt rooster she created. She won a grand champion for it at the fair! How exciting to see what can happen in a year.
The show was a great success and I now have lots of things I want to offer for art educators- resources, lesson plans, video tutorials, that I will be working on in the weeks to come. In the meantime, check out how to make the leapfrog and flowers here!
Well, a trip isn't complete without a little fun, so we did enjoy some local sushi and I visited my favorite Indy attraction, Saddleup Saloon and Dancehall, where I enjoyed my pastime of line-dancing with some boot-scootin' fun. I love dancing, have danced my whole life in some form or another, and dance at Saddleup near us. It's been a great trip!