On the snowiest week of the season, I had the fabulous adventure of teaching and presenting at this lively guild based in the Northbrook, IL area. All the snow from the season decided to fall on those couple of days, or so it seems. My poor husband does snow plowing and it was a pretty long shift, so he didn't have much time to miss me being away. Funny how things work out! Everyday we woke up to more snow, until I felt like I was watching the movie "Groundhog Day" play out before my eyes.
That didn't stop us from having a great time! I presented a brand new program to the guild, one that I titled "Inside the Mind of the Artist". I was thrilled they enjoyed as much as I do, the stories behind the art pieces and the inspiration that brought them to life. It was like a walk down memory lane for me! Ahhh, the attachment an artist has to their work is a bittersweet one- you love making and basking in your creations but you need to make room for new pieces and new inspiration by letting them go. Though I'm not a mother, there is a bit of that concept I think we experience in every piece of art we make.
The guild hosted a mask class, which they invited me to join in on. I admit masks are not my thing but I LOVED this! It was so fun to just let go and create and let the materials take me away. I called my mask "Spring in Disguise" which is ironic because here it is, April, and sweet spring is definitely surprising us with snow showers and plummeting temperatures. It's certainly in disguise.
I took off and explored the downtown Winnetka area, where I discovered some unique artisan galleries and shops. Vivid Gallery had a fabulous fiber art exhibit and I thoroughly enjoyed chatting with the owner and gallery curator. We talked art, fiber, business, image, marketing and a thousand other threads. It's terrific connecting with other business owners as passionate about their work as I am! The exhibit of Marianne Burr was breathtakingly stunning. Her bold shapes and colors were terrific, and I loved talking with Cynthia about the stories behind each one.
My vest workshop was off to a great start with that perfect amount of creative fuel, and Tuesday we started on two days of design, felting and construction. I was very excited to bring the concept of making a nuno felted piece of fabric and then using draping techniques to craft it into a low or no-sew vest. The vests require bit of specific shaping, so we work right on student's bodies to custom create a vest as unique as them. No two are the same.
We started out laying out layers of silk fabric, then two of wool. By the end of Tuesday, everyone had designed and wet down the surface. That was a big job! There was a lot of water but everyone was a good sport and we put those towels to good use. We were creating 2.5 yards of felt fabric, so my students were like felting warriors training for battle... this was boot camp for sure! Watch the surface transform through the day!
The second day was where we had to use our imaginations and make this fabric into a garment! It was through vision, cutting, hot water, selective agitation and faith that these vests were born. Here are some pictures of the progress:
I hope this workshop inspired, as did the presentation. I love bringing the concept of wool as wearable art into the world, and sharing my skills and inspiration with others. I find it invigorating! I did end up getting home in between snow storms that Thursday and spent some quality time with hubby... riding in the plow truck and being his little sidewalk shovel-er...Fun times!