Sunday, April 28, 2019

Workshopped Out

Exulansis: The tendency to give up trying to talk about an experience because people are unable to relate to it.
I declare this month of April to be the busiest month of workshops I've ever had. I'm done. Finished. Poke me with a fork. Cooked to perfection... or slightly overbaked.

I'd registered for all of these workshops a few weeks ago, back when the winds of winter were still batting us around and I was getting tired of parking myself in the house feeling tired and depressed all of the time. As if summoned by magic, these workshops starting popping up in my peripheral vision, and it didn't take long to find things to do.

I love going to workshops. I like the short-term commitment over the longer term idea of a full course or certification. I like being totally dipped head-to-toe in a subject. I especially like meeting the people. Sometimes I find my creative life a bit lonely, and something I hold somewhat close to myself. I've found when I start talking to regular day-to-day folk about my creative pursuits, a cloud sort of passes over their eyes and they sort of nod and smile and find ways to change the subject into something more "normal." It's enough to silence me and keep this kind of stuff to myself.

Workshop folk, on the other hand, are my kinda people.

Last Thursday, I finished up the last day of my Pointed Brush Writing Course. I really enjoyed it, as it was something I've wanted to learn for quite a while now. I knew the instructor from a previous calligraphy class I took a couple of years ago, and when she found out how keen I was to learn this, she let me choose the day and time for it and all.

Last class, we had a choice of projects to work on. This was what I finished with. It's a row of synonyms for the word breathe. Breathing is something I'm trying to remember to do these days. It's a balm to the daily difficulties of life for me:


The words are painted in watercolour with a pointed sable brush, and highlighted with a few marks from a micron pen:


The background was achieved by shaving bits of chalk pastel with the blade of a pair of scissors, which were then smeared with a paper towel:


This weekend, I took three more workshops through a local handweaving a spinning guild. I met one of the organizers at work when I overheard her talking about the scarf she'd just finished knitting. Next thing I knew, I was handing over my money. I guess it only takes a promise of some fibery fun to get me to part with some of my cash.

It was a busy weekend, and I came away with quite a few projects that I am itching to finish. This one is the beginning of a boro mending project. It doesn't look like much at the moment, but I'm hoping to cover it with lots of pretty hand stitching:


And this is another hand stitching project involving layers of velvet and scrim. Scrim is a type of cheesecloth, and this scrim has been hand dyed to coordinate with the velvet below. I'll be adding beads and more circles and couching more strands of cord throughout:


I did manage to finish something today: a little pouch constructed through a method called sprang. It's a way of making a very elastic fabric on a frame, similar in appearance to a weaving loom. I've been wanting to learn how to do it since I came across some samples at a fibre festival last year.

I learned that sprang is one of those "easy-hard" things to learn. The method is simple, but the actual doing of it can be quite tricky... tricky enough for me to have to pull the whole darn project off the loom and start over again. I would have shown you the project on the frame, but considering it took me two hours to wind the warp for the friggin' thing and then another two attempts to get it done, I think it's quite miraculous I have anything to show for it:



Those weren't all of the workshops I attended this month. There was one more I took a couple of weeks ago, but I'm still waiting for the results of that to come to fruition. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I'm feeling pretty tired today. I managed to get to the gym and walk Seymour and give him a bath. I made a loaf of bread and put the laundry on and then took a nap. Oh, and I also took photos of Seymour in his new raincoat. We got it just in time for the sun to start shining. He is thrilled about it, as usual:


I think Seymour prefers me to be busy with workshops. It keeps me from putting him in silly outfits. Poor guy.

Tonight, I think I'll pull out my current knitting project. After all of that learning, I feel the need to come home to something familiar for a little while. I just need to remember what the heck I was doing with it:


Or maybe I could just join this guy and sit on the couch and take a break. Now THAT I can relate to. Have a good week!



1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was so glad to see your mitre blanket. I just started mine recently of my hand dye fibres to enjoy my hard work and labor; some repeatable some not. LOL