I’m doing a three day residency at Wolftever Creek Elementary in Ooltewah, TN part of the Chattanooga school system. I’ve been getting ready for weeks wondering what I was thinking when I agreed to do this job. Usually it is one class at a time. This school does a special arts event the first three Fridays of March. All the classes in each grade come at one time. The amazing music teacher who wrote the grant to the Tennessee Arts Commission promised me lots of help from teachers and PTA volunteers. She really came through. I’ve never had so much help. The volunteers set up the supplies for each class, knew the directions and worked with the kids on their projects, cleaned up, and even loaded my car. The music teacher put on a program after we finished. Hope she is home now with a hot cup of something comforting and enjoying her accomplishment. I can’t wait for next week.
I was a member of CHG for over 20 years while we lived in Atlanta and still have many friends in the guild. This past weekend was their 60th Anniversary diamond celebration. So many memories and history, all eloquently spoken by our wonderful leaders. For me, remembering Convergence in 1998 and the many workshops that still inform my work stand out. Of course there was a fashion show, lots of talent in the group. My contribution was two of my felted pieces with additions of LEDs and my newest adventure EL wire. By the 70th anniversary perhaps some programing. I’ll need that much time at the speed my brain is wrapping around e-textiles and all its many possibilities.
Here are the two pieces we installed in the gallery at Rangsit University in Bangkok today. The gallery is narrow and these pictures were taken from the outside through the glass wall. If you look closely, you’ll see my selfie. The other side of the gallery has work done by the fashion design students. My pieces are two years of Daily Weavings. There was a time in my life I wouldn’t have started a project that would take longer than a day or two much less years. I’m older now and have learned a few things about patience. That helped while trying to learn the basics of Arduino programing, but that story is for another day.
This year’s daily weaving is coming rapidly to an end. It will finish ten years of weaving a small off loom piece every day. I never expected this whim to turn into a long term project. This year, I let go of all the rules, intended or not, and decided to weave 3″ squares when I was out of town and torn paper pieces the other days. There were several things on my calendar at the start of the year so it seemed like a good idea at the time. There were many open spaces so I filled them in with some loom woven pieces of things I’d collected on past trips. Here are two details. It is going in my suitcase to Rangsit University in Bangkok the first week of the new year for a gallery show.
When I walk, I pick up things that interest me. Found metal scraps hold a particular interest since they have been shaped by time and the elements. And metal is lasting. This summer I learned how to weave with fishing line thanks to a class from Anastasia Azure at the Appalachian Center for Craft. The fishing line shapes itself around whatever I put into the weft. I love the way it suspends the pieces as if in mid air, creating shadows on the wall behind the piece. Things in this piece were picked up in TN, Thailand, and New Orleans a year or so after Katrina, plus other places I happened to be in my travels.
Photo by my talented cousin Janice Rubin
The fifth grade students in Pikeville, TN are learning how to weave on a floor loom; each one teach one. We’ve dyed yarn with chemical dyes and indigo, spun yarn, and figured out how long it takes to hand gin enough cotton for one t-shirt. Having fun with math and chemistry, who knew? Check the workshop pictures page for more.