It is always fun to share skills with visitors at festivals and school days. Especially when being surrounded by music, other demonstrators, and wonderful museum displays.
The McMinn County Living Heritage Museum in Athens, TN put on a program for local school children on Sept 9 that included folk music, pottery, spoon making, and pine needle basketry. I was able to demonstrate on their 1840’s barn loom and show the children the processes used by their ancestors to make their clothing.
The next day was Art on the Square in Tellico Plains. Aside from the art booths, there was music all day long, great to be sitting across from. Demonstrators from the state parks dyed hand spun wool and cotton cloth with cochineal and logwood. Not to mention that I love the looks on kids faces when they can successfully weave on my baby wolf loom. Two successful days educating folks in by gone ways.
I’m seeing the sights of Milwaukee and teaching folks about some new things in the fiber world. Lots of gee wiz – who knew moments all weekend: cotton transistors, art museum on the Lake, and Creative students. One more class today, I wonder what I’ll learn today since I always learn something new from my students whenever I teach. This new e-textile world is all about collaboration.
Convergence Milwaukee here I come. Tomorrow – early – I’m leaving for Convergence. If you don’t already know, Convergence is the Handweaver’s Guild of America’s “ultimate international fiber art experience”.
I’ll be teaching two classes about my newest passion, “crafting electricity” (a term coined by Leah Buechley). One thing I’ve learned in this new – to me – world is that it’s all about collaboration. Engineers collaborating with Fashion Designers, wrap your head around that. Check this link for a mock up of the led lights on my nuno felted vest on display at the teacher’s exhibit at Convergence. It couldn’t have been possible without the help of my friend Karen Bills, an engineer who understands programing and helped me with the arduino code running the Lily Pad. She not only taught me about arrays, and random, but shares my love of all things fiber. Another talented artist friend, Jane Bawn, custom made the glass buttons for the vest.
I’m excited to be introducing some folks to this new limitless world. Who knows what new collaborations will happen.
Several years ago I took a class at Shakerag with Leah Buechley and since then I’ve been showing e-textile technology to anyone who would watch and listen. Yesterday Veronica, a talented quilting friend from Chattanooga, spent the day with me getting started with electronic textiles. We used the lily tiny, a microcontroller small enough to sew into wearables, and stitched on three lights each blinking with a different pattern. It’s a major accomplishment for anyone new to circuitry and LEDs. But Veronica’s eyes lit up with the possibilities of all the blinky things she could add to her quilted pieces to make them even more fun.
I’m here again, just can’t seem to get enough of “camp for grownups”. Little/Middle was just a couple of weeks ago and once again this year my weaving students outdid themselves. Like in the adult classes, they were weaving up until the last minute. Their creativity with color and pattern was amazing.
This weekend, I’m learning paper folding from a master folder, it’s beyond any origami I’m familiar with. We started last night and have a full day today. I can’t wait to see what we do.John C. Campbell Folk School
In case you haven’t noticed, I love working with kids. We have a Farm Camp at our place for my granddaughter and her longtime friends every summer. Each year as they grow, way too fast as with all normal kids, we build a bigger structure. But they still make Fairy Houses out of whatever they find. Their stories are fun to listen to and inspiring as well.
I’m teaching at the John C. Campbell Folk School‘s Little/Middle Folk School this week. A one week camp for 337 (this year) kids. The Middle girls I’m working with are warping – two days of pain- and weaving – three joyous days – on the school’s floor looms. They are very into patterns, color, and texture with amazing results.