I had a super busy 3 days teaching at Olds College for the Fibre PotPourri annual event. I put these images all over my Instagram account (Monika-Kinner) and my Facebook art page (My Sweet Prairie Studio), and now it's time to catch up the blog.
We started Friday with a Market, Supper for the committee and teachers, and then a wine & cheese in the atrium. Saturday night there was a banquet in the same venue, followed by a guest speaker presentation (that was me with my slideshow). During the day on Friday and Saturday, folks had the option to take one of four courses offered by all new teachers to this event, or you could stitch away on your own in the atrium ALL weekend.
I've done a good handful of retreats before, but this was my first 2 days doing one course. It turned out SO well, I'm not sure I would change a thing next time I run it. I'm so very grateful that it was just what I wanted it to be, and the students really had fun. In fact, the class across the hall didn't think we were stitching at all. They thought we were having a party. : )
My course was called 'From Sketch to Stitch'
Day 1, Part 1 - I did a show an tell about the process I do with my yarn embroideries from finding the idea, to sketching it out, to stitching, to finishing & presentation. Then I sent everyone away for an hour or so to snap images for sketches, or to start sketching on site. It was a strange moment when all of a sudden, it was quiet and the sixteen women were just - GONE. I thought at that moment, next time I'll bring a little bell so I can ring them all back in. ; ) When we were done a good sampling of sketeches, we came back for a show and tell.
I must say, the setting and the weather was INCREDIBLE. We had so much glorious inspiration at this retreat - and right at home too, without having to travel to a far off land. LUCKY BLESSED GRATEFUL - it was perfect. It could not have been better.
Day 1, Part 2: prepping the materials. I had most of the kit ready to go, but taking apart the yarns and putting them in to colourway skeins was the task of the participants. They LOVED this, as much as they loved being out in the garden. I think it was a really good move on my part, because they all got to experience the colours and the textures. There was a lot of awe and wonder at the blends, and some of the colours they recognized in their sketches. So in their minds, they began planning their ideas while they got to know the materials a little better.
|matching up some Noro Silk Garden|
Sketches were chosen. They hooped up the fabric. and then walked around the yarns tables with their drawings, selecting just the right colours for their project. It looked like an all you can eat buffet! After a demo on using the yarns, threading, waste knots, etc... the women began to stitch out their sketches.
|her hair! - I couldn't resist. : )|
Day 2, Part 1: The second day saw everyone really getting their pieces worked out. It was such a great process to see which yarns worked best for particular methods and stitches. Things really came together, and we would occassionaly break to walk around the room and see how all the other projects were being worked out. They learn so much from each other.
|students' work in progress|
Day 2, Part 2 - this was all about backgrounds / filling space, and finishing / framing. So many great textures were created; it was SO blissfully experimental, and the 'ah ha!' moments were plentiful. When we laid them all out on a table at the end, I held mats and frames over the pieces, and there was this 'WOW!' every time. There's something so magic about presentation that can really perfect a piece.
|I thought it would be sweet to sign, date and put the name of the class on everyone's hoops for them to keep.|
That was the weekend. It was SO successful for everyone involved, including the organizers. I most definitely want to do this again. : ) THANK YOU SO MUCH TO THE EDMONTON Embroidery guild for having inviting me. xo And congratulations to the sixteen participants on their beautiful work. I had so much fun with you all.