Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Second Time Around (Guest Post)

Repeat a class??  Most definitely…especially one like Laura’s Weaving Boot Camp.

Five years ago I was a brand spanking new weaver who bought a loom and literally didn’t know which end the yarn went on.  Boy was I surprised to find it went on both ends.  I spent a couple of very frustrating and disaster ridden years trying to teach myself to weave.  I came to realize that I needed to have a good foundation of the basics before I could ever hope to weave any of the things I wanted.  So, in 2012 I took my first formal weaving class at John C Campbell with Laura Fry. 

Laura taught me the basics and much, much more.  By the end of the week I could get a warp on the loom and ready to throw a shuttle in what seemed like record time to me.  I knew how to throw a shuttle properly, that not all projects are beat like a rug and to quit fiddling with the selvedges.   Learning to do all of those things efficiently and ergonomically reduced the aching back and shoulders. That was icing on the cake.  I spent the next year practicing and improving the skills she had taught me.

This picture is what I would call the ‘Scarf of Learning’.

It was my first project from the first class.  Those are not shadows in the picture on top, the scarf is lying flat. The fabric is upholstery density, strong enough to withstand 3 German Shepard dogs.  Not really what you want for a scarf. The picture on the bottom is the end of the scarf after learning some of those basics I needed.

I had such a great experience that I signed up for her class again in January 2013, armed with a higher set of goals.  Laura helped me reach those new goals and I also discovered an interesting benefit to taking that ‘repeat’ class. 

I discovered that there were a lot of things that she lectured on and demonstrated the first year that didn’t make it to the 'save' file in my brain.  In that repeat class I was able to understand the next step and fill in the gaps needed to improve my weaving skills even more.   I think I learned twice as much the second year.

The Army taught me that learning is done in layers; you start with the basic knowledge and just keep building on that.  Laura explains it as ‘filling in the cracks in the foundation’ and I can’t think of a better way to describe it.  Without the foundation of knowledge it’s hard to even understand the next layer of complexity.  Once those basic skills are set it seems the possibilities are endless and doable.

Taking the class the second year with the same instructor and in the same weaving studio meant I knew what to expect from both.  I was able to start out the first day concentrating on learning.  It also meant that Laura was familiar and comfortable with how I learn best and could point me in the right direction immediately.

My weaving projects have come a long way since then.

I plan to attend the class in January 2014 and have already started thinking about what goals I want to set and questions I want to ask.

----  Cindy D

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Vada said...
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