Thursday, June 14, 2018

New Blogger



Mary Lessman is a master spinner (Olds College Master Spinner program), weaver and now - as of today - a blogger.

She has been toying with the idea of starting a blog for a while now and today I 'forced' her to sit down at my desktop and get 'er done.

Mary is also one of the instructors for Confluences.  She will be doing a two day workshop on dyeing with nature dyes, plus seminars.

Tomorrow we hop (crawl, maybe) into the van and head for Olds with stops at the Ancient Forest and Mount Robson along the way. 

Stay tuned for more of her adventures as she travels the US teaching spinning.  And maybe a wee bit on her adventures as a student in the weaving program, too. 

Here We Go Again!




Olds Fibre Week, here we come!   Well, soon.  

We will be staying in the condo unit, four of us sharing a kitchen.  Problem is, the kitchen doesn’t have anything in it other than the standard stove, fridge and a microwave.  So, in addition to this heap of student homework from last year, class materials and supplies and my personal stuff, I will be packing dishes, cutlery and some food staples.  We will buy produce when we get there. 

What you can’t see in the photo are the small flat bed press, because wet finishing, and the portable warping valet.  Which reminds me, I need to add warp packing for the group warp.  Details, details!

Mary is traveling light with her large suitcase, small carry on and...her ukulele.  She has joined the fraternity of players and enjoys her practice time in the evening. (She keeps trying to get me to sing, but...)

Several of my guild mates are attending this year, too, and will be promoting the ANWG conference we are hosting next year.  

The weather is supposed to be nicer tomorrow when we depart, as early as we can get going, but you never really know what the mountains will be like.  It has been chilly and windy here and yesterday it rained a bit. So I’m hoping for a dry day for the drive.  

Another adventure begins!

Monday, June 11, 2018

The Drinking Game




The level two students at Cape Breton were obviously well indoctrinated during level one and very quickly on day one someone suggested that every time I answered a question prefaced with the words "It depends" that everyone got to take a drink.

We very quickly increased our caffeine intake!

Because almost every weaving question requires those words, it depends, before the specific circumstances of what the question is asking is defined.

Almost every part of weaving lands on a spectrum.  Indeed, sometimes the distance on that spectrum is large.  Very large.  Because change one thing and everything can change.

The Cape Breton level ones are threatening to have my 'Laura-isms' tattooed as a way of remembering.  Not something I suggest, by any means, but...

And this is what I really love about teaching the Olds program - I get to delve into all the 'it depends' aspect of every question.  I am heartened by the people interested enough in the program to invest their time and energy (and money) to come to the course.  I am even more heartened by the number of younger people I am seeing in the classes.  In level one in Tenino there was one person in her 20s; in level one at Cape Breton there were three in their 20s and/or 30s (I guess, I don't ask people their ages!)

This morning the college confirmed 12 in level one at Olds.  I am interested in how many of this years crop of students will continue - out of last years classes, there was a 100% rate of people sending in their homework (one asked for an extension because Life Happened, but she is working diligently on it and I expect she will send sometime in the next while.)  I expect that most classes will see one or more drop out, but this year?  100%.  Wow.  Just wow.

One student at Cape Breton came from 'away' and is interested in getting a satellite class going in her geographic region.  I am looking forward to talking to the college about how we can continue to grow the program.  I have offered the college a free information table to promote the college's programs at the conference here next year, plus I have other suggestions.

Not sure I'm going to suggest a drinking game, though!

Currently reading To Die but Once by Jacqueline Winspear

Friday, June 8, 2018

Another Hotel, Another Flight


Three flights to be exact.  

My first flight leaves Sydney at around four pm.  First hop to Toronto, then Vancouver, finally home at midnight, or, as my body will feel it, 4 am.  

I only have 50 minutes in Vancouver so I am anxious about a delay in the first two flights.  But if all goes smoothly I will crawl into bed ASAP I stagger in the door.  

Mary should be waiting for me at the gate in Vancouver so we will be on the same flight.  Sunday will be a rest day.  I’m hoping I can get more than six hours sleep, which is about what I’ve been getting for weeks.  

Both classes seemed to go well and dates for next year have been chosen.  The program continues to grow as more people find out about it.  

I have a pile of emails waiting for action regarding the guild and the conference, medical appointments, repacking my suitcases, loading the van with class materials and kitchen stuff for our stay.  Then hop into the van and drive to Olds on Friday.  

Whew!


Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Hump Day


Today completes day three of five.  I’m trying to not lecture too much and let them weave as much as possible.  But there is so much ch information to convey, and when people want to know all the ‘whys’ it’s hard to say no.  

Another great group, digging into the meat of the craft!

We have sorted out dates for next year. Now to settle with Olds College.  Stay tuned.  

Dianne already has a list of names for level one next year, plus two and three.  I simply cannot be away from home for three weeks, especially right before the conference next year so we are working on how to make this work. 

Tomorrow we will do two more fairly short lectures, they will wrap up their weaving (they have until 9 pm) and then Friday the oral presentations and a review of the homework to be done.  

Saturday I will fly home, arriving around midnight with five days to pack for Olds.  

Busy, busy, busy!

Saturday, June 2, 2018

Rainy Day


I had planned on walking down the hill for dinner, but...plans change.  It’s not far, maybe a 20 minute walk.  But this morning I woke to rain pounding down, and while it isn’t as hard now, it is still wet and windy.  And I just don’t feel like heading down the hill and then hike back up again, getting chilled. 

Today I was supposed to be combing through the level two manual again, sorting out the daily lesson plans.  Instead I kind of crashed and burned and fell into bed for a little (ahem) two hour ‘nap’. 

Tomorrow I will dress the double Weave group warp on one of the studio looms.  And see if I can get my thoughts about how and when to present the class info sorted out.  Even though every day is a potential work day, apparently today was a day off...

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Magic!




Before and after wet finishing...

One of the things covered in level one is wet finishing.  This most important transformation is not generally well appreciated amongst some Weavers.  

Many people advise to just ‘wash’ it, which at least (imho) is better than doing nothing at all, but also is just the bare minimum of effecting that change from woven web to ‘real’ cloth. 

One of the students is a conservator by training and has always been very reluctant to do anything more than scour her woven goods.  Today I convinced to to remove her conservation hat and take a leap of faith.  

The magic in the Water happened and she is now a believer.  

This is why I take the red eye across the country!

Magic in the Water is available in digital download or print on demand at http://blurb.ca