Well, I guess I can go public now as the first announcement of the upcoming video classes I just filmed was made public today.
During the pandemic and my continuing health issues combining to shrink my horizons, I thought long and hard about how - or even IF - I could continue to teach. And how that might be done with the most benefit to the students.
I've done video classes before and I stand by them - check out the Handwoven website. But what I felt was truly missing from most on line classes was the actual learning part, something you get to see and participate in in person workshops/classes.
So when Felicia Lo contacted me in the spring and asked if I would be interested in doing classes for their School of Sweet Georgia, I thought about it. For maybe a nano-second. Felicia had interviewed me a few years ago and I had enjoyed her interviewing style a lot. She asked good questions and listened to my answers. It felt like a good conversation.
And almost instantly I realized that if she was willing to be the on screen student, those viewing the class would be a much better idea of what was involved,.
It is one thing to see someone who is proficient at a skill do it, but that doesn't actually give the viewer any idea of just what is in store as they try to learn the skill themselves.
I asked Felicia if she would be the 'student' and I would demonstrate, talk her through what I was doing, then coach her as she tried to adopt the new approach.
In the end, I think it went well. Not to mention she has thrown herself into trying the new processes to see how they fit with her.
The added attraction to working with Sweet Georgia is the interaction I will have with any of the students who register for the course. I will be available for questions, further explanation if the video doesn't show what the student needs, advice about things that maybe didn't get covered (because believe me, you cannot cover everything to do with the 'it depends' spectrum in a 240 minute class), and just generally give feedback and advice.
On line isn't the 'best' but it can be made pretty good. And again, added bonus is interaction with the students over time, not just a high pressured limited time frame.
We did two classes, Magic in the Water, of course, and The Intentional Weaver - both based on (you guessed it) my books. Both have on screen student participation, both will have on going interaction with me.
Felicia and her team are producing a variety of classes, knitting, felting, spinning, dyeing and weaving. They are trying to build a solid community of fibre folk, and I am pleased and honoured to be part of their efforts to help people learn and understand how textiles crafts work.
My classes are scheduled to launch in the new year. I'll keep people posted - or check out their website.