Tuesday, February 24, 2015

teaching

When I was lead artist of the Manitoulin circle Project, I worked alongside a group of women who had a wide variety of sewing skills.  We made four large panels together with hand stitch.

There were enough techniques that people could find out which ones they enjoyed the most.  Several of the women just did hand quilting in the frame and that's all.  Others never went near  the quilt frame and preferred to work on small hand held pieces to make the quilt tops.
It all worked out and although I was continually creating (figuring things out), and continually teaching, the panels were the big reward and definite goal.  All of us worked towards an end product to the best of our abilities.
We enjoyed the process of learning and making.  If that was teaching, then the manitoulin circle 'class' went on for four years.
Translating that lengthy and relaxed experience into a three to five day workshop is not as straightforward as I thought it would be.  To work the bugs out I've been practicing in my local community.  Last fall, three artistic volunteers came to my home studio and we went through the workshop I'm presenting this fall in Newfoundland.
From these young women,  I learned that they wanted to learn and practice the embroidery stitches and construction methods in the meditation panels, and that takes time.
From my sweet guinea pigs I learned that the design process is so thrilling, it can very easily take all the time.
Time is the biggest challenge for me in presenting a workshop.

I keep forgetting that time is limited, because I approach my own work as if I have all the time in the world.
I tell my students to do the same.

All images in this post are from the fall trial workshop.

14 comments:

Liz Ackert said...

Teaching was the best (and hardest) work I ever did ... never did I ever reach the point of doing it the same way twice. How wonderful for the teacher and the taught that there was an opportunity for a trial run ... and the refinement that results from that

jude said...

I have been teaching online for so long, only now am I venturing into the live arena. I am working with local kids here, testing the waters.

Sweetpea said...

How very fun it must have been, to be one of your guinea pigs in such a way...delightful ! Best wishes for your *real* workshop - am fairly certain it will be swell ;>]]

Heather Hutchinson said...

The Manitoulin Circle Project was amazing!

Judy Martin said...

the circle project was as if something from a golden age. seems mythical now.

Tina said...

I love reading about the practice cloth! I practice all the time in my quilting! How amazing it must have been to part of that practice!

I love the circle project, I look at that project with wide eyed wonder

epocktextiles said...

it cannot go unremarked - what a beautiful baby

Judy Martin said...

a young mother artist was one of my sweet guinea pigs

Heather said...

"Approaching one's work as if there was all the time in the world." It's the only way to go, and funny how the work makes time stand still.

Velma Bolyard said...

the interweaving of teaching and learning is hugely important, those young women are very lucky to have been your guinea pigs.

wholly jeanne said...

"newfoundland" is the comment you dropped off underneath my facebook post when i asked for suggestions of things to do in 2015. and it's now official: i'm calling you "sugar" to your face come october. in newfoundland. can't wait. x

Barbara Casillas said...

There would be so many wonderful things to learn in a workshop with you. I live in Los Angeles, though, unless you would ever consider doing one here...

Judy Martin said...

Jeanne, looking forward to being called Sugar by you. xx

Barbara...the future is not ours to see xx

Lesley Turner said...

Time is also my biggest challenge when teaching. I feel it slipping away while there is still so much to share and experience when I am coaching and instructing.