Monday, July 10, 2006
Back from class
Last week I taught at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio at their Craft Summer Program. This is a wonderful program that offers a variety of credit classes in such crafts as glass, metal, jewelry, photography, basketry, and of course, fiber. In my class we dyed and painted fabric. I had 15 students and they were either art teachers or art students. Such enthusiasm and creativity! They could hardly wait for the next exercise.
Here you can see half of the classroom. We were slightly hampered by the tiny sinks, which we constantly clogged up, but as long as everybody wasn't trying to rinse out at the same time, it worked out okay.
The other half of the classroom. Each student had her own table, but that's never enough room because everything gets so spread out.
The really wonderful thing was the student assistants. They would do anything or get anything that I needed. They must have done 15 loads of laundry, washing out the dyed fabrics. Then transferred the fabric to the dryer. And because the fabric ravelled and produced voluminous amounts of stringie thingies which tangled up all the fabrics, they spent lots of time cutting the snarl apart, and then folding the fabric. I think they just liked touching all of it.
On campus were some sculptures of giant insects that I thought were really cool.
And on the walk from the guest house to class I passed two houses next door to each other that have planted tons of flowers. It looks like an English garden that goes from one lot to the next. I love these coneflowers.
I ordered 7 yards of fabric per student and could have ordered a lot more. They really got into the dyeing and after the first day went out and bought their own fabric and also brought in t-shirts, tote bags, aprons, and clothes. They were sort of reluctant to give up the dyeing and move to fabric paint, but once they began making their own stamps, using the gelatin plate and the silkscreen, and doing sun and salt prints, they were happy again. A fun time was had by all.