Sunday, November 17, 2013

Creative Design in Rochester NY

There's a lot of power in a group of people.
I just arrived home from teaching in Rochester, NY and it all began with Creative Design at the Weaving and Fiber Arts Center. Ten students came together for an afternoon of possibilities at this gem of an arts center that provides classes of a wide variety, from multi-harness floor loom techniques, to felting and dyeing. It's become the "go to" place for fiber arts in the Rochester area.

I had asked students to consider a place that had meaning to them and begin to collect materials and imagery prior to class. I led them through a series of exercises as they explored their idea and wrote, painted, and collaged their findings into a small handmade book.

The results were quite remarkable. There were places they remembered, treasured, and feared. Some places were in crisis, some intangible, and through it all they took risks, pushed forward, and kept their hands moving on the paper.

That's remarkable, but it's not what I thought of the most on the journey home. It was the power of a group, coming together, working on a big idea, and giving themselves the gift of time to think and explore, then sharing it with others.

It's an incredible risk to take.
The results were rich and deep. Some may come to fruition, some simmer, and other will be tucked away in journals, but for that afternoon we came together and saw something in a new way.

And we are all the richer for it.


  1. I am so thankful that there are still people who DO share in this way. Sometimes lately I feel that we're becoming so isolated that entire experiences we used to take for granted are falling into disuse (not quite the right word, but you know what I mean). I'm grateful for this reminder that some people are keeping one another's dreams and souls alive.

  2. Good observation Ingrid....I've always found the fiber arts community to be quite forthcoming with their knowledge, although I suppose there are fiefdoms somewhere....this group was really open with their ideas. I told them I wanted to steal them all and keep busy for years!

  3. you know the feeling of having amazing students take what you offer and run with it Tommye, is there nothing better?! Will be writing about the lecture (and the Tapestry Diary) this weekend - stay tuned