Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Teaching Times... Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Frolic!

I've been incredibly lucky and I'm having a blast!  So much fiber!!! so little time! I taught some great classes in January.  This post is about the day I had at the Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Frolic.  In June they will have their annual weekend retreat, which promises to be another fabulous event of fiber community, sharing, teaching, and playing with fiber and string... more fiber better!   I've submitted 3 class proposals to teach in June.  Lots and lots of fun!!! (did I mention the pool???).

Griffin Dyeworks held its Annual January Fiber Frolic in Monrovia, CA.  More people than ever and they changed the site to accomodate the larger numbers.  There were some very good spinning classes, several dye classes, some great multimedia art classes, card weaving, nalbinding, and some others... I was teaching all day except for lunch and clean up so I saw some other classes, but it was a drive by smile and moving on.  Everyone had a fantastic time.  Lunch was provided (which I really appreciated), there was spin-in space for visiting, vendors, a beautiful day outside.  This is just a great day and the cost was low to participants.  These days it can get hard to access these types of events, because the costs are going up.  I have really appreciated how Griffin Dyeworks works to figure out how to keep their events at a fairly low cost.

    My classes at the Griffin Dyeworks Fiber Frolic were fabulous and full!  In fact my dye class was overflowing... I just could not say no to that hungry look ... 'PLllllleaassseee let me come play!'  Everyone was great though.  I had extra sample sets put together in case... in case of ??? disaster or more students!  Fortunately, it was the latter! lol... So much cochineal was used and delighted upon.  I think it must be a human tendency to love color; be seduced by color; be enthralled by color... maybe it is just me... I don't know, but I love it and it calls to me!  My friend Theresa was kind enough to take this photo of one of the dyepots (and let me use this on my blog) ... disadvantage to being happily busy... I can't get the photos I'd like to get of my own classes.

The students were great and really pulled together as we formed an extra group divided tasks and Theresa gave me an extra burner and space for another dyepot... that made the numbers very managable.  After all the class samples were done... the cochineal dyes were descended upon for personal projects ... it was a fun mad frenzy... of Reds, Magentas, pinks, and some oranges too!!!  Everyone had fun and the class was a great success.

My first class of the day (cuz I love to go backwards!) was a class on spinning silk.  It was a great group of students and we really enjoyed sitting with our wheels and luxuriating in this incredible fiber.  It has so many preparations, so many different facets.  It was hard to accomplish all I wanted to in a mere 3 hours.  It is an art to be able to select only a portion of the subject.  I was talking to Stephenie G. about this very subject and she says you can't give everything.  You have to leave more for later.  One has to accomplish your goals in class, because often students don't finish half started projects. Fine tuning and selection.  It is great advice.  I  love teaching these classes because it continues to be a learning experience for me.

Teaching is the greatest way to learn!  A teacher learns more by preparing for a class than the student will from sitting in the class.  I had a friend ask me if I'd taken a workshop on silk so I could teach it and I laughed, because I have been playing with silk (and silkworms) for the past 15 yrs... a long time.  I was just helping out in the Kindergarten science unit on silkworms... I was just doing a 'little' research for the kindergarten teachers.... and now I will do most anything with silk and silkworms... well, I won't eat them!  Did you know that silkworms make great pets??? they don't live a long time and they are easy to take care of.  My kids used to read to the silkworms.  They would take them from the boxes (one or two) and put them on the book or their wrist and read to them.  It was sweet.  Brings back some very old and very fine memories.

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