Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Squam: Reinvention 1 and 2
Power, wisdom, and insight abound when women gather... there are often tears and always wild belly laughs. Most of all, there is potential for deep connection... a witnessing and truly seeing one another. Oh, Squam Art Workshops you are so much more than just a creative retreat, and I feel grateful to have spent another week where time stood still on the shores of your lake. The forests, boulders, and shoreline are not just a backdrop, but a breathtaking stage for the truly transformational work to be done. My classes were filled with brilliant creatives who took some amazing risks and stepped out of their comfort zones. I believe that we all learned a great deal together about courage and play.
I invite you to peek into my two Reinvention classes. They were based on the clever re-use of recycled materials and the satisfaction of resourcefulness.
Each day a dozen women walked out to the edge of camp, where LONGHOUSE stood perched above the lake with wrap around porches and walls of windows. They came ready to reinvent simple and forgotten fabrics into items of use, beauty, and sometimes quite significant meaning.
They were greeted by work tables facing the lake and a brand new Singer sewing machine! That's right... Singer generously donated a total of 20 new machines to SAW. 20!! We blessed them with burlap, linen, and gratitude! Thank you Singer!
I created a large cutting station in front of the hearth and kept it blazing during the cool mornings. Many of these lovely women did not believe they were sewers as they arrived, but through a morning of linen "sampler scarves" their confidence grew as they saw what they were truly capable of creating through stitching.
This opening project was intended as an opportunity to make friends with their machine and practice some basic techniques and de/reconstruction. It also provided an avenue for me to demonstrate my style of sewing and teaching- which is playful and exploratory. One insightful new sewer asked me if we were "baking" or "cooking". Oh, definitely COOKING! Baking is a science with very clear steps and measurements, and I wanted them to feel liberated to sew without a recipe... or "right way" to do things. This is not to say that there weren't new skills to learn, but it was shared with the idea that each sewer should experiment to find her own style. As the mornings flew by, those scarves grew and grew into gorgeous, artful and wearable collages. It was quite thrilling to watch.
Now as accomplished sewers, the afternoon was spent focusing on burlap buckets or t-shirt skirts. My personal heaven. As you can see, I'm not the only one that finds t-shirts exciting and burlap inspiring.
I missed getting a class picture on Thursday before everyone departed, so apologies to those of you not included in the below group shot... you were all quite loved!
Here's Reinvention on Friday when the sun decided to come out!
Huge thanks to both of my Reinvention crews... I was quite fortunate to have so many amazing women share their hearts and creativity with me.
For more insight into another teacher's experience, give Pixie Campbell a visit, she was my wonderful Squamie roommate and my love and admiration for her runs deep and strong. Squam's home page will also have a growing list of links to various blog posts of teachers and attendees.