Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Convergence: Molly's excellent Milwaukee adventure, part 1

Faithful readers of this blog have heard me go on about Convergence, the Handweavers Guild of America's biennial conference, for several months now.  I was excited to be selected to teach two studio classes.  Now that the conference is over, I want to share some highlights.

First, it was just great fun to teach such a capable, curious, engaged (and engaging) group of students.  They truly are the "cream of the crop," and tackled everything I threw at them with good humor and excellent results.  In both Fabric Painting 3 Ways and in Art Journaling to Kickstart Creativity, our goal was to experiment, to try many techniques and activities, to explore rather than to make finished products.  Nonetheless, I was impressed at what students were able to do,  Take a look at what happened in Fabric Painting;

Some great work with Dye-na-Flow silk paints

One student's take on Van Gogh, using Neocolor II watercolor crayons on cotton
Students applying Dye-na-Flow silk paint after their resisted designs have dried

Applying Pebeo gutta resist to stretched silk.  Resist contains the free-flowing silk paint
"inside the lines."
This resist design turned out great!

So did this one!

Using a toothbrush to push Shiva Paintstik oil paint onto fabric inside masked-off areas.
 The red-orange area shows a pattern transferred from a rubbing plate underneath.

Using rubbing plates and a Shiva paintstik to transform an "ugly" commercial fabric.  
The other class, Art Journaling, did a series of sketchbook exercises designed to explore line, shape, value and color.

This student's marks and lines convey particular emotions.
a collection of linear patterns gleaned from magazines and other sources
collage combining varieties of shape and line
a grayscale constructed from found papers
I've been seeking feedback from my students, and one student wrote that she felt one mark-making exercise didn't have much to do with what she is really interested in--weaving!--but then she found she was able to translate her marks into a weaving draft.  Well done!

I first started preparing for Convergence over a year ago.  It's hard to believe it's finally come and gone.  I'm already looking forward to 2018.

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