Wednesday, July 10, 2019

How Molly got her groove back* at MAFA

I'm a little tardy with this post reporting on the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association conference (MAFA).  Here's the thing: the conference re-energized me so much that when I got back home I plunged back into studio work, eager to take advantage of the boost.  I'd been in a bit of a creative and motivational slump in my studio, unsure of what to weave next and full of self-doubt.  But then I went to MAFA  and I returned ready to tackle several half-finished projects on my looms.  Teaching at the conference, hanging with my fiber tribe, and talking tapestry with fellow weavers and instructors was just great.  The students in my Collage to Tapestry Cartoon workshop were smart, motivated, eager to share and learn from each other, and exceptionally hard-working.  I can only hope they came away with the same boost in energy and ideas as I did.

In the course of two-and-a-half very full days, students created several collages apiece and worked through the process of figuring out how to translate them into the language of tapestry. Nearly every student made a cartoon and also made good progress on the myriad decisions that precede even beginning to weave.  You can read an account of the class by student Michiele Elliott here.

Here are some highlights:

Jan working on one collage.
Fannie's collage in monochrome

Michiele shares her collage 

Nan's series of collages. A quick, colorful abstract piece helped her clarify the design for her bird. 

Fannie, Joanne and Michiele share feedback on their collages before working on cartoons.

Carol shared these pieces of her work with the class. 
Joanne shared these pieces, woven on a crochet cotton warp and using DMC embroidery floss as weft. 
Carol's collages.  She chose to develop one of her small index card pieces into a cartoon.  
Vicki's collage and her detailed cartoon 

Jan's completed collage and cartoon
Of course, the classroom workshop is just one facet of the fiber conference experience.  There were wonderful vendors (I splurged on some lustrous linen to play with).  A keynote address by Tom Knisely made us laugh and reminded us how we can, at our best, be truly "united in fiber" (the theme of the conference). There was for the first time at MAFA a small art exhibit, in which several extraordinary pieces showed what can be done in weaving. (Check out my Instagram for some images from that show.)  And for me, it was fun to meet, or see again, a number of weaving world rock stars.  MAFA organizers did a great job with the care and feeding of instructors, providing us with assistants, several opportunities to gather over food and drink to talk shop, and clear information at every step of the way.   A huge thank-you to the small army of smiling MAFA volunteers!

I am looking forward to teaching adding some new classes to the mix over the next year.  Here's the short list of what and where I'll be teaching:

Sept 21-22, 2019:  North Country Fiber Fair (several short classes in design elements and principles)

Jan. 11-12, 2020:  Southern California Guild of Handweavers:  Weave a Minime, Plan Your Tapestry Diary, and Your Tapestry Superpower:  Sampling

July 24-25, 2020:  HGA's Convergence, Knoxville:  The Contemporary Tapestry Scene (slide lecture), Weave a Minime, and Your Tapestry Superpower:  Sampling

More teaching engagements are in the works, so check here and on my website Workshops Schedule page to stay up to date.  You can sign up for my email newsletter at the bottom of my webpage here.

*Apologies to author Terry McMillan for cribbing the title of her best seller, How Stella Got Her Groove Back.

No comments: