Workshoping with WoolWench and JazzTurtle
Its over, our glorious days of exciting projects, shared teaching, and some group hilarity. We started on the Friday evening, with a meal together followed by some really cool drum carding and fiber prep for the following day. This first group was the beginning art yarn spinners, and although some were already experienced spinners, the ‘art’ techniques we had in store were new to them. It was quite a treat to see the wheels all in a row and waiting for their spinners to get started. What I enjoyed the most about this group was the enthusiasm they showed for every technique, and their complete willingness to dive in and give everything a go, even if they were not sure about the outcome, thats the kind of creative risk taking I love the most! Our second group were the advanced art yarn spinners, so we covered some more difficult techniques such as spinning on elastic and on wire, specifically with the intention of weaving with them, because our final day was a fantastic weaving day, finishing on the Tuesday afternoon. It was exciting to see eyes light up on the discovery of new possibilities in weaving, and the idea that weaving could actually be cool and exciting and innovative and not complicated or difficult!
This is not a post with an hour by hour description of what we did during our workshop days, but rather an impression of the things that I personally found important in them. Of course, the topmost important things were the people and connections made. In each group there was a wonderful dynamic and level of excitement about what we were doing. I love it when people make discoveries, have an ‘aha’ moment as a bunch of stuff falls into place in their heads and their hands as they spin something new. We had a few of those! I also think that part of teaching is offering experiences to people in a safe environment, where they can grow their expertise and confidence in what they are doing, so I hope we were able to provide this, I certainly saw some amazing yarns being made, and one in particular stands out, as Cara experimented with a new technique, and holding out the length of yarn she had made we could see a vast improvement from the start of it to the end of it! Thats a success 🙂
It was also a fantastic experience to be part of a teaching team, especially with the fabulous Esther Rodgers, I had the best time both during and after classes, and it was a wonderful chance to get to know each other and share stories and hilarity and ideas. And trust me, Esther has an abundance of all of those things 🙂 I would like to think we made a good team in the classroom, we have different teaching styles and approaches and I think this works really well with a group, in which each individual also has their own learning style, as a team we are better able to match those by combining what we do. We also had various little adventures involving coffee machines, security guards, uncooperative internet connections, and walking under the stars in the wee small hours back to our rooms.
I would like to thank everyone who attended the workshops for their participation and input. I enjoyed your company! Also thanks to Alet, who organised this amazing time for us all, and took care of everyone so thoughtfully 🙂 The venue in the middle of the forest was just lovely, and now I am also looking forward to going back for the Landelijke Spingroep (National Spinning Group) days in October, when Esther Duijzer and I will also be giving mini workshops together. I hope to see some of the people I met at the workshops this week there too!
The rest of this post is a bunch of photos that for me sum up the days we spend playing with fiber, tools, and having a good time together 🙂