Here in my studio, having no table space with beautiful piles of wool covering them is not a bad thing. In fact it can be a very inspiring thing for me as a fiber artist. I thought that I would share with you my process as I prepare wool for my upcoming workshop with Ali Strebel in Tipp City, Ohio.
One of the projects is a rose, and so I am working on wool colors that have antique pinks in medium-light values. These four wools can be blended together as you hook. Some may be solid, marbleized, hand-dyed, over-dyed, textures, or plaids. I have been making blendable packets for classes for the many years that I have been teaching. I did not make them for a while because they are time intensive and also because all that wool ripping has given me a wool sensitivity. Because of that I often use a dust mask when I tear wool.
I package the colors together to make my blendables wool packets. I will be making several colorways in reds for the rose project.
Packaging has always been important to me. I think that it is part of the inspiration, like a beautifully wrapped gift. But of course the packaging must stand second to the colors themselves. These colors call to me. I would not market them if they didn’t.
I am making enough in this colorway for a bit over half of the students in the class. There will be several project choices for this workshop, so I anticipate this to be plenty. Alice will also have projects to choose from.
There is always the chance that I will not have enough for everyone who may want to make the rose. The dilemma is that I have to ship it all way across the country, and mailing enough for every single person for every project choice is unwieldy.
Every year I mail many more things than I sell. That is just the way it is. A teacher does not know what will sell or not. And a vendor table with a few select things is not very exciting. I think that the display has to be appealingly full to inspire the imagination. That is what I like and what gets me energized.
The other project is in antique whites, grays, blues and golds. I must admit that I love it as much as the rose. I don’t know which one will be more popular to hook. I can only hope that my students will be flexible and gracious. So much forethought goes into workshop preparations for me. I do all that I can to ensure that everyone has a creative and fun time.
The finished pieces and the wool preparations are a big job, but they are just a part of getting ready for a workshop. There are handouts to design and print, student folders to make, new tools to package, and other items to have available. Oh yes, and then there is the packing and mailing of 6 to 8 boxes. And then when I arrive in Ohio those boxes have to be carted and unpacked. That is the time that I wish for a troop of boy scouts.
This is only my part of the workshop, as Alice has many other important jobs to do aside for her projects such as hall rental, food, and registration. I teach once a year, but Alice teaches and vends a lot! How does she do it?! By the way you want to see what she is up to her blog is alistrebel.blogspot.ca.
Thanks for checking in today. I am guessing that I am over half done with my class preparations. If you will be a part of the workshop, I am looking forward to being with you. You are the reason I do it all!
Take time to be creative today ~ Karen