Now that all the bags are unpacked, the laundry done, and the week's mail gone through, I can take a deep breath and reflect on my wonderful week at the Folk School.
My teacher, dollmaker Lesley Thornton, is a wise and gracious lady, whose art dolls are breathtakingly beautiful. She gives new meaning to the word craftsmanship. For me doll making is a side trip from weaving, but I learned so many things from Lesley that will become part of my practice. Here are a few:
1. The surgeon's knot. I'm now using it to tie new warps to the cloth beam. Very helpful! As a replacement for the first step of a square knot it is non-slip.
2. Using wool for stuffing. More maleable and controllable than polyester. Can stuff 3-D forms really hard.
3. Pattermaking for 3D forms. Sheer genius. If you ever have a chance to take a class from Shelley, go for it.
4. Designing & sewing tiny things. Paying attention.
4. Needle sculpting on fabric forms. Faces? Other bumps & protuberances? Who knows where this will lead. Book making?
Then of course there's always the the supportive environment of a week in a beautiful natural setting, with meals magically appearing three times a day.
The pace of life slows down, you focus on your work and nothing else, and if you're lucky, new paths open up.