Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Day Two at the Crow Barn

I'm doing two posts on the same day because I know some of you want to get down to what actually happened in the workshop!

But first a word about the environment of the Crow property. The minute I arrived at the property I knew that I would enjoying being there just for the magnificence of the property. First off I love old barns but they were surrounded by flowering trees and shrubs. Every morning as I walked from my car to the barn studio I would take deep breaths of the heavenly scents of the lilacs.

And I loved the whimsical sculptures created by Nancy's husband, John, that could be found throughout the property. I'd love to show more pictures, but Nancy is very opposed to photos taken of her workshop to be posted on blogs and I'm not sure how far this extends - whether includes photos of her property or not. So I'll mostly be showing only photos of my own work. But I took lots of pictures! ;-)

So class started promptly at 9:00am and the first assignment was put on the wall. We all feverishly copied down the instructions because once they were removed from the wall, they would not be put back up! Then Nancy explained the assignment and sent us off to our workstations.

The first assignment was to work with just black fabric and white fabric. We had to choose one color to be the "Lines" and one color to be the "Shapes". We cut the fabric in the strips of various widths and then sewed them together in different configurations to create new fabric. Then we had to cut up this resulting fabric into units and create an interested composition featuring the lines.

This is my result still in the design stage. (Note: I should have paid attention the suggestion to bring a batting sheet or flannel to put on the design wall. I was forever pinning and unpinning pieces to the wall. Of course, the design walls were wonderfully pinnable anyway.)

I struggled with the design until Nancy stopped by to explain that to make the lines into a composition, they needed to connect in someway. Duh, I think I finally got it.
Below is my finished piece. I'm not sure I like it -- it looks like a floor plan to me, but it at least looks like a composition. I think I needed to have more "Lines" on the edges of my made fabrics to make the composition come together. I had trouble getting the lines to connect.

We did a similar exercise in the first workshop I took with Nancy. I don't have a picture and don't know where it is (I might still have it), but believe me the result in this 2008 workshop is much better!

It is an interesting exercise and I'm anxious to try it again at home (maybe in the winter!)

That was the morning assignment. After lunch (also made wonderfully by Margaret), we were given the afternoon/evening assignment.

The second assignment was to choose two solid color fabrics and create new fabrics in the same manner as the Black and White assignment, but this time we would do two sets of created fabrics - one using color A as the lines and one using color A as the shapes. We were suppose to pick one "favorite" outstanding color and then a contrasting color. I choose a brilliant blue and a soft brown.

Nancy stayed in the studio in the afternoon from 2:00 to 5:00, but then left us to our own devices in the studio until they kicked everyone out at 10:00pm. (Dinner is served at 6:00pm and of course, can't forget snack time at 3:00.)

Sewing strips of fabric together may not seem like a lot of work but everyone was cutting and sewing like crazy and still it took all evening and then some to get everything done. The strips are all cut selvage to selvage, so these are lots of long seams. We had to have all of our made fabrics complete because the next morning we'd be getting the assignment that would use these fabrics. I think I left at 8:30pm that evening feeling very tired.

Still, when I got back to my room at the Shaw, I broke out my bottle of Mumm DVX Champagne and popped that cork. A glass of champagne and a nice piece of chocolate. What a great way to end the day.

No comments: