Thursday, July 15, 2010

Teaching - A Wonderful Way To Learn...Blackall Style!

Meet Jill. It's all her fault. She's the one who tracked me down and asked me to do a couple of workshops in Blackall. I have to wonder if it really is OK to get paid for having that much fun! She's also the one who patiently directed me to find her home in the drizzly rain (that took three separate phone conversations, at the end of which, I'm certain she was worried she'd employed a complete fruitcake!...I did struggle with the 'head west ' direction when there was no sun out though! We had a good laugh about it all later...) Jill looked after me SO well! I enjoyed wonderful food and hospitality throughout my stay. My 'flat' at the Cultural Association Centre (which I'll do a post on soon) was very comfortable, and everyone I encountered in this lovely town was remarkably welcoming. There is much to tell you about the trip, so there'll be more photos to follow, including the fabulous sculpture dotted around the town and the great Cultural Centre facility that this creative community puts to excellent use.

While this isn't a great photo, it gives you an idea of the size of the workshop area - this was once the dining room in the days the centre was a student hostel. The girls are busy exploring different mediums, making beads, silk paper, textile bases...we managed to make a lot of mess while they created some very cool little pieces!

Lisa is Jill's daughter. I seem to remember her suggesting she hadn't sewn much...I think I must be mis-remembering, because she powered on and produced a couple of gorgeous scarves on soluble films. The one she's working on here ended up very lacy and light - a perfect summer accessory! (Clever girl, this one.)

In fact, they were all clever girls! Above, Penny and Jenny show off their creations, along with Robyn and Yvonne below... I was fascinated that at the end of the workshop, their scarves - that had been started the afternoon before -  all matched what they were wearing very well!

Jill had finished two scarves by 'modelling' time, and Lisa's lacy one is off drying on a railing while she has her picture taken.
My greatest hope is that these terrific ladies enjoyed the workshops as much as I enjoyed being there!  As is always the case, when I head off to teach people something new, I learn such a lot myself...watching these girls pick up the techniques I was sharing with them, and taking off to use them in their own unique ways was fascinating to me - they instinctively did things that I have never thought to try - like including wool tops in the scarf, that we washed the soluble out of with boiling water! I have always avoided that on the assumption that the wool would felt...Yvonne's didn't, and it created a lovely warm, thicker scarf - perfect for those cold Blackall winters! Of course, we were very careful not to agitate it too much as we washed out the soluble.

Thank you to each of you for your warmth, hospitality, thoughtfulness and interest (including Veronica and Sandra, who weren't available for modelling shots on Sunday afternoon.)

Stay tuned over the next few days for more about beautiful Blackall on the Matilda Highway...home of the Black Stump (which Jill tells me isn't the same black stump, in the same location, that was in the back of the school yard when she was a child!)


Gail said...

Oh boy that looked like a fun weekend!!! some cool results. teach me!! Isn't it amazing how everyone doing the same basic thing can come up with so many different beautiful results.
Are you occupied over the next couple weekends. Was thinking of doing that Genesis's workshop?

Tracey said...

Gail, you're right - it was fun! And I just love how no matter what we do, we all end up with a result that is all our own, unique to ourselves.

As it happens, I'm kind of tied up for the next two or three weeks...a few things going on at once - you know how that goes? I'd be fine after the 30th July though, I think. If you have some starters who are keen for the next couple of weekends though - go for it, and I'll catch it up somewhere!

Hannah said...

Tracey--you're right--that workshop looks like so much fun, I'd like to leap continents to do it--especially considering the fabulous scarves these women created. Once through your busy season--do you think you could do a "how to" post on this? Interested state-siders want to know...

Tracey said...

Hannah...I think that's a great idea! Just have to remind myself to keep on taking the photos as the work progresses...I have a tendency to get all carried away with the work and forget the 'documenting'! And, of course, if you ever found yourself having leapt those continents...we could arrange a private session just for you!

Valerie Jones said...

Oh my! It looks and sounds like you all had a blast! Congratulations!

merci33 said...

I'm agreeing with Hannah...process please!

The models are all beaming and I would love to see the steps they went through to get to sitting pretty on the stairs.

Congratulations on sharing such beauty.

Tracey said...

Thanks Iona and Valerie...We did have a great time.

I'm working on that 'process' post...will come up soon, I hope!