|Jennifer Reis stitching her latest piece
First of all, I want to apologize for taking a break from blogging. I've have been having some health issues this summer which I think are finally behind me! Still they didn't stop me from making the 11 hour trip to John C. Campbell Folk School. After getting cancelled out of two - YES TWO! - classes in 2020, I wasn't going to miss this year.
This time, I was lucky enough to snag a spot in Jennifer Reis' Embellishment class. We spent the week first learning (or refreshing) all sorts of hand stitched embroidery skills and embellishments. In fact, we learned so much that first day, my head was spinning! After that we could work on our piece. Luckily I had brought a piece I had made in Emily Richardson's class in 2019 which was perfect to embellish and stitch down. Little did I know that I would only get about 20% of it done in 3 days! Handwork is inherently slow, but me feeling not my best made it even slower.
Not to mention, I spent the week whiny, which is NOT my norm. Normally, John C. Campbell is my happy spot. This year...not so much. Due to on-going blight on our life, we had to wear masks in all buildings including class. Our class was limited to 7 people, all of which had to social distance at least 6-10 ft apart behind ... plexiglass! So here we are hand stitching all week in this big beautiful studio masked up, behind plexiglass and too far to talk comfortably. It led to a week of silence.
|You thought I was exaggerating right?!?
Meal times which normally are a time to socialize and get to know your fellow artisans were also socially distanced behind plexi glass. People were scattered across campus to eat. The food was great
though but it wasn't nearly as good as it would be with some good company.
See I'm whining again just thinking of it. Jennifer's class was great and I would highly recommend it if you would like to learn a new twist on hand work. She's a great teacher but really one of the few highlights of the week is that she's a great lady. She always brightened my day.
Also the campus was as beautiful as ever. In August, it wasn't unbearably hot with plenty of seats in the shade. We stayed at the Rock House which was treat! Our room was spacious and really, really comfy.
|Detail of Jennifer Reis work in progress
Anyways, I am feeling better everyday and ready to get back after my piece. Jenn managed to spark my love of handwork. But the biggest thing I learned from the experience is that although I go to John C. Campbell's to learn, the real draw for me is the socialization. I mean I can work in silence at home as well as eat dinner every night with my husband. I go there to be with people who understand what I do and why I do it. That was really what I was missing this trip. Hopefully next time we'll be back to normal!
So What Have You've Been Up to Creatively?