Thursday, September 27, 2012

Design Outside the Lines, Day One

Entrance to the work room area.

Building that houses the work room.

This is interesting.

Day one of DOL is done and my mind is unable to shut down. I'm hoping that posting a quick summary of the day will allow me to sleep.

There are three aspects to the format of DOL.

First, there are the morning classes. After a hearty breakfast prepared by the lodge cooks, we sit in a comfy room and Marcy and Diane alternate lecturing. So much information is presented, so many garments and ideas shared, that it would be a lot to absorb with even half as much info. The phrase "drinking from a fire hose" comes to mind.

Loving Diane's Trippens!

The second aspect is demos.

After the morning classes, we enjoy a delicious lunch, also prepared by the lodge cooks, and the rest of the day is spent in the work room. Diane and Marcy perform various demos (today's demos included silk screening, stenciling, and tricks of sewing with bias, though I might be forgetting something). Both Marcy and Diane are completely open and generous with their information.

The final aspect is free time to work on our individual projects, or run into town, as needed.

I didn't feel ready to run into town today, so I focused on a skill that is waaaaay outside my comfort zone - stenciling. I am a person who is comfortable with pattern manipulation, fabric collaging, and fitting myself. I am pretty comfortable with needle felting, embroidery, fabric dyeing. But the more traditional artistic pursuits, drawing, painting, sketching... not so much.

Nevertheless, I feel that even I should be able to master stenciling, or at least achieve competency. Following Diane's advice, I cut samples of several pieces of fabrics in light and dark colors, selected a couple of stencils, filled my plate with blobs of paint, and got started.

This was not as easy (for me) as it sounds. By dinner time, I had created some stenciled fabrics, but was feeling frustration with the results. I even considered switching gears and moving to a project within my comfort zone, but I resisted.

Diane, sensing my mood, talked me down. She pointed out some ways I could move forward with the samples I had already created.

Her suggestion of using them as piping just might give you an idea as to the quality of my experiments. :) But it also shows her brilliance, because they were pretty darned good in that form.

I had an enjoyable dinner with some of my hall mates, followed by some good sewing conversation and sharing, and things are looking up. Diane emphasized in her lecture last night that "to get a different result, you have to do things differently", which is pretty astute. Growth happens outside of the comfort zone.

I can't imagine a more supportive environment for this sort of experiment.

P.S. By the way, thanks so much for all of your kind comments! While it's true that my room does not have wifi, the lodge has wifi in the very comfy lounge in the main building.