I just had the best weekend teaching at the UTSA Southwest Art Studios – twelve students and I explored materials and invented processes during the two-day Scroll and Surface fiber art workshop.
One of my favorite student comments came from Susan, who said as we were reviewing our work, “I’ve lost my fear of fiber!!”
Sometimes we think that an unfamiliar medium can’t be used to express our unique message. If you work in watercolor, you can’t imagine yourself telling the same story or celebrating the same subject in clay or fiber. But this weekend’s workshop concentrated on fusing all kinds of media media into individual narratives – paper, fiber, photography, paint, even clay. Here was our working description:
This mixed-media fiber art workshop includes components such as re-purposed studio drop cloth (torn), hydrosoluable fiber, walnut ink, paper twine, surface design, found objects, fiber, wire, image transfers and paper clay to explore how surface design can symbolize the precious belongings that we carry with us on our life’s journey.
The students came from diverse background and places in Texas – a military veteran who worked as a language translator, an elementary school STEM teacher, a naturalist, a minister, several professional artists, a college student just starting his art journey. Our personalities came together like a beautifully composed collage!
One of the strengths in creative diversity is that every message matters. A successful art workshop results in many right answers to the same question – what story can you tell that makes us all nod our heads in understanding, recognition, and empathy?
My students were just brilliant in expressing their narratives. Here is a video that tells all of the stories that were written in fiber this weekend.
I’m in the middle of filming lessons for this workshop so it can be available as an online class, and it should be ready in a week or two. I’ll share some of the mixed-media secrets we discovered this weekend – toilet bowl cleaner was a big hit as was sticky cheesecloth. 🙂
Thanks for reading SHARDS! And don’t be afraid of fiber – it is your friend!!