The workshop kind of invented itself. By the end of the day on Saturday we realized that we shouldn’t make two tapestry/bead cuff bracelets. The concept was to teach simple techniques in the first and more advanced techniques in the second. However, the weaving is really two small to explore some of the techniques the students wanted to learn. Sunday became serious tapestry day. Everyone warped their looms at 14 ends per inch, 4 and a 1/2 inch wide. As you can see from the looms, weaving silk at 14 ends per inch is not speed weaving. But everyone mastered some very important concepts namely how to insert and weave four plus (I think one went up to seven) wefts at a time and always be in correct relationship with one another. The students also learned how to insert a new weft (well, you always have to insert wo) between established wefts and how to insert just one weft on either end. They also learned how to replace a weft, how to make sure all ends are at the back of the piece, warp interlock, slit tapestry, weaving bumps and lumps and then outlining them. In short: they got a crash course in the concept of tapestry by doing some very freeform weaving. And of course, they were all amazing.
Something we talked about during this workshop was how pleasant it was to have just five students. I think we were aiming for at least twice that. Turns out five or six is really the magic number. It allowed me to give attention to people when they most needed it without making them wait and wait and wait for me to come around. For example, if someone is done setting up the loom and now is ready to weave the header. That person does not want to wait ten or fifteen minutes for me to swing by. They want to start weaving immediately. Who can blame them.!
I have always had a hard time teaching a classroom full of students. I’ve only done that about four times but I can still remember how anxious I felt having to get all those folks warped and weaving. I felt like I was running a marathon and no one got enough attention. With five students, you even get a chance to sit down and chill and talk. By the end of the day Sunday no one needed me! They were all happily weaving away. Unfortunately, we could not extend the class (although almost everyone came an hour earlier on Sunday to set up their looms while I slept upstairs! . . . Joni let them in) because they all had to drive fairly long distances to get home and it was already starting to snow . . . again.
We will have a follow-up workshops when the weather is a little better.
What kind of Mirrix Workshops would you be interested in taking? Please leave your answer in the comments section.