Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Zero time off

Stairwell on the way to Paperhouse,
Hallway on the way to the classroom (this whole place, Artspace, is formerly a school and renovated for the arts).
Susan doing the drop spindle demo. She is terribly elegant and wonderful, full of energy and resources, and such a lovely person to be around in general.
The old classroom blackboards came in handy, very helpful for board drying!
Joan's (out of focus) knitted hanji sample. I really enjoyed this group of students and from what I heard from them, they really enjoyed the workshop. Mutual feelings are great.
Aside from Greta's amazing baked gifts on each day, I was touched by other gifts: Anne Marie's paper vessel, and Howard's dogbane harvested near where he lives. He showed me how it was traditionally harvested for cordage and how it helps to let it dry out over a season or more before scraping the dry bark, breaking the inner core into four pieces, and getting the rich fiber. I really enjoyed all of the sharing we did, of various techniques, so that it was a true workshop.

The drive back went well, with the fastest border crossing ever and a super stop in Buffalo to lunch with Joe and Cheryl. Very different climate from our first meeting in Santa Fe, but it was great to talk about book tour burnout, learning to say no, and keeping our eyes on the prize: sustaining our creative (writing/art) lives. Now I'm buried in the work that piled up while I was away, and am frantically digging myself out, though it's hard because I am also moving in a couple of days, wrangling with a foreign tax agency, planning two more long-distance driving trips, prepping for two major academic teaching commitments in the coming year, and, of course, getting an entire new studio launch off the ground. I feel overwhelmed, but think that as long as I can make it to Sunday (a day off!), I will be okay. Plus, today I cooked elephant ears (the plants, not the fried dough), so a bit of papermaking may be around the corner. Just to maintain a shred of sanity.

2 comments:

  1. Of course I love the knitted hanji! I want to try, too! I'm not a fan of knitting with stiff paper, though. Do you think it could be softened first? I wish you were still here--I definitely did not get enough Aimee time.

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    1. i teach my students multiple ways to handle the paper to get it to be more like yarn and thread, so it's not as hard as the first time i ever tried knitting with paper! i wish i was still there, weather-wise!

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