Monday, March 15, 2010

A Nonsequential Teacher

This weekend I participated in a daylong art project that my art group had decided to do as a retreat. However, since I am heading to Egypt, I didn' t make the purse they were making, I made myself a journal using some nuno felt that I had made the night before. I glued the nuno onto the cover of an old book that was scoured of its pages, and I reinforced the spine with some extra book board. After letting the nuno dry for a spell, I put a covering of mod podge over all of the nuno, which when dry gave it a hard and shiny covering. I didn't want the felt to catch on things as I was traveling around writing in the journal. I "snitched" an Egyptian picture off the internet figuring that I wasn't going to sell it or benefit from it other than enjoy it on my book. (I know rationalization.) Anyway, I stuck it on my journal and put some very pretty yarns around it. After the cover was all dry, I sewed in 5 signatures, 4 for writing on, and 1 very colorful one for scraps and pictures.

   That was my project for the day, which I really didn't get finished until the evening. I spent my time teaching the class how to do a nuno felted scarf, which is really pretty funny since I have just started learning myself. I told them this before I started the process, and I also shared that though I used to be pretty sequential in the way that I did things, now I had a lot of trouble remembering all the steps, and asked them to interrupt me to ask questions.

   I started the scarf and explained everything, the bubble wrap, the plastic, etc. and I put the fibers down perfectly. I had put down one layer of fibers and the questions began.  I answered them well, I thought. I rolled everything up. Just as I had everything tied, I stopped myself. I hadn't put any pretty yarns into the scarf, no decorations at all, and only one little layer of fiber. I laughed at myself and told them that I had warned them. I said, "Why didn't you stop me?" And they said, "But you are the teacher, we didn't know what you were going to do." Point taken. We all had a good laugh. (I love it that I don't have to be so competent anymore. I used to have to be so perfect.) The scarf would have worked as it was but what a blah demontration it would have been, and what a blah scarf. We unrolled it and together cut up pretty yarns, anyone who wanted to got to add a touch of something. Then I put down a light covering of roving to hold the yarns and explained the process. And again I forgot the netting. I rolled it all up in the plastic and bubble wrap and began rolling. I finished the process with soap, hot water and rinsing. My time that day was taken up with rolling the nuno, checking it, and cutting it up to make sure that each lady got a piece of our beautiful fabric. And, yes, it did turn out beautifully, despite all of my efforts to make it otherwise. What fun!!!

Whether or not this is art is up for grabs, I just had a great time doing it. If I spend a lot of time worring about that, I won't enjoy anything I do. I will, however,  be the envy of the journaling group on my journey.

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