Thursday, November 14, 2013


More helping hands for the international tapestry project: Lis Baston from our weaving class and Christine....who was visiting before she went off for her Reiki class. 
"Resistance is futile" I proclaimed (one of my favorite quotes from Star Trek ) as one of my weaving students said that she was 'socializing'! Why did I get it in my head that we should get so serious anyways? Must have been that teacher training I took at the University of Toronto that drilled me about what teaching is. There is a momentum in our weaving classes that is very energizing and keeps us all excited about weaving. The environment is more like a studio and less formal than the conventional course and this is how participants want it. They want the social component,  they want to interact together. Like many weaving groups, such as guilds, weavers are very helpful to others. They can never seem to do enough to help you out ...not just in weaving but what ever other challenges you might be facing. This kind of real human connection, where we feel unjudged, accepted and even embraced for who we are, is what makes our weaving classes a pleasure to be in. All of the participants contribute to making this a great place to be weaving together. What, you might ask, is my role in all this. Definitely not a traditional definition of teacher. Perhaps my role is more about making sure all that you need is there to make what you want to weave happen. My experience in weaving is also necessary in realizing the many projects people accomplish.
Aliona Karpov, who resides in Morrocco, sent me her picture and 4 woven shapes to contribute to the international tapestry project. It's wonderful how unique each person's contribution is. This brings our total up to 95 received shapes. 

And so,  I've learned while teaching the classes, that real connection with others comes in the physicality of doing, in materiality, in actions, interactions, processes and events shared by an assortment of individuals. Weaving is an appropriate metaphor for engagement and activity with others. Both can be described as a means of producing a coherent united whole or collaboration through the combining and interlacement of various elements. All these individuals are like threads  woven into a community fabric through this one shared activity a permanent reminder of our shared history and values. This was really driven home to me in my recent Community Threads tapestries project where everyone had skills, abilities and resources to contribute to making the project a successful one. It wasn't about one individual getting all the acclaim or having to do all the work. Great things can happen when we pull together, are cohesive and put aside our differences. 
Susan Middleton shared with me this handmade foamcore loom that she can carry easily in her bag and weave anywhere she goes, even while in transit! Thank you Susan for sharing this with those of us who are hopelessly addicted!

Here are some of our tapestry weaving students. Left to right: Marlene Stubbins, Jane Richmond, Jutta Polomski
It's that time of year again when classes are coming to an end and it's time to register for the Winter session. Classes re-commence January 13 and 15. Go to and register to learn tapestry. 

and more tapestry students.....Gert Rogers, Susan Grimbly and Diane Gillis. We still have at least another half dozen.....

Tapestry links and resources
Aubusson tapisserie in France:

Tapestry artist retreat in Bulgaria:
My name is Silvia Haralambova. I am a Bulgarian artist, living and working
in Pazardzhik, Bulgaria. Works of mine can be seen on the following web

My husband and I are running an Artists Retreat in the village Patalenitza,
Bulgaria. This is a place where we invite artists to live and work in a
tranquil rural site and to concentrate on their own artistic activities.
The retreat can accommodate up to 2 persons at one time, so artists can
come with a partner or a friend. The retreat is a non smoking area.

The price is 45 EUR per night for the whole retreat, including electricity,
water, linen, towels and full kitchenette. The retreat is open from 1-st of
May till 30 September. Application process is simple and via e-mail ? we
request some samples of works, CV and the desired dates.

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