Artfest 2011: Part Three

The last day of classes is often the most difficult because there is usually only so much energy and creativity that I can muster up in the course of one partial week. Luckily, I managed to do a good job with class selection and the last day was a meditative Rug Hooking class with Mary Stanley. I took this class specifically because I hoped to bring back a project for my students. I have a TON of burlap, yarn and what I thought were rug hooking tools. It turns out that there are a couple different types of rug hooking and the tools I had were for LATCH Hooking, not Rug hooking. I continued to be successful with finishing all my projects, so that was my goal again today.

The class was based on the subject of houses and I did like what the samples looked like and thought that it would be a good subject. However, I got to the class and was feeling rebellious and didn’t want to do a house. I decided to go smaller so I could finish in time and made a little heart. I just clicked with this medium though and cooked right along on the technique, flying quickly through my little project. So then I expanded my heart to include wings and managed to finish the whole project, even adding  the backing to finish it off.

I SWEAR I was not trying to be a show off or a teacher’s pet, but I came up with a technique to better hide the folded burlap edge by couching a strip of felt along the edge while sewing the heart to the felt backing. Mary had suggested coloring it with a sharpie or black acrylic paint. I thought my method gave a more polished look so I showed her as I was working on it and once it was complete she had me share it with the class.

Mary shared a lot of resources and some of the history of hooked rugs and it was quite interesting, but most of the traditional styles and patterns are not really to my liking. There are plenty of people out there being modern and cutting edge with this old technique.

I enjoyed yet another small class (all three of mine were under 10 students) and while I know this makes it harder for the teacher to finance their trip, I appreciated the additional assistance and level of intimacy that it adds to the class.

Today Mandy, Lisa, Jen and I managed to have lunch with this super funny gal. Poor Mandy fell on the floor when her heavy back pack caused her chair to tip over. This girl shared with us that she had had a similar experience in middle school that had been very traumatic. Then she told Mandy, “Your falling over didn’t traumatized me in the least.”  Perhaps you had to be there, but we were all laughing pretty hard, and loud enough to attract the attention of a few other tables. We invited her over for drinks that evening, but she didn’t make it. Oh well, it was a fun lunch!

That night was the big fest Show and Tell. Usually it is pretty crazy, hot and packed. But all of artfest was a little lighter than past years. I put my work out like everyone else and was excited to notice many people stopping to photography and comment on my Monster Doll projects. I decided to throw out the handful of business cards that I had in my bag and they were all snatched up in moments. After looking around at all the work and noticing a couple of artists that I want to keep on my list for next year, I decided to pack up and head back to the dorms.

It took me another 20 minutes or so to manage that though, because I was mobbed with questions and comments and was even obliged to pose for some pictures. I had some very interested buyers of these lovely creatures and will be following up on that plan. Even Andrew the teacher came over to snap some pictures and chat. I feel a little weird offering my dolls from the class for sale, but people were really into them. I plan to make my future dolls a bit differently so as to not directly compete with his sales, I hope.

When I got back to the dorm I was really missing my dogs and my honey. I called home and chatted with Shawn, but it didn’t help. After a little wine I ended up doing some performance art, imitating my dogs and their silly habits. Darn everyone and their I-phones too, because there is proof of this silly behavior.

MUCH later that night I woke up to find Mandy awake and cleaning the common area at 3:30am. I was awake enough that I decided to stay up and chat with her for a while. Which was nice, but not sure if Rita thought it was so nice.

The next day was time to pack up and hit the road. As usual it was a wonderful time, but I was anxious to get back home and see my puppies. On the ferry home I had time to jot down some ideas that I have for some more dolls and even wrote the plan for a class I would like to teach.

It was hard to get ready to go back to work, but it was a wonderful break and I am so happy to get back my artistic mojo.