Thursday, September 8

Planning another 10 weeks of Stitch and Surface!

My next session of Stitch and Surface starts next week, so I've spent the morning planning my syllabus and deciding on projects to do. It's a class that often has students come back for more, so I'm always looking for ways to keep it fresh. There's always some kind of sampler project, a surface design technique, and an extended image project. I aim for 3 total finished projects, but sometimes people end up only doing 2. Embroidery is an art not to be rushed.
We're going to start off talking about the communal qualities of the history of stitching and begin with 2 pieces to participate in group collaborations. I'm going to have everybody create a feather for Jude Hill's Magic Feather project. It's really lovely watching all the feathers float in around the world to Jude's call, and I think my students will have fun participating. Here's hoping for 15 more feathers for you Jude! Then I'll have everyone make a shisha patch for a collaborative fence tagging project I'm doing here in Philly with a friend. Since most people rarely show up with proper supplies the first night, this will  put something into their ready hands right away.

In honor of Fall, I thought we'd do a leaf rubbing Sampler piece. We can start with using dye pastels for the rubbing and then practice various stitches for texture and detail over it. 
 The Wind Challenge exhibition will be on display, and first up are artists Alana Bograd and Sarah Steinwachs, both working abstractly. Sarah's work is especially entrancing with many layers of cut paper patterning. So I think we'll visit the show and use her work as inspiration for an abstract layered pattern embroidery project. Before that, though we'll try out some rusting and bleaching on fabric to get a base layer of color and pattern on fabric for our surface design technique.
And finally, if we can squeeze it in, we'll satisfy my current obsession with mosaics and do a bead or button encrusted piece.
The fun part about teaching, of course, is trying out all the stuff you wish you had time for in the studio, but never try for fear of veering from the "Body of Work" you're committed to. *sigh*
I think it will be a fun semester! The class is full, but I'll be teaching a new one in the Winter and Spring sessions at Fleisher, so keep your eyes peeled.

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