Over the years, I’ve taken and taught workshops in all kinds of environments — from big city conference centers to remote rustic camps, from fiber art schools where every need is anticipated to hotel meeting rooms where you can’t even change the temperature. For the most part, I believe you can create an environment conducive to learning just about anywhere. But some settings are definitely more equal than others.
|Leopold Center (through the screen from Home Range Hall)|
Yesterday I got to teach in a setting that still has me smiling. Located near Baraboo, Wisconsin, the Aldo Leopold Foundation is headquartered less than a mile from the shack and farm celebrated in A Sand County Almanac. The Leopold Center was built in 2007 using pines the Leopold family planted in the 1930’s and 40’s, and 21st century green building practices and technologies.
My class for a group of early childhood educators was held in the Home Range Hall, a freestanding screened three-season meeting space surrounded by lovely gardens and birdsong.
Students remained relaxed and focused through a fast-paced morning session. With the slower pace of the afternoon, I was finally able to take a few photographs while students worked. Sorry, I didn’t think to take pictures while students were outside sketching in the garden using fabric transfer crayons.
I’m home for a week, then off to another of my favorite teaching locations — Sievers School of Fiber Arts on Washington Island. It’s my Local Color class, a combination of field trips and studio work where we create “landscape fabric” using digital photography and surface design techniques. It’s a 5-day celebration of island flora, fauna and culture.
Before I leave again, my plan is to do a few field trips close to home. I was gone most of June, so it feels like summer snuck up on me. Time to go capture some memories. Have a great weekend!