Twenty years ago, I went to Sievers for the first time as a student, and it truly changed my life. Friendships formed there are still so important to me. I always hope a little of that magic rubs off in the classes I teach. And I think it might have in the Local Color class last week. Every member of the class was a delight, and it was a lovely, collaborative group. Every time I turned around, I saw a different combination of people discussing ideas, helping, and encouraging each other.
The class worked hard to cover a lot of material — from sunprinting with transparent fabric paints…
to natural dye contact prints…
to digital imaging and thermofax screen printing.
We managed to fit in some other local color, as well, including the ice cream stand at Jackson Harbor…
and a Washington Island fish boil.
One of my favorite parts of the class is the photo scavenger hunt students do on the Sievers campus.
Each student gets a slip of paper with two prompts — things like “a wavy line” and “a rough texture”.
They fan out across the campus and start to see things they’ve maybe overlooked before.
Altogether, the class is designed as an exercise in observation and seeing from different perspectives.
It was a special treat to share my sister-in-law’s first Sievers class experience, and first trip to Washington Island.
It’s always good to get home after a trip like this and mull over ideas and inspirations. I had some stitching to finish for an exhibition, so had plenty of time for rumination. And what I kept coming back to was how strong and long-lasting the energy is from a class like this.
That’s truly something to build on.