What a happy week of weaving it was. This year's weaving seminar took place from Monday the 10. - 16. October and it was a great success. I know because everybody went home happy, which was the absolute most important thing for me. Of course not everything was absolutely perfect, there were little things that didn't go to plan. The positive overrated the negative way over and there was plenty of laughter and happiness in the house.
This year the seminar was a little different from last year. I booked the quirky Brookfield retreat for a whole week. I stayed there all week, while there were two groups of 9 and 8 participants, one from Monday to Thursday morning and the other from Thursday evening to Sunday morning. For me everything was done twice, workshop, talks, dinners etc. For example I had pizza twice in a week! But I actually found it very rewarding to do it that way. First of all the two groups were very different from each other, this meant it wasn't just a repeat of the first time. I also found it a great advantage for me to be able to give the same workshop twice within a week. I think the workshop was even better the second time around. So yes, I think I would do it this way again.
I was very impressed and a little proud that we had weavers coming from as far away as Canberra to join the weaving bonanza. Thanks to borders being open this year, we had 4 weavers from NSW with us. Great groups, both of them!
This year we focused on Deflected Double weave in a two day workshop held by me. Then we had a great talk by Jenny Jackett on "Making up Handwovens" where Jenny talked and presented her extensive collection of handwoven garments from jackets to ruana's and more. Jenny was such a friendly and open presenter on how she creates her garments and let everybody ask as many questions as possible. With one group the talk continued after dinner, where Jenny unpacked even more of her treasures to show. We also concentrated further on textile photography and photo editing. But the absolute best night was show and tell on the last evening. I asked everybody to bring their first piece of weaving and talk about it a little bit. The stories that appeared were magical. It wasn't just about showing the first attempt on weaving, it was the story that went with it. In the first group we were all amazed that two of the group had the same teacher in the same school, but different years and didn't know each other. And their first piece of weaving was the same piece with the same patterns! Unbelievable. Every story on how each of us found their passion was different and yet here we are, doing what we love together.
Here is my weaving piece and the little story behind it:
"My dad used to go on business trips to Germany and always brought us, my sister and me, a little box of beads back home. We had this little plastic bead loom and used the beads to weave bands. My first band was a tribute to my all time favourite book called "Der rote Seidenschal" meaning the red silk scarf. I wove into the band the names of the main characters of the book, Chee and Ann, Tante Adele, Nona, Nah-lin, Thazay, Peter, Frau Roland. Good memories. I forgot all about this band growing up and moving out of home. When my mother died in 2014 I received the task of cleaning out her craft room (she was a spinner & knitter) and found my bead bands there in a drawer. Now the bands are here in Australia and hanging on my news board in my office and remind me of my humble first weaving steps...."
Here are some comments from the feedback form:
"I loved it! Great to talk weaving without interruptions. To meet others who are doing similar things, to learn, to exchange..."
"Meeting like minded people & being inspired"
"Seeing Jenny's fine and creative work was jaw dropping for me"
"A great two day workshop and excellent catering. Refreshing, inspiring and connection building"
"Ursula is always very organised and finds interesting additions to weaving"
So many good memories were created during this week and I could keep on writing about it forever. But one thing was sure, I was very, very tired after that week. The first night back at home I slept for nearly 12 hours, I was so exhausted and the week after was a blur. I worked for months and months towards this seminar and it was a lot of work. But so worth it. Thank you all for participating and making this event such a success. A very special thank you goes to Kumi Robinson. She was always there for me when I needed local help, she did most of the grocery shopping so I didn't have to do it after the long drive to Brisbane, she was there very early in the morning to have the tables picked up and she always had an open ear when I needed an opinion. Thank you Kumi! And I hope we can do it again in 2024. Here is a little pic made by Yukari on Sunday morning in front of the Brookfield retreat after we had successfully packed our cars for the drive home. (Sorry it is a little blurry...)
So this is it from me. Most likely there won't be a seminar in 2023. I need a little break. Maybe there will be something else instead?... But I will try and organise another weaving seminar in 2024. If you are interested in attending and being put on the list for first notifications, please let me know via email firstname.lastname@example.org or call me 0402 973 655.
Until next time