Friday, January 12, 2007

Giving My First Shawl Pin Workshop

Tomorrow I start a new direction. I am teaching my first workshop in shawl pin making for people with no previous metal working experience. I have taught many times over the years in situations ranging from one on one in studio to small classes elsewhere. What is different is that I am in a more aggressive push to get me and my work out to a bigger world.
To my mind a teacher's goal is to stretch a student's knowledge while minimizing frustration . There is no creative direction that doesn't involve going down dead ends. How people deal with that is telling. My biggest "teaching" situation was with Beth Williams ( We met when she came to my studio to have a new wedding ring made for her husband. After a few meetings I was impressed with her own creative energy and her organized easy manner. I offered a choice: I could make her ring for money or I could teach her to make her own ring and she could teach me to be organized. And so began a seven year stint of sharing a studio and a friendship that continues to this day. I had always worked alone. I was amazed at what I learned watching her start from scratch.
One day she spent totally focused on one project doggedly inching her way on a complicated piece. My style is more like a spider spinning a web on LSD. I don't recommend it. Her project wasn't going so easily. I asked her what went through her mind as she worked. "Just getting this done," she answered. As I shut up and continued watching I became aware that I had a habit of running a constant negative chatter in my head. I also became aware of the cost of that habit. Awareness does not equal change overnight unless your name is Scrooge.
So as I start this stint of teaching I am reminded that the roles of "teacher" and "student"
do not have fixed boundries. What a gift that is!
Blog On,


Claudia said...

I LOVE the Sheep Tacks! Do you have them for sale on your site? Can you make charms of them? They'd make awesome stitch markers...

Folly Cove Fiber Freaks said...

Thanks for the kudos for the tack sheep. I also do bunnies and have thought about the cat potential.
I cut them out by hand so they are somewhat labor intensive. I will make sure to get them out of the pasture more. And you are right about their charm potential.
I will offer one to Chris Morgan (wooleybuns.typepad.com0 for her next silent contest.
Thanks for taking the tim to comment.

Gail said...

The sheep are adorable, but I am loving the shawl pins! Do you sell online? Beautiful stuff (I just notice the rose button covers too).

Folly Cove Fiber Freaks said...

Hi Gaile,
If you will be a SPA I am sharing a booth there. My website
has some but not all of my designs.
Thanks for your interest!