Monday, September 17, 2012


I don't need to be reminded that I haven't blogged for, yes, ages.  It just kind of worked out that I took a break from blogging this summer. I had so many things going on, one day turned into the next and before I knew it, the middle of September was here.

Well, I hope you had a good summer.  I started off summer with a workshop in Sewanee, Tennessee, at Shakerag.  This was my fourth time at Shakerag and it didn't disappoint.  I took a workshop with Jean Cacicedo, a wearable art artist from Berkeley.  My first stop upon arriving in Sewanee was to have a bit of lunch at The Blue Chair in downtown Sewanee, which -- no kidding -- is only a couple of blocks long. Sewanee is home to the University of the South. 

Then off to St. Andrews-Sewanee Boys' School where I would be staying for the weeklong workshop.  It's a beautiful campus, so serene.

On campus is an idyllic lake in the woods, great for swimming.  It's called the "Rez".  Many of the attendees go for a swim at the end of the day, even a midnight swim I have heard on the night of the full moon. 

We started out our class with an exercise in making a three dimensional sculpture out of a plain paper bag to which we applied gesso.  Jean asked everyone to bring an object from nature that had meaning for us.  It was amazing to see the transformation.  Everyone did an amazing job.  

The main focus of the workshop was making a three dimensional sculpture from a flat pattern; along with exploring other textural surface design techniques.  Jean had us bring in a shoe, which we wrapped in tape, and from there we made a pattern with card stock.  The sculpture would be a shoe -- a small enough project that we would be able to complete it during the week and learn the process from creating our fabric, pattern making to embellisment and completion.  We began by making felt from raw fiber -- this would be used for our shoe sculpture.

Jean's words of wisdom resonate:  "Leave your inner critic at the door."

From making a pattern to cutting of the felt fabric.

My completed shoe.  I embellished with buttons and stitching and a knitted I-cord.  The strap was made of fulled wool that I brought with me and that I had dyed in my 2006 Shakerag workshop with Jean.  

We also made felted pieces that explored various surface design techniques.

Some of the other shoe sculptures.  All wonderful and unique.

My friend, Michelle, also took the class.  Here she is working on her shoe.

Other works.

 More examples of the different textural techniques we explored.

I had such a fantastic time this past summer that I have already signed up for a workshop at Shakerag in June 2013.  I'm taking a natural dye class with Rebecca Burgess, the author of "Harvesting Color". Classes in many different mediums are offered - ceramics, bookmaking, quilting, dyeing, surface design, and others.  For information on Shakerag workshops, here's the website:

1 comment:

jenclair said...

Wow! I love all of these shoes: unique and beautiful art for feet!