The first week of June marked my return to teaching at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus, Ohio. This was my second time to teach at this event; I was last here in 2006. This year's offerings included a three day workshop on silkscreening and fabric books, and a two day workshop on silkscreening and a wall hanging/palm leaf book.
Silkscreening fabrics took up the first half of each of the workshops. I had encouraged students to bring in pages of their own handwriting or letters, and printed pages from old books and other publications. There was tremendous variety—old birth documents, children's writing, poetry, quotations, pages from random publications, scribbles, intricately drawn illustrations, and . . . Sitting Bull.
One student had found a great photo in an old magazine; we turned it into a screen print, and SB soon became our mascot for the first session. Students and their friends were screening him on everything they could find, including the shirts off their backs. It's all part of the infectious enthusiasm that comes from the speed of this medium .. once you've made the screen, you can get the image onto anything you can get on the print bed, and right quick, too. Instant gratification!
In the second workshop, our new mascot became Bob the Dog, the pet of one of the students. Bob had been through quite a lot and certainly deserved his own screen. By the end of the workshop, he was also the subject of a fabric based book and turning up on shirt backs everywhere.
The QSDS experience is always fantastic. In addition to top notch instructors and classes, there are many exciting activities in the evening hours ... presentations by artists about their work, artist vendor night where you can get some gorgeous stuff to use in your work, a hand dyed fabric sale, a mini quilt auction, ice cream by the pool .... the list goes on. One of my favorite parts is the long hall where vendors keep shop hours every day, so you can stroll down the hall any time and pick up that fabulous hand dyed fabric or extravagant button that just makes your piece sing!
Good news for all you fabric buffs in the Cincinnati area: Becky Hancock of St. Theresa's Textile Trove has reopened shop on the first floor of the Pendleton Arts Center. Hooray! The hand marbled fabrics I got there were breathtaking. Now I must make some bookcloth!