Monday, June 29, 2009

Mid-west Weavers Conference

I left for the Mid-west Weavers conference under billowing clouds.

The drive took a little over four hours.
There were three car pools, nine ladies, that went to the conference from my weavers guild.
I rode with two of the ladies.

We chatted and I knitted as we traveled.

I am just getting to know these ladies.

The conference was held in Grinnell, Iowa, at
a lovely old campus with new dorm rooms.

We stayed in the dorms. I brought linens and a pillow.

I was told the rooms were cold. I was glad I had an extra blanket.

I shared a room.

I set up my coffee and tea service.
I like to have my creature comforts.

After unpacking we found the dining hall.

I found the hospitality room.

On our first evening we listened to a keynote speaker talk about her teachers
and how she learned to weave.
She talked about how the Grandmothers in Central America teach their grand
daughters handicrafts, spinning and weaving, and the patterns of their culture.
She talked how we need to pass on the knowledge of our art.
I call this, "water from another time."

Friday I attended a spinning class and I met an 84 year old woman
who was getting back to her spinning.

I also met a 13 year old boy who was learning to spin.

There is a train that runs through the campus.
The new dorms are on one side of the tracks and the old, main campus, the other.

My Grandmothers did not teach me to weave or spin.
They did not teach me to knit.
I grew up in the city. I grew up on the new side of the tracks.
I have no patterns from my family; no traditional weaves. We have no crest; no tartan.
My water from another time comes from nature.
I am taught by Mother Nature.
She is my Grandmother.

I walked the campus and was called by the Crows. They gave me feathers.

The Native Americans thought the Crow was magical.

I knew they were bringing me the call of creation.

I knew the Crows would be my teachers.

I walked the campus and was greeted by bees.
They taught me color.

They reminded me to sip the sweet honey of life.

I was lead to look at the light by the Dragonflies.

I thought of how many Dragonflies were in my life.

I remembered they represent transformation.

Hover flies showed me patterns.

I learn best when I am surrounded by beauty.

A Robin flew near and landed in a tree right above me.
I listened to his calls and noticed the bark on the trees.
I listened to the trees.

A Cabbage White Butterfly landed near me.

I thought of my friends that love the bees and the butterflies.

I thought of my husband and our bug safari.
I walked and thought and took photographs of nature.

It is in her classroom I am most comfortable.
The native gardens were full of inspiration.

I learned I fit best when I am in the
world of trees and birds and bugs.

Going to the conference was an adventure for me.
This is a beautiful campus with lots of walking.

I had time to think and plan and consider
what was best for me and my art.

One of the ladies had to leave early and there was concern that not everyone would fit in the remaining two cars. I decided to come home early on Saturday. This way our friend would not have to drive by herself and there would be plenty of room for the others and their luggage on Sunday.

I did not mind. I was ready.

I had found what I had come for.

I had signed up for a class for Saturday afternoon
on dyeing with native plants that I was looking forward to.

Since I was leaving at noon I would be missing the class. So I would not be disappointed
I decided to give myself a class. I had brought my book with me so I began reading and taking notes. I looked at the native plantings on campus. I made a list of materials I would need. I spent three hours in my self taught class.
I enjoyed every minute of it!

There are sculptures on campus.

I was inspired by this one.

Fiber Art is an expression for me of my love of nature.

I came home with a fullness of heart.

I came home inspired.

I wore my new Beetle Brooch.

I am Mother Nature's child.

I will spin and weave and knit the patterns and colors of nature.

My teachers are right in my backyard.


Lisa at Greenbow said...

A beautiful post Sherry. It sounds like you had an enlightening experience. Back to school in the dorms. At least they were air conditioned. So many aren't even now.

Q said...

Thank you Lisa,
It will take me a few months to process just three days! I learned so much about myself. I am amazed and pleased I am still learning!
I was asked not to take pictures of the fiber art....
I think my camera was intimidating for some. I also was surprised at how competitive people were.
I approach life with an open heart.
I did learn so very much!

Cyndee Greene said...

Oh Sherry, I absolutely LOVE this post. Thank you for sharing all of it. You are SO inspiring! I have a DEEP connection w/ Raven & Crow.
The part of the post that was the most moving, was when you spoke of the Grandmothers in Central America. You have given me another piece to what my vision is in creating a retreat center where I also take in teens in the Foster Care system. This dream keeps on becoming bigger & bigger & is absolutely magical in its unfolding.
Thank you my dear one for who you are!!!
Cyndee (RavenHeart)

Cheryl said...

My dear Sherry....your post brought tears to my eyes......I walked with you and understood the connection you have with all that surrounds you. We are rooted amongst the trees......we walk with bees bugs and butterflies.....

Mother natures palette is beautiful....I know that you will learn from are mother nature's child......

I have found a tawny owl feather in the garden....when I send paper I shall include it....I thought of you as soon as I saw it on the grass......

ICQB said...

Hi Sherry,

You are very inspiring. I'm glad you had a chance to slip away to this conference and learned so much while you were there - inside and out!

Hildred and Charles said...

Lovely post, - so nice to find another weaver....

JoAnn's-D-Eyes said...

(is that your name?)
Wow all photo;s and word together, all is very impressive..!
your blog is really art I love it all of it,

Thanks for visiting my blog:)
JoAnn from Holland (photographer)

Robin in Portland, Oregon said...

Outstanding Picture of the hands on the spinning wheel!

Mimi said...

This is such a nice post. I wish I could learn to weave.

Nancy said...

What a wonderful style you have the photos and sparse words work so beautifully together! I love it! The photo of the elders hand brought tears to my eyes. I firmly believe Americans have a long way to go in our treatment of elders. They deserve so much honor. I really related to the part of having no grandmother to teach me etc. I like the way you are able to tune into just who or what are your teachers, your connections, your history. Thank you for sharing! Keep it going!