where should i have begun?
at the beginning.
last week i flew home, changed my socks, polished my boots, cuddled my cat
patted the dogs, had a quick gin with my family, blew some notes on the tenor sax
flew to Melbourne
to teach the first of what is rapidly becoming a series of second skin classes
Sally Harvey [proprietor of the gorgeous Crockett Cottage] kindly met me at the airport and took me straight to Brunetti's on Lygon Stree for a delicious iced coffee.
it was one of those rare moments when i actually thanked the Dogs Above that i am wheat intolerant otherwise i think i could cheerfully have eaten my way through that establishment.
wall to wall cakes of every description
with a goodly percentage of them loaded with cream and chocolate [two essential daily vitamins so far as i am concerned]
that was a fine beginning.
next morning i tottered across Johnston street and up the back lanes for a bit of a wander
and a quick reconnaissance of the green trash bins outside the flower store Vasette
and lots of it
in short, i found abundance
"everything we need is here"
still works very nicely, thank you.
for this trip i tried to keep my luggage compact, taking the smallest of work kits [spectacles included in photo for scale] although i did rather kick myself for forgetting to pack my singing bowl. unlike Stuart Kestenbaum [Director of Haystack Mountain School of Craft] who commands an expectant hush just by walking to the front of the room
to get attention i have to ring a bell [better still, a bowl] or resort to making a loud "coooooeeeee" noise. so it was the latter [that, or unpack the soprano sax...which might have had the opposite effect and cleared the room]
where we were going to be working with the most luscious of materials
SilkyMerino and #5silkcotton stitching thread
polyester brings me out in a rash [my son says it is psychosomatic but that is nonsense.]
the itchy wool trousers of my school uniform in the '70s had me in tears [although now i am sure the dyes in that cloth were as much to blame]
but i can even sleep in SilkyMerino [purl side inwards is best of all]
no, not forging scissors [though that would be exciting]
but making string
and then on day two we started work on our beautiful second skins, exploring almost-no-waste cutting techniques and delighting in the fabulous drape of the cloth as well as the joy of handsewing,
simple running stitch and flat fell seams...strong AND beautiful
but we needed another present to open on day three
we took advantage of the sucrose indigo vats that had been brewing happily [nurtured by Naomi] since Aboubakar Fofana's workshop there in November last year [which i sadly missed because i was happily in Portland]
i had such a splendid time and everyone seemed so happy [and the wait list for Mansfield is bubbling over] that i really think there will have to be more second skin classes.
stay tuned for an announcement later this week...