pootling across Australia with Kubbi the One-Eyed Wonder Dog
nine hours on the road (punctuated by frequent stops to
wander in the bush and gaze at flora)
is a lot of thinking time.
there and back again is twice that.
I always learn something new from teaching workshops
what became crystal clear to me during the three days at Beautiful Silks Botanical Studio
is that the work I do
is also my own big life lesson.
that the act of teaching is my personal journey to be the best person (in this life) that I can be.
it isn't all roses, and it's hard sometimes to resist being catty about the way that the "ecoprint", a term I optimistically coined in 1999, has been hijacked to be anything but "eco-friendly" or sustainable.
because when I hear of the mountains of plastic and the bucket-loads of adjunct mordants being used out there I do become quite despondent.
but then I read this
"Thank you, for another brilliant, creative soul feeding workshop, that brought a group of strangers together but leaving as friends"
and it warms my heart because it reminds me of what is really important.
it isn't the brightness of the colour (though we certainly had that) or the volumes of product ... it's the connections we make when we gather together around a cauldron.
in this instance, a "second skin" class, it was also about the empowerment that comes with the simple skills of making.
I'd probably have made truckloads of loot over the years if I had just kept the botanical contact print process a secret and churned out yardage or silk pyjamas and a squillion printed wool scarves, but for me the greater satisfaction comes with seeing the happy smiles that bloom when dresses grow using simple running stitch, lovely threads and beautiful cloth. (all all we need, really, is 'enough')
in "second skin" we make string, measure with it, make a few marks with graphite and then boldly cut and sew.
no clatter of machines, just the quiet ebb and flow of conversation, and sometimes simply gentle silence.
and magic happens.
in this last class people shared so many life skills beyond just sewing and dyeing.
friendships were forged, wisdoms exchanged.
and that makes my life worth living. with bells on.
|and then (fresh from the cauldron)|
I was given the most magnificent present hand-stitched
with so much love, and dyed in my favourite colours.
thank you, Robyn.
it's going to wander with me.