Most years there are workshops on Friday afternoon. One year I took Anita Luvera Mayer's Mud Pies for Adults class. One year I took Stephanie Lewis Robertson's workshop on Thermofax screen printing. This year I taught Local Color Jewelry. My voice held out through the afternoon as nine students got an introduction to the possibilities of using inkjet heat transfers to make pins, bracelets and other jewelry. In addition to Island images I shot on other trips to the Island, we also printed transfer paper with a photo I took Friday of the vines on Tomson Hall in their early-autumn splendor. We cut that transfer paper into bracelet-size strips that made lovely abstract elements for a project they can do on their own to truly capture the Local Color of a Gathering weekend.
On Saturday morning, we hit the Sievers fiber art garage sale as soon as it opened. People donate books, tools, yarn, fabric and more. Proceeds from the sale go to benefit different organizations, so you can feel really good about donating items to the sale and buy stuff at the sale. This year, the money raised is going to the Red Barn Theater, the Washington Island Rec Center, and the Island Players' Dramatic Arts In Education program. I was too busy buying to take pictures, but here's what I got:
- a big bag of angora to spin for $10
- a big bag of mohair locks for $2
- two bags of wool roving
- two drop spindles
- a set of circular needles
- a bag of lovely cotton yarn
- a bundle of wool fabric
- three books
- a pile of knitting and spinning magazines
- and a set of Louet hand carders and a case of gift amnesia. I'll act surprised when these show up under the Christmas tree, but I might not wait to use them.
During the Gathering, there's always a display of work students bring to show and share. After shopping, we oohed and aahed over the exhibit and (you guessed it) I added those inspirations to the stew of ideas that's simmering in my head.
On Saturday, there are usually demonstrations in the morning and afternoon in the Walter Studio. I've learned a ton from the demos over the years. That's where I first saw an auto-lift iron, and a costumed historic reenactor making traditional willow baskets. This year, I did a demo on digital fabric on Saturday afternoon. Here's a PDF copy of the Digital Fabric Powerpoint program I had running during my demo. I forgot to ask Bill to take pictures for me during the demo. He was too busy anyway over at Kathy Sorensen's table doing silk painting with Color Hue dyes.
After my demo, I packed up my stuff and we scurried over to Tomson Hall for Mary Sue Fenner's Trunk Show. Mary Sue is the first teacher hired by Sievers founder Walter Schutz, and has taught every one of the school's 31 years.
|Mary Sue Fenner's 98 Jackets|
After Mary Sue's program, there were drawings for door prizes (I won a pine yarn crate). Winners of the Student Fiber Work Viewer's Choice award were awarded. And winning bids for Silent Auction items were announced: I got a beautiful pair of merino-and-silk fingerless mitts knit by Sievers' Carolyn Foss. Mary Sue Fenner snuck in a bid while I was demonstrating and beat me out of a pair of mittens knit by Sievers' Ann Young.
After picking up prizes, we drove over to Trinity Lutheran Church for a chance to sit down and visit with friends, eat a lovely meal, and enjoy a musical program by Sievers' own Cindra Hokkanen and Dan Hansen, program director of the Red Barn Theater. Cindra and Dan used the Sievers 30th Anniversary cookbook to inspire their set list -- a celebration of food and beverages. A Nancy Sinatra tune, "Summer Wine," is one of my new favorites. You might be surprised (or maybe not) by how many people spontaneously sang along with "On Top Of Spaghetti". The hands-down favorite was a new tune called (I think) "The Recipe" by Wisconsin folk singers Lou and Peter Berryman that captures the zany essence of multi-tasking. It was hard to control the laughter, but we didn't want to miss any of the lyrics!
I've made many friends at Sievers over the years, and love having a chance to catch up with some of them at The Gathering. We were able to visit with old friends and new friends over the Captain's Platter (fresh lawyers and whitefish livers) at K.K.Fiske, breakfast at Sunset Resort (Icelandic pancakes filled with cream and yogurt and topped with cherries), and scones at the Red Cup. We snatched a few moments to spend with Ann & Butch, Cindra, Carolyn, Connie and Kathleen -- the team that keeps everything running smoothly at Sievers so teachers can concentrate on teaching and students can relax and enjoy learning.
It always goes by too fast, and there's never quite enough time to visit with everyone. I'm still being careful with my voice and didn't get to talk to nearly everyone I wanted to catch up with. But it was good to see them all, and I look forward to next time.
In the meantime, special thanks to all who sent healing energy my way. It really helped, and I'm very grateful! I hope you're also getting a recharge that gives you the energy to explore the great ideas rattling around in your head.