Category: Classes

Guest Post: Hisako Sekijima

Hisako Sekijima at Haystack School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine

photo by Meghan Price

photo by Meghan Price

In my morning check of e-mail in early September, I was happily reconnected with Haystack Mountain School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine by a message from Meghan Price, asking “Flexible Minds!” to share her memorable photographs of Haystack 2013. Meghan is a textile artist from Toronto who assisted me in the basketry workshop I presented there this summer. The workshop, Strong Materials and Flexible Minds, ran from August 11th to 23rd. It was my fourth workshop at Haystack and my second with Meghan’s assistance.

Basketmaking at Haystack with Hisako Sekijima 2013

photo by Meghan Price

In this summer’s workshop there were fourteen people working hard in a spacious woodshop overlooking a Maine spruce forest and bay; twelve participants from Canada, Japan, Israel, Denmark and the US. The class members were diverse in nationality, age, professional career and skill level, but homogeneous in other ways – all female, flexible minded, friendly and diligent. I enjoyed working with them greatly and I appreciated that Haystack gave us such an enjoyable temporary community of art. It is wonderful that Haystack has retained for many years its beautiful location, thoughtful management and sustainable considerations for the environment, along with a highly stimulating artistic atmosphere. I admire even more the numberless individuals and groups whose innovative effort and contributions have enabled Haystack to remain unchanged for its long history.

Hisako Sekijima Lecturing her class at Haystack, photo by Meghan Price

Hisako Sekijima Lecturing her class at Haystack, photo by Meghan Price

photo by Meghan Price

photo by Meghan Price

I have designed my workshops as very experimental as well as hands-on. I assign a small number of basic problems of basketmaking that participants are expected to explore by themselves. I expect participants to encounter additional problems and challenges unique to each of them in the process of seeking a resolution to the problem assigned. I entitled the workshop at Haystack this summer Strong Materials and Flexible Minds, in order to convey clearly my intent to encourage participants to re-conceive basketmaking in terms of the relationship of a maker to the materials.  Participants would re-evaluate already acquired techniques and common ideas while taking a fresh look at the materials domain as well as nonmaterial factors such as negative space. From alternative viewpoints, we reviewed familiar tools/devices. In short, the workshop was to help one learn again or “un-learn” what one thinks one knows.

photo by Meghan Price

photo by Meghan Price

The group photograph shows the happy class after finishing an improvised installation with various pieces plaited in paper tapes cut from old Haystack posters. The layout on the table reads “H-A-Y-S-T-A-C-K.” Why are they happy? Because they have gained confidence: “I can make any form in plaiting by myself!” The exercise involved an exploration of plaiting. I taught them only how to make a square with three strands and left it to them to find from there how to make various forms. Some did so very easily. Some struggled. But I waited until each had mastered it herself. The next morning, I discussed the outcome, bringing attention to various resolutions that could achieve the same form.  and explained that their development would lead to further differences. Everyone was amazed that the same form had emerged, but had not always been accomplished in the same way.  That is, everyone realized that each could create in her own way if not taught to apply only a single method by a teacher. Everyone came to feel her own way – not only worth her patience but also more meaningful to her. The photograph shows the joy of achieving a challenge, on students’ part as well as a teacher’s.

Hisako Sekijima  photo by Meghan

Hisako Sekijima
photo by Meghan

Hisako Sekijima Yokohama, Japan


Summer Stock: Artist Lectures, Classes, Workshops and Walkthroughs

Here’s a list of opportunities to connect this summer with the artists that browngrotta arts promotes and information on an interesting Archaeological Textile Course at Bryn Mawr:

 

Reflective Haze by Lewis Knauss, photo by Tom and Carter Grotta

Lewis Knauss
August 22nd to August 26th

Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO
http://www.AndersonRanch.org
“Advanced Fiber Workshop”

Waltzing Matilda, Waltzing Matilda by Sheila Hicks, photo by Tom Grotta

Sheila Hicks
May 5th, 10:30 a.m.
Institute of Contemporary Art, Philadelphia
http://www.icaphila.org/exhibitions/hicks.php
Walkthrough: Sheila Hicks: 50 Years

Glacial Planes by Nancy Moore Bess, photo by Tom and Carter Grotta

Nancy Moore Bess
April 29th to May 10th
Snow Farm, Williamsburg MA
http://www.snowfarm.org
Japanese Inspired Baskets

June 5th to 11th
Snow Farm, Williamsburg MA
http://www.snowfarm.org
Japanese Inspired Baskets

June 24th to 28th
Peters Valley Craft Center, Layton NJ
http://www.petersvalley.org
Japanese Packaging: Paper, Baskets & More

July 9th and 10th
Garage Annex School (GAS), Easthampton MA
http://www.garageannexschool.com
Japanese Packaging: Seeking a Narrative

July 17th, 12 to 3 pm
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston MA
http://www.mfa.org/programs
Artist Demonstration, “Bamboo and Tea
Exhibition: “An Unspoken Dialogue with Japanese Tea

August 12th
Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge MA
http://www.berkshirebotanical.org
Wrapping Your Garden: Herbs, Flowers & Veggies

Mandella by Pat Campbell, photo by Tom grotta

Pat Campbell
July 25th to July 29th
Waynflete School, Portland, ME
http://www.waynflete.org/podium/default.aspx?t=124856Weaving Works” for Grades 3-8

Kayak by Chris Drury, photo by Chris Drury

Chris Drury
May 3rd
Tagore Festival, Dartington, Devon, UK
http://www.tagorefestival.com
Artist’s Talk

Big Question, By Gyöngy Laky, photo by Tom Grotta

Gyöngy Laky
May 26th, 6 p.m.

The Textile Museum. Washington D.C.
http://www.textilemuseum.org/green
Lecture: “Geometric Disturbances

July 17th to July 29th
Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine
http://www.haystack-mtn.org/workshops.php
Visiting Artist

Tall blue tapestry

AZUL Y NEGR by Carolina Yrarrázaval Photo by Tom Grotta

Carolina Yrarrázaval
August 15th to August 21st
Santiago/Valparaiso/Ilsa Negra, Chile
http://www.yrarrazaval.com
Pre-Columbian Textile Techniques Workshop
click for details

 

For extra credit, at Bryn Mawr
June 5th to June 11th
Bryn Mawr College, Bryn Mawr, PA
cipstextiles@gmail.com
Textile Archea: CIPS Archaeological Textile Course
(Centers on the tools and techniques employed in the analysis of
archaeological textile materials of ancient Peru and introduces students to the archaeology of the Andes.)


Summer Stock: Artist Lectures, Classes and Workshops

Here’s a list of opportunities to connect this summer with artists that browngrotta arts promotes:

Dorothy Gill Barnes in her studio

Dorothy Gill Barnes
May 30th to June 11th

From Nature: Textiles/Sculpture, Penland School of Crafts, Penland, North Carolina ;
Using mostly materials gathered from the Penland landscape, students in this class will construct vessels or sculptures that honor nature using a variety of techniques: carpentry, sewing, weaving—whatever is appropriate to local materials and suitable to individual inspiration. We will work with respectfully harvested heavy and delicate barks, grasses, wood, vines, and roots.

Dail Behennah at COLLECT 2009

Dail Behennah
May 30th to June 11th

Line, Light, and Shadow: An Approach to Basketry Construction, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, Deer Isle, Maine;
The shadows that baskets cast and contain are often complex and beautiful and you will be encouraged to consider this aspect of the structures that you make. Ways of joining hard and soft materials will be demonstrated and, if necessary, invented in order that 2D and 3D forms can be constructed. Demonstrations, exercises, and discussions will provide inspiration, which will enable you to develop your own ideas. Participants will be encouraged to make samples, 3D sketches, and a more considered piece of work.

Nancy Moore Bess holding Glacial Planes at SOFA NY 2010

Nancy Moore Bess
May 16th to 22nd

Japanese-Inspired Baskets, Snow Farm, Williamsburg, Massachusetts;

Some traditional Japanese Baskets require only fifteen minutes and a smile. Others can consume the length of an entire workshop, no matter its length. Each example in this workshop can lead to hours of experimentation and dozens of variations.

July 23rd

Wrapping Flowers — Japanese Style , Berkshire Botanical Garden, Stockbridge, Massachusetts.
In Japan, presentation influences so much – food, flowers, tea. But Japan is not the only culture this worksop will be inspired by. Their are wonderful exsiting flower arrangement traditions from many cultures and this worksop will draw from them.

August 6th to 10th

Pillow Baskets: Screen and Paper, Peters Valley Craft Center, Layton, New Jersey; Contact: Jennifer Brooks; www.petersvalley.org
A wide variety of hardware store screening can be cut, folded, woven and stitched into lovely vessels. A covering of bits of handmade papers creates a luminescent skin. Years of travel to Japan and teaching has exposed Nancy Moore Bess to a wide range of vessel forms. Her passion for Japanese Packaging influences all that she creates.

Green Sculptures by Ceca Georgieva

Ceca Georgieva
Weekends from May to September

Green Summer Workshops, Ceca’s garden in the Vitosha Mountains near Sofia, Bulgaria. Email us at art@browngrotta.com if you’d like more details. The workshops will focus on dyeing with natural dyes using old traditional Bulgarian recipes.

Sheila Hicks Reflected in her Deck Weaving

Sheila Hicks
July 2010; exact date to be determined

Global Intrigue II 4th International Textile and Fibre Triennial , Museum of Decorative Arts and Design, National Museum of Art, Riga, Latvia
The exhibition opens July 9th at the Arsenals Exhibition Hall and runs through September 5, 2010. Sheila Hicks, one of two specially invited artists, will speak and exhibit work.

Lewis Knauss in Front of RETURNING GRASSES

Lewis Knauss
August 10th to August 14th

Fiber and Handmade Paper into Sculpture (and Artist in Residence) , The Bascom, P.O. Box 766, Highlands, North Carolina 28741

Mia Olsson TRACES 6 RELIEF Detail

Mia Olsson
June 28th to July 4th

Dyeing with Plants , Sätergläntan, College of Handicrafts, Knippbodarna 119, SE-793 4, Insjön, Sweden

August 9th to 13th

Free Embroidery, Black on white, White on black, White on white…, Sätergläntan, College of Handicrafts, Knippbodarna 119, SE-793 4, Insjön, Sweden

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Ceca Georgieva, Dail Behennah, Dorothy Gill Barnes, Lewis Knauss, Nancy Moore Bess, Sheila Hicks, Artist Lectures, Artist Workshops, Artist Classes