Here is a student, Maya, at my embroidery class at the Textile Arts Center. We had our last class yesterday and it was so exciting to see what my students had come up with and the places they were already going with their work. We focused the class on making work from a personal and autobiographical place... and they took the idea and ran with it.
Maya is making an incredible piece on a found linen dress, where there are "burn" holes in the back and text about political unrest in Peru on the front. The text is tiny and meticulously done, with her hand changing the color to reference the burning. Her plan is to make some pieces inspired by the stories that her father tells about his life in Peru during political unrest. I always admire political work and Maya truly has the sensibility to make some powerful stuff so I cannot wait to see what she does next and how these projects turn out.
By far my most prolific student was the super sweet and lovely poet Jill Magi. She came to the class brimming with ideas and enthusiasm and on a teachers schedule she was able to delve right into them during the month of classes. I loved her first pieces where she ran pages of text through her printer and then embroidered gorgeous areas and designs of color. As an experiment it showed a ton of potential in this process and helped teach her the stitches.
A larger project that she started, which I hope she follows to completion and hangs somewhere is using found and family linens and responding to the existing monograms. Each linen will have a line from one of her poems embroidered onto it- so in the end there will be a number of pieces that can be hung to display the entire poem. This one say his intellectual arms.
She also started to play with some simple line drawing works. Jill was so inspired as a word smith to get her work out in this new form and I honestly think she will make some great things as a result. She has played with making her poetry visual before- you can see some work at her website here.
Irene took on an ambitious project and the challenge of working on a black surface. She is making a large "heart" piece that references forms of arts like tattoos, Chicano arts, and folk art- but is making it very personal by having all the sections of the heart represent something that is meaningful to her. I wish I took a picture of her drawing so that you could see the direction the work is going in. I think that in the end it will be a bright, loving piece that reflects the warmth and love that Irene exudes.
Alex had to miss the last class so we only got to see her work just get started but it is going to be a super sweet and meaningful piece. She is doing a portrait in memoriam of her boyfriends 2 family dogs. Her illustrations look gorgeous and once the love of the stitch is built in it will be even more lovely.
But as always the best part of teaching is meeting new and interesting people introducing them to how easy and wonderful embroidery is, and sitting round stitching. I will genuinely miss this class as all the students were really fun to get to know (they taught me just as much as I taught them) and the Textile Center was very successful at attracting students that were interested in doing something less traditional and expected- which as a teacher I loved.
I cannot wait to teach my next class with them in September- -maybe you can join us?
and don't forget the deadline for the show at their space coming up.