Tuesday, October 25, 2011

SOAR--A Week in Fuzzy Pictures and Muddled Thoughts

Has it been only two and a half weeks since I got home, tired, sore, and covered in little bits of fuzz, from SOAR? It seems like much longer, and even then I haven't even started processing the experience. How do you sum up a week where you do nothing but create and explore and cram as much as you can into the short hours of the day, all surrounded by people whose interests and loves are the exact same as yours? Well, yes, it's summed up as "heaven", but it was more than that. Part of being a SOAR scholarship recipient (an opportunity I was privileged to be chosen for) is that you must present them an essay before the next year, talking about your experiences. I think, perhaps, only by that point will I be able to sum it all up! In the meantime, a pictoral essay will have to do. And, since this is me we're talking about, it'll be a patchy one at best! Did I take pictures of any of my classes? Nope. But I got some shots of the things that inspired me and challenged me, and I can't wait to share them.

A table of samples from Janel Laidman's three day color blending workshop. I got to take her one day ply-blending workshop and her half-day fiber blending workshop, both of which were amazing.

The results of Pat Sparks' three day workshop on pictoral needle-felted "watercolors".

A glorious pile of art yarns, including the cover yarn for the SOAR magazine, from Jacey Boggs' three-day. I took her thick'n'thin'n'coils class on Friday and oh my goodness, she is the most wonderfully technical spinner ever. Such a cool way to learn about art yarns!

There was a gallery of finished items to ogle as well. I caught it as the light was coming in strong and golden from over the river.







The final night was a huge group spin-in in the Armory.



The big things I think I've taken from SOAR are not answers to the questions I had, or the techniques I learned. While I came away with plenty of those, the major thing was that every question answered or technique learned was a hydra--two more "what if?"s sprang up in their wake. What if you combined a gradient-carded series of batts with a handpainted roving fractal? How would you spin silk on a tahkli? How did both Roman sheep and Viking sheep develop single and double-coated breeds? What happened to sheep domestication and breed development when the masses moved from the country to the city in the Black Plague? Could you use a Guatemalan spindle to spin in the Blackfoot tradition? What if, what if, what if, what if--I can't wait to keep exploring these throughout the rest of the year.