When packing for the trip, I'd considered 2 things that are very dear to me and finally decided on three wrapped stones that were a gift from Fiona of Paper Ponderings.
Per Sandra's instructions, we were to examine the object carefully, record it, describe it in detail, tell its history/story and tell the personal significance it holds. I did just that using antique Japanese receipt book paper, sumi ink and marker.
When all were done, we gathered upstairs to share our objects and their stories. Soon enough, it was my turn. And oh! What a turn it was.
As I told the story of discovering a kindred spirit in Fiona and of being gifted the stones, the enormity of what they represent for me swept in. Sitting there, midst 12 incredible women, with Christine Mauersberger and Sandra to my right, Mary across the table to my left and India Flint directly in front of me on the couch...sitting in Big Cat Textiles...in Newburgh, Scotland, I choked up.
Unsuccessfully fighting back tears and struggling to speak, all the while wanting desperately to disappear, with tissues in hand, I finally managed to squeak out my thoughts.
This little blog of mine was started as a way to get myself back in the studio after an extended time away from it. An art blog needs art, right? That was my thought. What I hadn't even considered were the connections that would be made as a result or how my world would be opened and expanded.
Fiona's stones = the world, quite literally, opening up to me. I was sitting midst the best possible example of it.
Once we'd all shared our stories, I was desperate to escape outside for a bit of fresh air, to feel the sun and compose myself. Couldn't be crying all afternoon, could I? A few steps had been taken when Pauline - who'd seemed the quietest of our group - walked up to me and said that she reads my blog and was happy when she read that I'd be in the workshop. (cue more tears)
That short exchange with Pauline meant everything to me. Even now, I still get all weepy eyed remembering. We've a love of tea bags and rust in common. What more is needed to begin a friendship? Before leaving on Friday, I gave Pauline a piece of my tea rusted cotton.
She mentioned that she'd send along one of her books and not long after the workshop, residue arrived.
Decaying flowers that I see as dancers - leaping and twirling through space with total abandon,
trusting that they will be caught, will alight safely, however briefly before stepping into the air again.
residue's other side is the ethereal world of the dancers' dreams. A world filled with creativity and artistry, music and dance, landscapes/seascapes/airscapes, kinship and understanding.
While this edition of residue now belongs to me and the photos above are mine, I ask that they not be pinned, tumblr-ed or shared without Pauline's permission. Thank you for honoring my request.
The name of Sandra's workshop may be Tactile Notebooks and the Written Word, but it is far more than that. It is about connections, journeys, discoveries and possibilities. By the way, I hear that she'll will be teaching the workshop next June at Committed to Cloth in Betchworth, UK in case you're interested.