Monday, September 21, 2009

Back from Brasstown

I spent last week at the John Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. It was a lovely week, and a feel for what life was like in simpler times. The school is somewhat isolated, no TV, limited internet access, phones in the office only. It's an odd but nice feeling to know your evenings depend on reading a good book, going back to the studio or visiting Clays Corner store for entertainment. There's also evening entertainment on campus such as their weekly Square/Contra dance. Townspeople are always welcome to these events and come out in full force. I for one, wanted to learn Contra dancing and participated with great enthusiasm. I also discovered muscles I never knew I had and realized how old these bones really are! But, still great fun.
The workshop I taught was based on a technique I developed years ago using image/photo transfer paper - the kind used to transfer pictures to fabric. I was trying to find a way to duplicate the beautiful fall foliage. I tried silk painting, dyes, textile paint and nothing came close to the real thing. I had a pack of image paper and thought if you can do a flat picture, why not a flat leaf. I've taught this workshop many times and always love it. Students made both a table runner and a small wall hanging. All came out beautiful. Here's the class sample. And a detail, you can see how realistic the leaves look. When placed next to the real ones, you can't tell the difference except these don't die!
I like to use leaves that are spotty, bug eaten etc. not so perfect which makes them more interesting.

As always, I'm photographing nature for inspiration. It rained a lot last week and many little pools were stirred up.
I loved the reflection of the tree in the pool below. For all of these photos, I'm thinking of silk screens or manipulation in Photoshop.
This next one was one of my favorites - both the reflection and bubbles intrigued me. I'll be anxious to put this in Photoshop and see what happens.
I love the ripples in this next one.
And this one with a reflection and just a few mossy rocks.
There was a handsome bit of moss on this tree...will see how it layers with another photograph.
And looking up

And looking down

It will be fun to experiment with these.
On another note, I also became friends with the Blacksmith instructor who saved the wrought iron scraps each day from class - such amazing shapes and wonderful for rusting.

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