Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Spinning Silk with Jeannine (Jenny) Bakriges, Part III

I've been raving about this workshop for three days now! Not just a learning experience, it was also one of the most congenial classes I've ever been in. Jenny, the teacher, and Ariel, the studio assistant, were perfectly lovely. Jenny was always patient and willing to explain -- even when she'd used up her voice on us. I admire her generosity in imparting whatever she's learned in her career as a fiber artist. Jenny taught us much more than was in the printed curriculum. It was a treat, too, to see her work which I'd only seen in SpinOff. The colors are lovely and the work is beautifully constructed. This is one of the most important things I learned in this class -- the "wax on, wax off" approach to spinning makes a big difference.

Ariel, a fiber arts major, was efficient, helpful and impressively mature. The cat pillow she'd embroidered in a previous class sold for a very nice price at the weekly auction -- I wish I'd bought it. Knowing only how to spin on a spindle, she learned to use a Schacht wheel by the second evening and was spinning like a pro on the last day.

I also have to mention Karen Henderson, the head of the program (no picture, unfortunately) who heads the Fiber: Surface and Structure Program. Peters Valley serves "crafters" and "artists". I am pleased that more of us crafty types can take advantage of some of the offerings. While art vs. craft is a false dichotomy, I don't know another way to name the difference between those of us in craft guilds and those who lean towards a more "artistic" self-definition.

My fellow students were treasures. You know how some workshops and classes may have one or two students you just can't bear? Well, not here. It was fun getting to know my classmates. M. is a Peters Valley afficionada, having taken so many classes. J. raises sheep and has vast stores of both historical and fiber information to share. B. wowed us with an unplanned extra -- a discursion into the native wild moths and the silk they spin. It was a rare and wonderful treat.

1 comment:

Llamafarmgirl said...

Thank you for sharing your experience here with anyone who wants to read. I too am a student of Jenny's and could fill many entries about how she has enriched my life, but alas I do not blog.

Jenny's art is beautiful. Her yarn makes your heart stop as does her thirst to share her knowledge.

To anyone else out there - if she is in your area and teaching, take advantage of the opportunity. No teacher is perfect for all students, but she is the perfect teacher for what I need.

Thank you Liza again for sharing!