Sunday, July 19, 2015

BEVERLY GORDON to Teach Two Workshops


Beverly Gordon

Author of TEXTILES THE WHOLE STORY to teach at Maiwa

At Maiwa we have a copy of Beverly's book on our desk. We dip into it almost every day. Beverly reminds us of the powerful significance of fabric in all aspects of our lives.

Sometimes we are at a loss for words with textiles. We intuitively know they are important but we cannot always say why (with the clarity and force we would like). It is at this point that we turn to Beverly's book. She wanted to title her book: The Fibre of our Lives: Why Textiles Matter — we think that is a great title. She is the spokesperson for textiles that we aspire to be.

Below are links to Beverly's two workshops. They represent a rare opportunity to spend a few days with one of the most insightful and thoughtful minds working with textiles today.

Beverly Gordon retired in 2011 from 30 years as a professor in the Design Studies Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also affiliated with the Folklore and Material Culture programs. In addition Beverly has worked as a curator and fibre artist. She writes and publishes extensively on textiles.

Adventures with World Textiles 

Register Here

We will not produce textiles in this seminar-like class but will delve into an eclectic study of world textile traditions with the goal of discovering, appreciating, and exposing ourselves to new techniques and ideas. The instructor will provide slide shows and videos on selected textile traditions (examples: Ugandan barkcloth, Cuna Indian molas, Wounaan baskets, Central Asian felt, American Indian quill and beadwork, and African wax and “fancy” prints), and students are encouraged to bring textiles they may have and to share what they know about these and other topics. Together, we can better understand the creativity and commonalities of people’s relationships with textiles, the full range of materials and approaches that textile-making may entail, and issues that threaten or enhance fibre traditions (including world markets). No experience or knowledge base is required—just interest and a sense of curiosity. It is inspiring and energizing to share this exploration with a group of fellow textile enthusiasts, and we will all come out feeling more connected, both to one another and to textile-makers throughout the world. Beverly joins us from the USA.


Cloth and Memory - Exploring Memory Cloths 

Register Here

A “memory cloth” is a piece of handwork that, through the meditative processes of stitching and appliqué, allows us to feel good as well as capture memories or ideas. It may help us preserve and/or release the past, get closer to our own stories (and thus learn about ourselves), keep close to loved ones, and embed new ideas in our consciousness. In this workshop, we will explore the concept of memory cloths by looking at expressions from around the world—e.g., Chilean arpilleras, South African embroideries, Afghan war rugs, American album and memorial quilts, teddy bears made from loved ones’ clothes, and contemporary fibre art. We will use easy, exploratory writing exercises to bring out our ideas, and work on our own cloth in ways that feel comfortable and fun.
No special skills or background are needed—this is a workshop to explore, experiment, and discover. You can stitch, embellish, knit, or otherwise work with fibre and fabric, uncovering images and words that help you express your own voice and experience.  (Embroidery /embellishment instruction will not be provided, but the instructor and the group itself will provide a resource for getting started, feeling confident, solving problems, and stitching something meaningful.) Beverly joins us from the USA.



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