So this is Trinity Lutheran where Artfiberfest was held. My friends Deb and Janice and I arrived at about 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday. It's not too far a drive for us-about 2 1/2 hours plus stops for the border and shopping of course. When we registered, it was pretty quiet-I think alot of people were arriving after work or coming in on flights later in the day. We wandered around and found our rooms and had a chance to unpack.
On Thursday, I took Mary Stanley's Wild and Wooley class to learn traditional rug hooking. Mary is the very soft spoken, gentle soul and I had a great time in her class. She had made each of us a hooked flower which was very sweet. I got to sit with Edina Tien whom I had met at AF but really didn't get to talk to. We had the whole class to chat and get to know one another, which was really nice. Sueanne was also at our table and boy did that girl work fast! By the time we all went home, her huge piece (a face) was almost finished. I managed to get the star completed in the center of mine, but I still have some work to do!
Friday, Deb and I took DJ Pettit's Artfolio class together. DJ and I have been friends online for awhile now so it was wonderful finally getting to meet her. The best word I can use to describe DJ is LOVELY. She is just a joy to know and a great teacher. People were raving about her classes. I managed to get the covers for my artfolio finished, but I didn't get the book together. That's my next project here at home. I can't wait because the books that did get finished were gorgeous and I know I am going to love mine!!
Saturday's class was Elise Peebles' Joyous Expression Flat Figures. Elise said this was her last class-she is retiring from teaching (at art retreats anyway) so it's a good thing I had picked her class. This class was interesting for me. Everyone was using a certain colour pallet and then there was me with my folk art fabrics. I started to feel really bad about my choice because I felt like the odd one out. (So bad that I kinda wanted to cry, but I think it was just because I was tired.) Eventually, I thought to myself: "I came here to make art to please ME, not to impress anyone else dammit!" and shut up that niggling critic in the back of my head. I have some embellishing to do, which I will work on and get the doll together soon. The reason I didn't end up further along by the time class was over was that I hit the wall at 2:30 p.m. It was really hot (We are having a heatwave in the north-yeah, funny, I know) and between being tired and getting overheated, I just couldn't concentrate any more. The class was great though-I could see how I could use what I learned in a variety of ways.
Someone asked me which event I preferred-AF or AFF and I had to say I didn't know. It's like compairing apples to oranges, really. AF is this big wild and crazy event focussing mainly on paper arts, jewellery, paint and metal work while AFF is a smaller, cozier group devoted to fiber arts. AF feels like a big festival and is vibrant and loud and exciting and AFF is quieter, more intimate and relaxed. It just depends on what you are looking for. Both have excellent teachers and interesting classes.
What I liked best about AFF is that by merit of it being a smaller group, it allows for people to meet, interact and really connect with one another. I find that creating art is a pretty solitary thing-most of us do it alone in our own homes and unless you are getting out to classes or teaching, you don't really get to meet other artists. It's so good to walk into a situation where you know instantly that people "get it" and are supportive and accepting. I also felt that you could sit down anywhere with anyone at any time and be made to feel instantly welcome. People were just so open and inviting and being a people person, this was really wonderful to experience. That said, I really don't know that I could say one is better than the other. I loved them both!
I came home with THREE bags filled with trades, gifts and purchases which I am still unpacking. I will share those pictures, plus some others tomorrow, so as not to make a giant post!