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Currents: Views from the workshop

Ron King's Currents workshop: Protecting the Planet, Protecting Ourselves took place this past Saturday. We began the class by sharing our past involvement with textiles and fibers. I think we all started our textile lives with one or more family member who shared their love and knowledge of sewing, knitting, crochet, quilting, needlepoint, etc with us. I am encouraged that these skills continue to be passed down and strengthen the link with our earliest human ancestors. Textiles and fibers are central to our lives. They are with us cradle to grave to give us warmth, protection from elements, privacy, healing bandage and compress, restful sleep, joy filled home embellishment and decor and even home itself with yurts, tipis, and tents.

As the discussion continued, we thought about the day's theme of protecting the planet and ourselves. We were all using repurposed and recycled fabrics from Ron's great stash of handwoven yardages, quilt ends and an diverse assortment collected over 50+ years of professional involvement as a designer and teacher. We all added to the material stash and had a grand time as we sorted through the piles to find what we wanted to work with. I consider that the materials we used for the class went a long way to protecting the planet as we didn't add to the world's fabric stream with new purchases.

Our individual projects that answered in some way 'personal protection' were varied. Three people worked on bags/back pack with pockets, one continued to work on a shroud with crocheted doilies passed to her by a family member, another was working on a curtain, someone on pants, another on a 'smock, tabard, apron?', and I worked on a cross back apron with pockets. I want to mention that all of the day's projects were made with personally drafted/designed patterns and a couple of people dived into their work beginning a new relationship a with sewing machines.


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