Wednesday, September 09, 2009


I have spent the past two days in a workshop with Laura Cater-Woods. She shared some of her mixed-media/fiber techniques and we had two days of what she calls "non-toxic fun"! Our instructions were to bring a bag of "stuff". Here's my stuff dumped out on my table.

I don't take very many classes, but I was looking forward to finally meeting Laura, who I have "known" online for so many years. I also enjoyed sharing a table with my friend, Virginia, who I don't get to see often enough. At the beginning of the first day Laura asked us to introduce ourselves and tell what we hoped to get out of the class. I said I hoped to be pushed out of my comfort zone. We all laughed when one woman's response was, "I don't expect to learn anything, I'm just here for the social experience!" I have always suspected that's the real reason a lot of people take classes and workshops. It was refreshing to hear someone actually admit to it!

The techniques we learned are a kind of fiber collage that creates pieces of fabric that can be combined in other works, or could stand on their own. Here Laura demonstrates a way of combining unspun fibers of various kinds into a felt-like piece.

Later she demonstrated a technique for combining various fabrics and papers and fibers into a layered, collaged piece. She called this "paper fabric". (Or was that "fabric paper"?)

I found myself well outside the borders of my comfort zone and the first day Laura commented on my worried look. By the second day I was getting into the swing of it and feeling a little more comfortable.

Here are two of 5 small pieces that I started using my collaged bits and wisps. These each measure 5" x 6". These will be stitched on and worked on more and probably all five will be combined into a small accordian book, similar to some that Laura showed us.

I may never use these techniques again, but it is always good to learn something new and take the opportunity to experiment. If I finish something it will be a nice remembrance of the workshop and meeting Laura. And really, I think the parts are kind of nice so far—do you?


  1. I store bits of information away like squirrels store nuts. You just never know when you are going to apply what you have learned or in what type of situation you will aplly it in.

    Your results looks great! Not like your regular work but still interesting.

  2. Anonymous5:38 AM

    Just love your beginnings! These will come together nicely, however you choose. Great job!

  3. I can see them used in small amounts in your work (cut into strips or squares) as accents or background or bird wings.

    I like the face in the landscape in the first piece and would be able to work with that myself. You should try and force yourself to use a bit or two in your work. Stretch just a little.

  4. These bits have great possibilities. I think I need to learn how to do this. Jen

  5. It looks like you had fun for sure. I like these pieces. I am sure you will be able to use some of these techniques in your work.

  6. Terry, I love the results of your day -- even tho you weren't in your "zone," they show wonderful composition (no surprise there!) and great color. I especially like the window piece. Glad you had fun!

  7. It never hurts to have more tools in your toolbox. I particularly like the windows piece.

  8. I love it. I think I'd have a hard time in this class, too, but not for the same reasons. I just have a hard time making abstract pieces. I love it, but just can't seem to put it together. I think it has something to do with my technical writing brain...if it doesn't have proper dimensions, I'm doomed!

    These would be great pieces for a journal cover.

  9. Anonymous5:05 PM

    You made lovely collages!
    Mary Manahan

  10. I love these. There is a certain mystery to them. I think this technique is right up your alley.

  11. OO, I know that worried look. Teachers have spotted it on my face too! These are spectacular results, I think. I love this use of photos - so mysterious.

  12. Glad you had a good time. I think the worried look was just concentration -- your comfort zone is way wider than you think. Did I just say that you are often going out on a limb? Oh dear....

    We're back, by the way. And I'm glad Laura and you had a good time.