Teaching Philosophy

I feel successful when I teach people:

- to see what they look at!

- that it is ok to be different!

- to open a whole new world of creativity for them....

- that there is a solution for every problem (mostly with a quick-unpick!)

- that it is a joy to be creative......

The Creative Mind Plays with the Object it Loves -
Carl Jung

Friday, 21 October 2011

Learning to Fly........

You might wonder about the title of my previous rambling....   In retrospect I realize how little I knew about quilting when I started teaching 23 years ago...., hence the title Fools rush in (where angels fear to tread....)!

I think we all have a tendency to reflect on life, past choices made and the journey we've had.    Some choices were good, others could/should have been different/better....!    I think my decision to teach quilting in 1988 was a good one.    In the process I have learnt much  more than the students from me as I had to continuously produce new and fresh ideas which was imperative if I wanted to be a successful teacher.   It sent me on a solitary road of discovery, not just creatively but also so much of myself.   I discovered talents which I never dreamt I had....

I was fortunate that I was already a member of the Kaffrarian Quilters' Guild (now East Coast Quilters' Guild) when we moved from King Williams' Town to East London in 1991as it immediately offered a group of prospective friends...!    We all settled down very quickly this time and I formed a small quilt group.    We had weekly get togethers on Wednesday mornings and had great fun.   I also continued teaching from home.
Beverley Swemmer, me (yes I had dark hair!) and Jayne McComb.   The 4th member Margaret Brown took the photograph!
This small group offered me so much support with the new direction where quilting was taking me.   I became intrigued by the work of Esther Mahlangu, a Ndebele mural artist living in the north of the old Transvaal.    An established artist in her community with beautiful mural art, she was invited to exhibit her work in Paris, France which catapulted her onto the world art scene.   I also remember the BMW which she decorated with Ndebele art which was published in the newspapers.   I was totally smitten with this lovely, strong geometric designs.    I soon tried my hand at a very bold wallhanging (I now think it was rather ugly) which I made for our house.    I designed it full scale on paper, fused all the motifs onto the background and satin stitched around all the motifs with black thread to create the black lines which is an integral part of the Ndebele art.   I quilted in the ditch, in hindsight it could have looked so much better if I added more quilting.   I regard this quilt which I made in 1992 as the platform for my work to follow.
92-11   My first Ndebele style wallhanging made in 1992
 Making 92-11 soon lead to an exciting invitation of which I will tell you next time.....

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