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

Thursday, 3 November 2011

A year of many firsts......

I have mentioned a phone call at the end of the previous post....    I was left feeling a bit overwhelmed after the exhibition and wondered what I would do with all these wallhangings.   The week after the exhibition, I received a phone call from a lady saying that she saw the quilts through the gallery windows after hours and was hoping to see the quilts in my studio......

Nan and Huub van der Kolk promptly visited and immediately bought 93-04, my personal favourite.   I was overjoyed, my first quilt sold!    
93-04:  First quilt ever sold!
Nan and Huub owned the Willowvale Hotel in the Transkei and loved everything South African.   We chatted away like old friends as they were very interested in my work.   They left with the quilt and soon phoned again with an offer!   They were on their way to visit their daughter and her family in Swaziland and offered to take the exhibition to Swaziland and hoped to sell all the quilts for me!    The most amazing was that they gave me a cheque for all the quilts and Huub made me phone the bank to check that the cheque was good....... !    Truly good people.     The deal was that if they did not sell the quilts, I would return the money.   Well, they returned home with only one quilt, buying and selling 9 quilts.    I was stunned and very touched as they helped a total stranger.

I think I was left with the feeling of what now...!     I started dabbling with more designs and made more wallhangings.    I loved playing with all this colour... I also starting incorporating beadwork which I bought from street vendors to give the quilts a true South African feeling.   My friend Jayne McComb insisted on taking two quilts 93-13 & 93-18 to the USA as she was going to attend a quilt show in Ontario, California.    Yes, there is an Ontario in the States....    She showed these two quilts at the Show and Tell and was promptly awarded a Special Award for the two pieces.    Jayne sold the two quilts before returning home.....  This was the very first ribbon which I won for a quilt(s)!

I was invited to participate in the annual Round Table group art exhibtion in King William's Town for which I made 5 or 6 pieces.    I also received a commission for a bird quilt for a beach house in Kei Mouth which was very exciting.   The client took me on a site inspection so that I could see where the quilt would hang.   I find such an inspection very helpful as it sets the "mood" for the quilt as even the colour of the walls would influence something so specific.    I was given some fabric for the border which decided the colours which I would use.     I bought a bird book and started some research!      I chose birds which would tone in with the fabric of the border and did a submission to the client.   She was happy so I started work.   In hindsight, the quilt would have looked much better with more quilting, I think a mistake of most inexperienced quilters.   This was my first dabble with realistic work.
93-17 First realistic quilt and first commission
1993 in East London was a wonderful creative time for me with many "firsts"....     I had my first joint exhibition in an art gallery, two quilts went overseas and was sold there, I got my first commission for a quilt, I applied and was accepted to teach at a National Quilt Festival.....    The kids were well adjusted and happy at school, life was so good and I relished every moment........

And then it was 1994.............

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