The Magic of Ashland! DOL with Diane Ericson

The Magic of Ashland! DOL with Diane Ericson

The large room was decorated in an arabesque style, white trim and Naples yellow walls. It became the warren of busy women, all eager to move forward in their work and creativity.

This second DOL I participated in was in Ashland, Diane’s hometown. It convened in the Ashland Springs Hotel, an old refurbished hotel, the tallest building in town!

Across the street is Sew Creative, a marvelous fabric store. Couldn’t be more convenient. Many great shops and restaurants line the streets and, of course, if one had time there is the theater.

I felt calmer this time. Knowing more what to expect and what might be required of me. One of the pleasures of a gathering of like souls is: who will show up, what might they do and how will they contribute to the whole energy/gestalt of the group. I was not disappointed!

There is an openness these women have that serves as the conduit for magic to happen, or at least process. And with that openness comes a vulnerability to be present in a group setting, because everyone has their own pace and style of working. No judgment. It is a beautifully held circle.

Diane and I presented our pieces to a rapt audience. There was something for everyone. I am in awe of Diane and her mastery of details. I realized that because I am more production oriented, albeit low production, that we have very different approaches. As my friend Collins says we complement each other very well.

A special treat was meeting Miles, Diane’s son. He did a demo of his printing techniques and shared his artwork with us. He is a younger free-form reflection of his mother, energetic, charming and affable. We exchanged ideas and I shared my Solvy technique with him and artworks were traded as well.

Little by little projects coalesced on each table. Pieces were tried on. I was happy to drape a piece under Diane’s eye and had a small but not insignificant break through on a seam that juts out. Simple (or not so simple) pleasures! It was fun to partake of the stitching and watch something take form.

Knowing this was probably my last teaching with Diane added to the tender tying up of the loose threads and the closing of the circle. The intensity of newly forged friendships and ideas remain, to be remembered and tapped into even after all this time has passed. I am grateful to be part of this G-threads group, that keeps us connected and broadens our world.

An informal teaching day with Peter and Toni

An informal teaching day with Peter and Toni

Peter Linenthal, a friend I have known since I was 14, is an artist and book illustrator. He has also been involved in the Potrero Hill Historical Society, organizing fundraisers and gathering history of the Hill.

A number of years ago he became interested in collecting bronze seals that came from the Central Asia. They are from a region called the Bactria Margellana Archeological Complex, BMAC. The seals were mostly found in the tombs of women and are of compelling designs both primitive yet sophisticated at the same time. Their original use remains unclear.

After meeting at his house one afternoon to do rubbings of the seals we set up a time to come to my studio and make silk screens out of some of them.

Coincidentally, Toni Hines was coming the same day as Peter. Toni is a woman I met through my mother, Elaine Badgley Arnoux. She had taken mom’s “Edge of Vision” class and had introduced mom to a set of symbols from Africa that have deep meaning and are powerfully graphic.

Toni has developed an annual community healing event called YNOT Unite for Peace in the Streets and Home. This is in honor of her son who was shot down in the Bayview district. His name was Tony and so she has used his name in reverse to gather the neighborhood and raise awareness for nonviolence. I thought she could create a product printing the symbols on shirts as a fundraising tool for her group event, using creativity as a tool for peace.

Diane Ericson and Me: Meeting of the Minds

Diane Ericson and Me: Meeting of the Minds

Passing through Ashland in August I had the opportunity to find Diane in her studio. More like school/showroom/office, plus creative space. I was grungy from camping and her space was clean yet full of energetic goings on. Since she asked me to co-teach with her in Taos this year I have come to know more about the entity that is Design Outside the Lines. It is a non stop flow of creative techniques that are used to construct clothing in an unrestrained fashion. And being in Diane’s space I got it. She is that energy. Bravo! I just hope I can keep up with her…!

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