Friday, August 5, 2016

Creative Strength Training: Wrap It Up!

Two weeks ago, I was delighted to attend Jane Dunnewold's Fiber Talk at the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles.  Jane spoke to the importance of artists engaging in routine cross training and creative strength training.  Her talk inspired me to renew my commitment about being more intentional about incorporating creative strength training into my daily routine.  To help with this endeavor, I purchased a copy of her new Creative Strength Training book along with a set of her Creative Strength Training Prompt Cards.

Ready to Rock & Roll
Speaking of CST Prompt cards, this week's CST Summer Camp Prompt instructed participants to find a smooth stone and wrap it in paper, thread or twine, serving as an opportunity embrace and meditate.  I went out to my backyard in search of a rock, and located one next to the house.  I was drawn to its mottled grey coloring, smooth texture and interesting shape.  As I washed away the mud and dirt with warm water and my own hands, I explored its many contours and subtle color changes.  I laid it in the sun to dry off and watched as patterns emerged as the water evaporated with the hot sun beating overhead.  Once dry, I held it in my hand, feeling the warmth radiate outwards.

Rock On!


Returning to my studio, I located a skein of violet ombre yarn to use to use for the wrapping.  With no plan or design in mind, I slowly wrapped the yarn around the circumference of my rock, watching as each new line interacted with both the rock and previously wrapped yarn lines.  Just as I started to lose myself in the wrapping process, I suddenly realized that the yarn was taking over the rock underneath.  I unwrapped a few passes and stopped once balance had returned:  hard and soft, bright color next to dull greys, straight lines and gentle curved outlines...

My meditative state continued as I photographed my wrapped rock from various angles, watching as the light interacted with the contours of the rock, wrapped yarns and my hand dyed fabric backdrop!

Before beginning this week's prompt, I figured it would be a quick 5-10 minute experience.  By using all my senses and allowing myself to become totally immersed in the process, I've enjoyed both the process and the many discoveries along the journey.  As a result, I've become rather attached to my meditation rock, and it now lives in my studio as a personal reminder to slow down and look for balance in my art, work and life!

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