Last back to school instalment - well ... sort of back to school. What a different experience it was going to school virtually during a pandemic. It was sad in many ways for this to be my last semester but I am DONE and will graduate in the spring which is satisfying. Taking studio courses virtually was pretty challenging but the instructors did a remarkable job of making the best of a very difficult situation. There were obviously many downsides - like not seeing work in-person and not being able to touch fibre which is so important, plus getting to know other students and their work was challenging. Don't get me started on the technology side, especially living remotely with poor reception - I attended a few classes in a wifi parking lot while freezing (my feet, not the screen which was happening at home). But there were also upsides - a very short commute and I feel like I got to know the instructors much better. There is something very valuable about close eye contact that rarely happens in a classroom. Anyway, it was a very good semester under the circumstances.
I completed three courses (essentially equivalent to four courses because of their credit value) which was a pretty heavy load. However, because most of the regular shows that I participate in were cancelled and I opted not to teach in-person workshops, it was actually a pretty manageable semester.
The History of Ornament course was fascinating and different than I anticipated. The first assignment was about surface design. We did quite a bit of reading and then had to create three pieces. The first was a repeat pattern inspired by hillside medieval villages that look like buildings are stacked on top of each other.
The second was a felt tessellation. So fun to make tessellations! I've always wondered how Escher created some of his figure ground pieces and now I know. There are lots of great "how tos" on the internet if you are interested.