Djcnor’s Weblog

Thurs, Fri, and Sat at the St. Lawrence Textile Centre

Posted on: April 19, 2009

I just finished spending a good deal of my time at the Centre for the last three days, and though I did not sell a thing (much to my disappointment, since someone had wanted to buy one or more of my handpainted shopping bags on Wednesday, but I stupidly did not have them priced yet) but I got some work done, and as usual, came away with more ideas and more inspiration than I can possibly carry out with my present level of energy and stamina. Luckily, with any luck, that energy and stamina will build, if only to keep from feeling like I’m operating in a different time frame from the younger members of the group.

Lorna finished the project she was working on for Anne Lavene and, on Saturday, was working on a sewing project, a dress a friend wanted to wear that evening. I’ve got this idea of interviewing the members on their projects and the ideas they are having, but since I once again failed to fulfill that part of my objectives, I’m working on my own perceptions of their ongoing projects, so anything I say could be entirely wrong. You are warned. I believe Lorna’s project was mostly restyling, attaching a recycled white textured (brocade?) bodice to fluffy tulle-supported skirt at hip level.

Jung-a had quite an effective meeting with Anne Francis of BizFizz, which I horned in on to a certain extent via an introduction by Anne Lavene. Facing my long-term-unemployed meeting with the Job Centre on Monday, I’d like to have as much to say and be as self-directed as possible, but I have to admit that I’ve become rather wary of most UK government sponsored projects to help folks start businesses. They tend to be very generous with classes and advice that you don’t have the resources to carry through on (when what you really need is the moeny for rent and food and practical material goods like, in Jung-a’s case, mannequins or dress-making dummies, and in all our cases, a large table to lay out things on, in my case, a table it won’t break my back to work over. (I’ve been spending far too much time hunched over work in my lap and my back is complaining loudly this morning.) Then, to top it off, they require a ton of paperwork (doing which requires abandoning the kind of work you want to be doing). Anyhow, BizFizz seems to be differently oriented, a sort of spider’s nest with a wide-flung net to catch things and move them on to folks who need them to get their dreams off the ground.

Kim was nowhere to be seen, though she sold a set of knitted gauntlets (having gone to the trouble of pricing them, bless her). But it turned out she had an excellent excuse, her van having broken down.

I also didn’t see Kira, myself, though I know she must have been there when I wasn’t because she laid exclusive (and rightful) claim to her working chair (which has had a tendency to wander off here and there, being the only chair not draped with someone’s creations). I did see, too, that she had acquired a second garment to handpaint. A big part of her absense may have been due to the success of her musical enterprises. I seem to remember that she had a big gig scheduled for this weekend. (Note to self: Is there a stage name of some sort folks should be on the lookout for?)

Tatiana fluttered about acting as a muse and aid to all and sundry, seeing that we all had something in the display area outside, modeling a restyled butterfly cutaway jacket of Jung-a’s, and drawing a collection of creative friends and acquaintances (including one beginning jeweler showing considerable talent whose name I should have gotten), and sewing a bit, I’m not sure on what.

Ossie was about too, wearing an extraordinary leather jacket and presenting an impromptu concert of Celtic song, just one more example of the fact that no two visits to the Centre are ever the same. She’ll be setting up a menswear section in the Centre when she manages to fit it in with all the other things she does.

Anne Lavene had a small crowd of visitors spread just thinly enough over the three days for each of them to receive more personal attention and care than they might have expected, here explaining the six ways a particular garment could be worn, or how it could be satisfactorily translated to another size, there teaching an introductory machine knitting lesson, passing on maintenance hints, or coaching Lorna on her machine knitting project, along with seventeen other things. She also managed to sell quite a bit in the process. 

I would include Mickey, who has a healing centre in the front corner, but I don’t know enough about his work so far.

As for me, I did some pricing, painted the Virginia creeping ivy on my third bag, and began the other flint wall side as well. I crocheted some as well, and met quite a few interesting visitors to the center, including a local French teacher who, I believe, has done some embroidery she is quite proud of. My French is limited, as was her English, but we did manage to communcate pretty well, and I hope she comes again to show me her work.

She was only one of the visitors for whom the Centre seemed to draw out, to revive, the creative urge. In my opinion, this is one of the best things that could come from the Centre. I know I will be feeling withdrawal symptoms before I get back to the Centre this week.

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Djcnor’s Weblog

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