Friday, October 18, 2013

Dorothy Caldwell Workshop

I was lucky this year to get into the workshop of my dreams--the Dorothy Caldwell Mark Making workshop at Nancy Crow's art barn in Ohio.

It was worth the price of admission just to worship at the shrine of Dorothy's work.  I spent lots of time returning to this gorgeous wall, trying to absorb it all.

Along with her own work, Dorothy set up displays of world textiles and mark making.  She shares a wealth of information about the processes and stories behind these pieces.

 This beautiful red and black piece was a gift from Dorothy's Australian students.
Besides just gazing in awe, we did work, and lots of it.  We stitched, drew, pierced, painted, waxed, discharged, burnt and in general made marks in every way we could.  This is a collection of the class's randomly stitched pieces.

 We went from working minutely to working outside on large scale paintings.   Mine is on the left.

I really want to show all the beautiful work that was produced in class.  It was amazing how much variety came out even when all we did was make a single mark on the page.  We did, however, agree not to post each other's finished work.  Here is a glimpse of some of the gorgeous piles of materials around the room.

My table as I start to assemble my main book.

Our main project was putting together a book of samples of all the techniques we covered in the week.  The assembly of the book was especially challenging as we tried to get the pages to flow from one to the other and read cohesively.  Here are some of my pages.

I loved that I was working without a plan, but after working on about 4 pages, I found that there was a theme of flight and eggs developing.  My mind has been on empty nest syndrome a lot lately as my boys get closer to leaving home.  It's funny what shows up even when we're not conscious of it.  I went with it and made my cover with that in mind.

Working with Dorothy was a fabulous experience.  She has a beautiful, quiet way about her and an almost childlike wonder about every mark she sees.   I have always found her work deeply soulful, and after hearing about her process and her connection to the land, I understand where that comes from.  A generous and amazingly talented woman who will inspire me for years!