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A happy bubble away from reality

30 March 2020

Four weeks ago I cheerfully left for Vancouver to explore the city for a few days before spending a week teaching in Salt Spring Island with Fiona Duthie.

The first 2 days I went out with Sara Vinitha. She is a felt artist who lives in Vancouver and followed a 3-day workshop in silk painting and felting with wool in my home in the Netherlands.
She knows the city well and took me to the best addresses in the field of (textile) art and materials.
The last day a friend of Sara, Julia Manitius also took me through the city for a day. She used to be the owner of an exclusive fashion store and surprised me with very nice addresses, which I probably would not have found if I had been alone.
The days flew by. I enjoyed it very much. And on Saturday Sara and her husband took me to the airport. From there it was a very short (but beautiful) flight of less than half an hour to Victoria.

Graham, Fiona's husband, was waiting for me there and brought Rhonda Lamb, who would be my apartment companion this week, and take me to Salt Spring Island by ferry.
Once there, we were warmly received by Fiona.

Sunday was a busy day setting up a beautiful space for my workshop in Mahon Hall and the joint exhibition with Fiona. Never have I been able to teach in such a beautiful space.
Fiona's class was in another room within walking distance. She started with a 3 day workshop "Raised Surfaces" and I started with the workshop 3 days experimental silk painting.
In those 3 days, the 12 participants painted 8 meters of Pongé 5 silk measuring 112 cm wide on large frames.
The atmosphere was very good and beautiful fabrics were painted. What a creative and fun group. In the meantime I steamed several meters and meters of silk to let the paint adjust to the silk. For this we used a professional steam machine, where the silk was steamed for 3 hours, rolled up in unprinted newspaper.
Rolling out the silk is always a party. Steaming intensifies the colors.

After these 3 days my students went to the workshop of Fiona to make a garment of their choice with wool and the painted silk. That was hard work and unfortunately not all garments were finished at the end. Fortunately, however, that they could be taken and finished at home.

My 2nd workshop of 3 days again consisted of experimental silk painting, with the difference that the participants could no longer do a workshop with Fiona. This meant that everyone could experiment to their heart's content with various types of silk and sizes. The name experimental silk painting did the group justice! There was plenty of experimentation and the atmosphere and level of creativity was also very high here.

We ended the week with a potluck dinner, a dinner where everyone takes something. What a fantastic week.

But at the end of the week there was also a considerable shadow over the whole event. . . The Corona virus became more and more serious.
Alcohol, which I always use to bleache the silk during the workshops, was hardly available anymore. Toilet paper became scarce.
And unfortunately the exhibition with work by Fiona and me was no longer open to the public, because public buildings were closed.

It was an tensive time. Trump closed the borders and more and more people became sick in the world. The question was whether everyone could still come home. In addition, for me personally on the last day came the horrible message that my father was doing very badly. He was hospitalized and was dying. Fortunately, I was in time in the Netherlands to say goodbye to him. The night after he passed away . . .

I want to thank Fiona very much for everything she did to make this workshop a reality. Thank you also for organizing the exhibition, both live and online. See website.
Graham also many thanks for all your help. And of course a special thank you to Rhonda, who was my “sister” this week and who supported me in everything.
And of course thank you very much for the effort you all made to travel all the way to Salt Spring Island, Mary, Allison and Allison, Beth and Beth, Sandra, Anne, Kathleen, Deb, Lisa, Michelle, JP, Mimmie, Cheryl, Louise, Pat and Pat, Flo, Florence, Sue, Maris, Janet and Silvana.

I look back on these 2 weeks in Canada with great pleasure.
A happy bubble away from reality.

In the Netherlands, the same 6-day workshop with Fiona and me was postponed to the end of August in connection with the Corona virus. And is held from August 18-23. A few places have become vacant as a result of the resistance. You can register via this link.

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