The glories of April fill every sense!  The feel of the wind in my hair thrills me; and I’m not even outside – I’m in the house in a windows-open day! After the immediate barrenness of winter, spring seems like a dream. Everything wild and cultivated takes on a new life of color, texture, sound, and smell…truly more than the senses can contain in any one moment or hour! Anywhere you go, the new green color is heading up the slopes. By the River Cane Trails and the fields that edge the Folk School campus, the new grass is thickly growing.

Delicate pink blossoms

My first destination at the Folk School today is the Louise Pitman Fiber Arts Studio, where Nancy Hinds is teaching a “Playful Piecing” quilting class. The machines are humming as I enter and partial quits line the walls and tables. Seeing all the variety of styles, colors, and quilt block patterns reminds me of why I love this all over again! Today I get to present some art quilts to the class: my own special blend of images made with paper, pigment, and fabric dying techniques. I’m very non-traditional, of course, which is why Nancy likes her students to see this kind of work. The creative process thrives on different points of view. Besides, inspiration flows both ways – one day I may decide to learn some traditional sewing and cutting skills.

Walking by the goldfish pond, I reach the Dining Hall as the bell rings. Today I am being honored at lunch for my 25 years as a faculty member. I announce that additionally I am celebrating my birthday this week! Well, I get some hand claps and hurrahs for that! Turns out too, that some of you, and people just like you, keep coming back to the Folk School. Over the years we return, like a migration flight to a source that feeds our creativity. I conclude my announcement by saying that while I am not giving out autographs today, I am giving out hugs!

Dee Dee Triplett, Julie Sibley, and Nancy Hinds have all been teaching at the Folk School for over 20 years.

Next, Nancy and I visit Dee Dee Triplett to see what she is making in the Nuno Felt Making class taught by Lynn Ocone. This is a place where my hand dyed skirt gets admiring glances and feels. (Fiber artists love to touch.) What I like the most is the many types of soft and fuzzy textures, plus the inclusion of wool wisps into pictorial design. I am getting new ideas about where I am going with wool scraps, hand dyed colors and weaving samples. Once again I am inspired here!



Julie Sibley
About Julie Sibley