A Visit to Classes, October 16-22

The beginning of classes Sunday afternoon was like summer revisiting us during this golden, orange season of fall. Up in the garden, the russet hues of nearby slopes told that story, while the tomato vines were amazingly strong and thick, reaching for the sky with ripening tomatoes tightly held. I beheld this on a day so warm – I have no sleeves, and bees visit the lingering flowers to gather. The week wore on to every shade of gold and every type of fall weather.

By late Thursday afternoon, the mist had lowered and dark gray clouds looked like rain was ahead. In the rug hooking class, the grays were textured with shades of black and white. Lots of warm reds were being applied to designs drawn on a mesh fabric for very cozy looking rugs, chair seats and art for walls. Instructor Laura Schnelker began her love of wool while restoring a pre-civil war house. Unable to find period rugs, she learned to make her own. This art form is as traditional as it is practical – helping to keep cold winds out of the house. This could easily be a sitting by the hearth fire evening activity!

The rug hooking class creating rugs with a sunflower design

Stopping by the remodeled Jewelry Studio, in Jeanne Roche’s Stained Glass: Lead versus Copper Foil class, I found the place brightly lit with stained glass panels in all stages of construction. Deep oranges and reds were mixed with glass with crystalline frosting like what some mornings brought outside this week. Several glass designs featured real golden leaves pressed flat between center panels surrounded by colored borders. The artistry of Nature held this season in the story of Color!

Arriving next at Rajeania Snider’s Small Format Marbling and Books class towards the end of the class day, I find lots still going on with new book covers of fabric and paper. I had taken Rajeania’s class about 10 years ago and still use one of the portfolio cases I made that week. My friend Vickie enthusiastically introduced me to the class by telling everyone that I was her first Folk School instructor, back in ‘98 when she took her first printmaking class. This has been an enduring friendship as the circumstances and outside elements in our lives have evolved over the years.

We congregated in the kitchen area where the marbling trays were waiting for us. Four complete class days and many hours at night had only heightened the students’ excitement for this process of making colors. Seeing the purple and golds swirl with flecks of orange made me remember why I too was so fascinated with this art form. Once the floating colors are applied to the top of the mixture, the turns and twists of the stylus, rakes, and comb tools send the colors into new patterns with the slightest movement. Very much like dance forms, the colors would gather, turn, and bounce in another direction as the patterns formed. The rhythm of the swirls was also like the patterns of the leaves swirling to the ground. Grateful for color and grateful for friends, my soul was filled with the joy of what my heart had seen and heard this day!


Julie Sibley
About Julie Sibley