Workshop with the first years @ the dance school

4/12/2013 – Mindful Stitch workshop with the first years, integrated into a module exploring art that brings awareness to a cause. This week was led by embroidery.
The workshop was in a dance studio, it was quite cold that day in there but nevertheless the workshop went well. We sat on the floor on yoga mats and cushions,  this is how I intend the workshop to be, but obviously chairs are available to encourage participants to feel comfortable if the floor is not for them.
This workshop had the full range of floss yarns available and some other yarns, true to previous research the yellow and blues were most popular. Some people found the floss a bit difficult to use as it was too wide for the needles apart from the darning needles, however these yarn did tend to slip out with it being so smooth. So I think I need to invest in some more appropriate needles specifically for these yarns.
After this workshop the material bank is running low, so I think another trip to charity shops etc is in order for some jumpers and scarves. I may even look online for some fleece but it is expensive and the range of colours may not be so diverse. Dyeing the fleece is a possibility….
Something I do want to try out is fishing wire as yarn and potentially dyeing that with acid dyes to achieve a wide range of colours.  Maybe this would be interesting for some alternative mindful embroidery techniques.
During the workshop I was explaining to people the benefits of mindful practice’s. A brief description of what it entails and it’s origins. It was well received. A a feedback session at the end some people would have liked more time to spend with their pieces, they felt that their moods would improve even more and it would benefit them positively. A lot chose the technique in the palm, as the group was split into three half an hour sessions, I did try to encourage people to try the on the arm technique so I could retrieve some feedback all around. Everyone marked their moods, and suggested their interpretations of poor moods and positive moods colours and materials.
I am yet to reflect this groups opinions on colours and materials.
I really loved what these two did with their fabrics, the made almost wrist warmers, something actually that have been discussed in a tutorial before. I think this is a winner for a new technique, it is comforting and it is reusable, similar to my mindful jumper, this could be a piece that is reused over and over by an individual. I think participants could form a great relationship with these pieces if they could take them away and use them over and over. Even it could be the case that new groups reuse the previous makes, stitching on to previous stitches. A really nice sentiment for this community derived workshop.

On the arm


In the palm
After the workshop I received an email for a participant wanting to know more about the project! It’s great to have inspired!

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