Letter from Tuscany


This art quilt is destined to hang at the Kerr Arts and Cultural Center -- an example of the kind of art quilt journey that my end-of-November workshop will inspire. It was fun to take my own course today, taking memories, journal pages, the color palette of the countryside and the architecture and turning it into this piece. Making it today let me relive a day spent in and near Lucca -- Lucca has a Medieval wall that surrounds the old city. It has been preserved as a park that features a 2 mile path perfect for bikes and hikes around the circumference. We rode bikes one morning, and this old villa was one of the sights. It seemed abandoned but grand, and I can just imagine what kind of meals and parties and family dramas must have once filled those windows.

Here's one of the original photos; followed by a detail of the art quilt.



AND, this is the town closest to where I 'll be teaching a workshop in March. The Italian Adventure continues with the course, co-taught with writer and creativity workshop leader Carol Ikard. I am still waiting for the "official" brochure to be completed, but here's what I know so far:

 DATES: MARCH 15- 22 --- This is spring break weekend here in San Antonio, and is the weekend before Easter, so one might want to add a week on to the excursion and spend Easter in Florence or Rome.

LOCATION:  Selva, a compound of restored farmhouses and gardens near Lucca, located on a 1000-acre estate owned by a Baronessa. Working vineyards, orchards and olive groves are part of the estate, as well as the rustic mountainous area where Silva is located.

Cost, all inclusive, except for transportation to either Pisa or Florence: €2150 double occupancy

 Here's the four fiber art classes, just part of the full schedule of activities (morning writing workshops, cooking classes, field trips almost every day, activities for spouses or non-fiber friends who want to come along for all of the fun,

Monday -- Field Guide to Tuscan Color" --
Color is the one of the first design elements we associate with Tuscany - the warm rustic hues  of old walls and stacked stone, the rich botanicals and jewel tones from the grapes, flowers and foliage, the natural siena and ochres that come from the very earth. Using modern low-toxicity dyes, and some simple natural dyes (onion skins, beets and rust), participants will create organic and textural patterns on silk scarves and quarter-yard lengths of rayon, silk and cotton textiles to use in the week's subsequent sessions.

Tuesday -- "Beyond the Terrace" -- The beauty of Selva's landscape and its grasses, leaves and trees will inspire designs for printing on our fabrics.  Using the natural world as inspiration for design on fabric and paper participants will try their hands at solar printing, direct leaf printing, and develop designs for stencils and stamps.

Wednesday -- "Etruscan to Tuscan -- Historical Imagery to Inspire" -- We'll design and create printing blocks and stamps using historical imagery, photos taken on the week's field trips, images from Etruscan and Roman antiquity, as well as our own sketches and collections from the Tuscan landscape. Printing on fabric (if I can solve the technical and shipping issues)

Friday -- "Layers of Tuscany" -- Using all of the materials and tools from the art sessions, participants will layer their imagery to make one-of-a-kind art cloth, then cut, fuse and hand-stitch a small wall hanging. Simple embroidery stitches, beading embellishments and the use of fusable webbing to create original designs will be included in this final session

The schedule for participants is tentatively designed to include the following.                                                        
Sat        Arrival in afternoon; welcome with sparkling wine & refreshments; Susie & Carol introduce the program; begin limoncello making process; dinner under the pergola  
Sun    08.00    Early morning visit to the shepherdess to see the magic of pecorino cheese and ricotta.    
    09.30    Brunch   
    11.00    Creativity Expanded: unpacking creatively; feeling art and responding; thinking art   
    12.00    Walk around the property to search out natural materials for later fiber arts sessions, photography  
    13.00    Lucca Antique Market (opportunity for more materials)   
    17.00    Fiber arts workshop: Field Guide to Tuscan Colors   
    20.00    Dinner prepared by Emanuela   
Mon    08.00    Breakfast   
    09.00    Creativity Expanded: The Committee and Drawing left-handed   
    10.00    Beyond the Terrace  Fiber Arts Workshop
    13.00    Lunch at Selva and break   
    15.30    Lucca:  fabric shops, weaving museum, private collections of antique fabrics, button shop, da Vinci exhibit, etc.   
    20.00    Dinner prepared by Emanuela   
Tue    07.30    Breakfast   
    08.00    Van to Florence: museum of silks, Renaissance archive   
    13.00    Lunch in Fiesole; Etruscan museum and Roman amphitheater  
    17.00    Leave for Selva   
    20.00    Dinner at Selva prepared by Emanuela   
Wed    08.00    Breakfast   
    09.00    Creativity Expanded: seeing designs and symbols 
    10.00    Fiber Arts Workshop: Layers of Tuscany   
    13.00    Lunch at Selva and break
    15.30    Return to Lucca to explore more fabrics and shops   
    19.00    Puccini concert   
    20.30    Dinner at Puccini Restaurant at Piazza Puccini   
Thu    08.00    Breakfast   
    09.00    Creativity Expanded: Enlarging art and enjoying mistakes, writing about ideas and art  
    10.00    Etruscan to Tuscan Fiber Arts Workshop
    1.00    Lunch at Selva and break   
    3.30    Tour of baroque villa with antique fabrics and tapestries plus fantastic garden   
    5.30    Begin cooking lesson with Emanuela   
    8.00    Dinner   
Fri    08.00    Breakfast   
    09.00    Creativity Expanded: 
    10.00    Fiber Arts:  (Felt, beads, embroidery)
    1.00    Lunch at Selva and break   
    3.30    Tour of vineyard, wine and olive oil tasting   
    7.00    Pizza with Eduardo   
Sat        Departure   

 Let me know if you're interested. The trip is limited to