The travel (United from IAD to PDX) was pretty straightforward. I had aisle seats with empty middles both ways. I should note that the Turkish Air lounge at IAD (which I have access to thanks to Star Alliance gold status) has a more limited food selection than it used to, with boxed turkey sandwiches, eggplant salad, and chickpea salad. Which is fine, because they still have decent coffee and comfortable seating.
The retreat was at the Sheraton at the airport, which is comfortable enough. It included a so-so breakfast buffet and a nightly drink. The breakfast wasn’t particularly good, but adequate. They did better with dinner - pad thai, in particular, was quite tasty (and a generous enough portion that I had half of it for lunch the next day.) My major whinge is that the hotel is not really within walking distance of anything and, in particular, it is not very easy to get to the light rail from. Not that I had much free time, but, if I had, I would have made a pilgrimage downtown to Powell’s Books.
Anyway, I took three classes. The first one was Felted Slippers, which was also my favorite of the three. I’ve done wet felting before, but LeBrie Rich’s technique was sufficiently different that there was plenty to learn. We started by making a plastic resist to use as a pattern. Then we covered it with 6 layers of roving (wetted with a soapy water solution). That was then decorated, felted, cut it open and fulled, with the latter process shrinking it to a custom fit. My slippers came out pretty nice:
The second class I took was Fabric & Marbling, with Nicole Austin. She mostly did a short demo, then left us to experiment. I wish she had talked more about materials to use (especially inks), though she did have a handout. I have taken a marbling class before (with Galen Berry, and I thought he was more detailed in his instruction. I also thought he had better materials. It was still fun, but I didn’t feel like I really learned anything new.
Here’s a piece of marbled paper:
And here are a couple of pieces of marbled fabric:
The final class I took was Paper and Fabric Beads. I didn’t write down the instructor’s name and it isn’t on her handout. Basically, you take strips of fabric or paper, put glue on the back, and roll them around a skewer. This class was disappointing, largely because all the teaching the instructor did consisted of giving out the handout and admonishing people not to glue the fabric or paper to the skewer. She did have nice materials to use and she had some interesting examples of how to use them. I was also a bit peeved because she told people to bring a cutting mat and scissors / xacto knife, but we only used precut materials she provided. I could have avoided having to check a bag had I known. To be fair, I was grouchy because I was really tired. (It was an evening class and I hadn’t slept well the night before.) So I left about halfway through. I still came away with some beads that I can use for something or other. The ones on the left are paper; the beads on the right are fabric. Each one is roughly an inch long.
I should also mention that there was a daily raffle and I won a goodie bag the first day! The prize included a coffee mug, a couple of calligraphy pens, some rubber stamps, and a couple of little journals.
Overall, I am glad I went and wish I’d had more time, as there were other classes I was interested in. I do hope they go back to holding retreats in Virginia, which would be more convenient for me. They are apparently looking at hotels around Herndon, so that seems likely.
This entry was originally posted at https://fauxklore.dreamwidth.org/493415.html. Please comment there using OpenID.