Sunday, December 03, 2017

Captivating Compositions Workshop

Since my book came out, one of the workshops I've been teaching regularly is called "Captivating Compositions." It's turning out to be one of my most popular and it's so fun and interesting.

In fact, I had my doubts when I first developed it, but I've been delighted by the response.

It's based on the Eight Design Guides I developed for the composition chapter of my book.

Here's one of my workshop sample groups.

Students create eight "fabric sketches" exploring these composition guides. They act like templates, or springboards or frameworks, but there is full creative freedom to make whatever you want.

It's such a great exercise to work on all eight at the same time.

The finished fabric sketches aren't designed to be finished works of art (though they could be). Rather than focusing on a small completed work, I hope students enjoy working through each guide and gain insights about the design process along the way.

The thumbnail sketches of the Eight Design Guides provide some guidance but are simple enough for wide interpretation. (There's a pdf download of the guides in my Etsy shop.)

Students make surprising discoveries every time. Sometimes the design guide they thought would be easy, turns out to be the most difficult. Sometimes the one they spent the most time one isn't as exciting as the one they rushed through at the end. Sometimes they like using just two or three fabrics.

Here are some shots of student work from some recent workshops.

Working with a limited selection of fabrics helps force you to focus on the composition rather than the fabric.

I ask a set of questions at the end of the workshop to help students process what they learned.

My hope is that after working through these Eight Design Guides, it becomes easier to compose original art quilts. Rather than looking at a pile of fabric and asking yourself, "what now." You can pick a Design Guide and begin composing. You'll have the experience and muscle memory of working through this workshop process to guide you.

I'm teaching this workshop at Craft Napa in January where I'm actually providing kits that include everything except scissors! I'd love for you to join me. It's going to be a fabulous event. If this particular workshop doesn't strike your fancy, I'm teaching a few others, plus there are several other amazing artists on the roster.


Gene Black said...

What a great idea. Using the design guides and limiting the fabric choices would increase the time spent "futzing" with the composition.
Is it okay if I suggest this when I speak to a guild on design in art quilting?

The Joyful Quilter said...

Such a different technique than the class I took with you last year! Looks like the new format would be highly beneficial for expanding our creativity through the use of ALL of your design guides. When are you coming back to North Carolina?!

Gayle from MI said...

This is by far one of the best design classes I have taken. The design guides are great but the limited fabric choices and working on all 8 pieces at once was eye opening. For me it removed the angst of auditioning fabric during the creation of the piece. It also made me realize that if you just create and not think too far ahead it is a much more enjoyable process. The best part is I got a lot more done in a shorter time frame. Love your book and your class!