Saturday morning saw me trundling along the A47 - what's new? - to Norwich, to take part in a Creative Mindfulness workshop at the home and studio of Aviva Leigh, weaver and textile artist.
Obligatory selfie before setting off
Aviva co-presents this workshop with Bernie Sheehan, her friend and yoga teacher. Bernie discusses mindfulness meditation, and its application and relevance to creativity, and leads the group in a couple of short meditations. This practice prepares and sets you up for a day of learning a new skill, working in quiet and gentle contemplation and companionship with your fellow students.
Here are a few of the samples woven by the other students
Here we are round the table in the beautiful white space that is Aviva's studio in this mediaeval house
Several students had woven before using these small, portable table-top looms, which were lovely to work on. Aviva had already prepared the looms by warping them up, so we were good to go. Once the technicalities were grasped, the rhythmic movements soon became second nature, and, like hand quilting, I found the actions meditative in themselves.
Above and below, some of Aviva's work
Above, Bernie's beautiful shawl; I can't tell you how soft and wonderful this is!
One of the books Bernie recommends
Bernie's article on Creative Mindfulness, above.
Shawl by Aviva, above
Above and below, my sample, using various yarns and fabrics and techniques
Above and below, samples created by other students
Above and below, my sample on the loom, and a close up showing yarn weft and fabric weft
I came home with a small loom under my arm - well you knew I would didn't you! I haven't had time as yet, to do more than take it out and show it to Jim, along with my sample and unworked warp still on the frame. I look forward to exploring this fascinating craft further.
It has been otherwise an extremely stressful week as mum completed her re-hab after fracturing her neck of femur and having a hip replacement, and came to live in her new home at the residential care home near us. She is now unable to manage looking after herself in her own home, and Jim and I have been clearing out her house, which has been more traumatic for me than I had expected. Apart from her clothes, personal items and a few pieces of furniture, mum has said goodbye to her entire world, it doesn't matter how well you practice non-attachment to 'things', you are largely defined by your 'things', you have collected them about you throughout your life, you have used them, valued them, even the humblest of items, regularly used, become old friends. It has been painful stripping my mother of her belongings, her independence, her dignity, even knowing that there is no other option, and soon she will be beyond being concerned about all these things happening to her. Until then, it is hard for her, and hard for us. I have been much supported by friends and relations, many of whom have been through this sad process themselves. Thank you again for all the lovely words you have written and spoken to me.