Saturday, July 13, 2019

Handwork Teacher Training - Summer 2019

Applied Arts Program Cycle 11 at the Fiber Craft Studio, located on the Sunbridge campus (Orchard House), next to Green Meadow Waldorf School


Week One included

    eurythmy with Melissa Lyons
    watercolor painting with Brigitte Bley-Swinston
    lecture series with Cynthia Way
    woodworking with Mario Rodriguez
    handwork with Nicole Rodriguez, Judit Gilbert, Miho Suzuki

    meeting Nancy Blanning!


notes from painting & exploration of color theory from Goethe and Steiner

    Monday - white, lemon yellow, golden yellow (guided painting)

    Tuesday - blue (color experience)
    blue first comes in the Middle Ages
    color experience with prussian blue, ultramarine

    Wednesday - orange, red, brown (guided painting)
    4th grade mountain landscape on wet paper
    from top to bottom: lemon yellow, vermillion, carmine, prussian blue
    dry brush and lift up paint to make a path through your mountains

    Thursday - green (guided painting)
    green first comes in Ancient Crete/Greece beginning with viridian
    5th grade hills landscape on wet paper
    from top to bottom: veridian, prussian blue, lemon yellow, then either ultramarine blue or golden yellow

    Friday - violet (color experience)
    a color we have not yet evolved to; we are in the time of indigo
    color experience with permanent rose, ultramarine, carmine


    recommended books:



notes from lecture series

    Tuesday - overview of child development in anthroposophy

    Wednesday - intro to first grade curriculum, sample circle time

    Thursday - first grade language arts, hearing a fairy tale, drawing with block beeswax crayons (D - door)

    Friday - continue first grade language arts, two day rhythm, using a poem in speech exercises (D), intro to first grade mathematics


    recommended books:

    The Education of the Child available online for FREE


notes from handwork projects

    Monday - look at beautiful assortment of plant dyed yarn, clasroom management in the handwork room, dye wool roving in sun jars (madder, yellow onion skin, dyer's cosmos), do wool paintings with Judit Gilbert, the cotton plant, the blue fairy, finger knitting (blue)

    Tuesday - spinning wool into yarn with a stick, using two colors to make a twizzle, finger knitting (red), making knitting needles with Mario Rodriguez, finger knitting (yellow), winding yarn into a ball

    Wednesday - slip knot, casting on, begin kitty (white), rinse dye jar wool roving and hang to dry, make sphere with clay (eyes closed) and transform into an egg (eyes open), start knitted pouch, braid three colors of finger knitting into a belt

    1st grade kitty

      cast on 20 stitches and knit until your wool forms a square

    1st grade knitted pouch

      working with two colors (intro to quality of colors), darker on the bottom (the holding from underneath) and lighter on the flap (the welcoming from above)

      cast on 24 stitches in the darker color (you can also do fewer stitches for a smaller pouch), every time you knit a row slip the first stitch purlwise, knit 30 ridges (60 rows) or until the pouch is a pleasing side when folded in half

      cut yarn and tie on lighter color, knit two full ridges in the new color (4 rows) and then k2tog at the start of each row until you have five stitches left

      cast off four stitches, then cut a long tail and use the remaining loop and your long tail to finger knit a few stitches to form a little string which when attached to the end of the flap makes a little loop closure

    Thursday - hand carding wool with fingers only, making wool birds, casting off, sewing up cats and adding collar and bell

    casting off

      Nicole is a master teacher and I have hundreds of pages of notes covering things that she has taught us about how to make the steps in hands-on projects easier for children to learn and how to talk to them (the way she phases things is extraordinary), so I can't possibly share everything in a blog post... but this one is short and sweet and easy to pass along!

      here she has the children think of the loops as frogs

      "jump over his friend and off the end,
      if he's still on the log... push him in the water"

      "when you only have one frog left you can't play anymore"

    Friday - meeting Renate Hillyer, dyeing felt and embroidery floss for pencil case, sewing up pouches and wet felting buttons for closure, starting animal project & rainbow ball

    wet felting buttons for pouch closure

      sew up the sides of your pouch and weave in the ends for 8 stitches and then cut them, gather all of your yarn scraps from that project and unravel the yarn into each ply and then untwist and fluff each smaller piece, opening it up and making it back into a pile of wool fibers, then use a squirt of hand soap and hot water in the bathroom sink to wet felt a ball which will fit with your loop closure and contains the colors of your pouch, sew the ball onto your pouch once it is dry

    1st grade final project of the year - rainbow ball

      working with a progression of colors, choose 6 colors (either all strong or all light), cast on 14 stitches on size 8 needles, knit 4 ridges of each color, the piece will be a rectangle

    animal project - I chose a chipmunk

      she began it with a bit of a mystery

      "choose an animal you really like and go to the basket of plant dyed colors and get the yarn which is the predominant color of that animal," cast on 6 stitches on size 6 needles, knit in garter stitch until you have a piece of knitting that is the length of your fingertip to elbow

    2nd grade first project of the year - pencil case

      today we dyed our strip of pure wool felt in a pot (madder) and dyed our skeins of silk embroidery floss in sun jars (red onion skins, marigold blossoms, madder root, mint leaves) and we got to taste the mint leaves on the plant beforehand, add a pinch of iron to the mint leaf jar


    recommended books:


    Educating the Will available online for FREE

    Basical Sculptural Modeling available online for FREE

    Handwork Indications by Rudolf Steiner available online for FREE
    (out of print, not pictured)


One of the highlights of Week One -- and it was a pretty incredible week which a set of brief notes can in no way do justice to -- was meeting Nancy Blanning, someone whose work I am so interested in. She asked for a meeting with me to talk about the early childhood puppetry workshop I just took with Suzanne Down on Steiner's 12 archetypal professions. That was really exciting... and in the course of our discussion she asked me to write an article for Gateways on the differences between Waldorf, Montessori & Reggio Emilia in ECE. And so I am even more excited about that opportunity!


Week Two included

    spatial dynamics with Will Crane
    watercolor painting with Brigitte Bley-Swinston
    lecture series with Cynthia Way
    handwork with Nicole Rodriguez, Mary Lynn Hetsko, Miho Suzuki

    a lovely chat with Cindy about SWI in Waldorf schools


notes from painting & exploration of color theory from Goethe and Steiner

    Monday - indigo (guided painting)
    begin with rainbow, leaving the top and bottom of paper white
    paint lemon yellow in a diagonal bar across the page
    keep the paint very luminous, wet, light
    overlap in middle of top with carmine
    strengthen where they meet as orange with golden yellow
    overlap in middle of bottom with prussian blue
    strengthen where they meet as green with lemon yellow
    ultramarine under prussian
    add permanent rose or carmine red for violet
    mix indigo (prussian blue with a little vermillion)
    fill page below rainbow with darkness, then brush up to rainbow and lighten moving upward, add indigo above rainbow as well, as much as you want, leaving rainbow showing in the darkness
    note: this painting is shown in Angela Lord's book Colour Dynamics

    Tuesday - complementary colors, after-images red & green
    Van Gogh paired them seasonally
    red & green for Spring
    orange & blue for Summer
    yellow & purple for Autumn
    black & white for Winter
    choose red & green art postcard to paint as a color experience

    Wednesday - after-images orange & blue
    translate yesterday's painting as an experience of orange & blue
    or
    choose orange & blue art postcard to paint as a color experience

    Thursday - painting with yellow & violet (color experience)

    Friday - partner painting in a dialogue, two painting boards and two pieces of paper pushed together, working with creating squares and rectanges in muted colors, layering primary/secondary/tertiary colors


    recommended books:



notes from lecture series

    Monday - first & second grade form drawing

    Tuesday - the four temperaments

    Wednesday - second grade language arts

    Thursday - first & second grade mathematics, introducing the four operations with gems, movement activities for multiplication

    Friday - the pedagogical law, authority, beanbag games, singing


notes from handwork projects

    Monday - make sphere with clay using only your dominant hand (eyes closed), make sphere with clay using non-dominant hand (eyes closed), transform one sphere into an egg (eyes open), transform the other sphere into a vessel which perfectly holds the egg (eyes open), finishing rainbow ball, designing pencil case for 2nd grade and doing the embroidery, working with vine stitch, beginning recorder bag

    2nd grade knitted recorder bag bottom

      cast on 22 stitches on size 6 needles in a dark color, knit 5 ridges (10 rows)

    Tuesday - dyeing silk embroidery floss in sun jars for eurythmy slippers bag (chamomile flowers, cochineal), setting up indigo dye vat and dyeing a piece of pure linen fabric for the eurythmy slippers bag, continue pattern for recorder bag, purling, animal headband project

    late 2nd grade eurythmy slippers bag

      dip linen fabric in indigo all the way, then 2/3 of the way, then 1/3 of the way so there is a gradation of color

      there's a lot that goes into indigo so it can be the study of a lifetime but here, in brief, was her recipe:
      2 T indigo powder in a large glass jar, add water to make a slurry and stir, add 2 T washing soda, add more water and stir, add 2 T Rit color remover, stir, let sit until bubbly and then add to large pot of hot water

    2nd grade knitted recorder bag body

      switch to stockinette stitch for the remainder of the bag, choose three more colors that will progress from your dark color in a logical gradation from dark to light, make the bag 11 inches long and use all four of the colors in order

      when you change colors don't cut the yarn right away

      knit two rows of new lighter color, knit two rows of previous darker color, then cut the darker color and continue in the lighter color until you are ready to change colors again

    1st or 2nd grade animal headband

      take the piece of garter stitch in your animal color and continue until it is long enough to make a headband that will fit you, then cast off and sew the two ends together, design a knitting pattern for the ears for your animal and knit them and sew them onto your headband

    Wednesday - embroidering initials and sewing up eurythmy slippers bag, butterfly stitch for making cords, top of knitted recorder bag

    butterfly stitch

      begin by a slip knot using two colors of yarn held together, then pull one of them out

      Nicole had a sweet verse for this
      make a plus, pull out the wing, trade the tail, pull the string

      after a while she had us do it with our eyes closed so that we could focus on building muscle memory and not over-think it

    2nd grade knitted recorder bag top

      row 1 - k1, k2tog, repeat this all the way across the row
      row 2 - p2, yarn over, repeat this all the way across the row
      row 3 - knit all stitches
      row 4 - knit all stitches
      row 5 - cast off

    Thursday - crochet lesson with Mary Lynn Hetsko, begin crochet eurythmy slippers bag, indigo dyeing personal items for fun

    Friday - convex & concave clay activity, finish handwork projects


    recommended books:

    Learning about the World through Modeling available online for FREE


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1 comment:

Barbara Albert said...

What a full experience you've had! Thanks for sharing all these notes and book recommendations. Keep knitting! Barbara Albert