Sunday, March 28, 2010

Friendship woven in time.

During our three years in the Buffalo State College Fibers Program, Sheila and I created more than artwork and skills, we created ties that bind. For one semester I was the only student in the fiber program. The professor gave me the title "best and worst student". Presently I have been replaced by new students, memory of my contributions to that the Buffalo State College Fiber Program have been swept away like the debris tossed into the trash after completing the intended project. Fortunately, my connection with Sheila as well as a few of my other conscientious students will last my lifetime.
Beginning in the technology department Sheila decided to switch over to the fiber program. Throughout the three years we worked together, I often took on the "lead dog" position during our Independent Study Fiber classes. I shared my knowledge from my Buffalo State College 2005 Summer Research Fellowship Grant copulations. Together we built frames, hammered nails, calculated patterns, mixed dyes then created the first Ikat projects to come out of the program. After insisting Batik be added to the fiber program we struggled with teaching ourselves skill building with tjanting tools, brushes, hot wax & dyes.

I shared my knowledge with Sheila and the other students who spent extra time working in the studio how to mix MX Fiber reactive dyes for permanent use in garments and outdoor project. Up until this point the MX dyes looked good on samples only to wash out or faded with time or weather. It during the time working with Sheila that I noticed the natural connection between being a mom and being a teacher.

Sheila was among the core group where I made my maiden voyage from Fiber Program student to Adjunct Instructor introducing Devore into the Fiber program. To this day my teaching notes are providing instructions in the Devore/ Velvet Burnout technique to students I may never know. Sure hope the teaching handouts I provided still bear my name somewhere on the pages.

Since Sheila is the same age as my daughter Kara, during the countless hours we spent together in the studio we talked about life; family, dating, sex, marriage, and children both being one and having your own. When Sheila made excuse why she could not take advantage of the Spring Break Internship she was offered by Professor Elaine Polvinen, Head of the Fashion Technology Department, I strongly encouraged her that this experience was necessary to build her career as a textile designer. How was I supposed to know she would meet Tod during this internship, break up with her high school sweetheart and move to South Carolina ten days after graduation.
For three years we talked via facebook, email, text, send pics, her wedding, printers, houses, diamond rings, her job, my job and about my blog.
Yesterday, I walked into her parents home for the first time, hugged Sheila, kissed her on the right cheek as uncontrollable tears ran down my face.
Sheila Mansell is getting married...
"Don't cry" she said, "this is a happy time."
With thirty-two years of experience what can happen in a marriage I wish Sheila, ALL BEST ;~)
Sheila looked soft, beautiful and happy like a precious, lovely, baby doll.
Sheila and I created more than artwork in our time together, we created the ties that bind.

Here is Sheila with her MOM at her bridal shower. Her mother is sharing her feeling about Sheila and trying not to cry.
Mom did a better job than me finding happiness in bridal showers

Sheila with her loot in front of her Senior Project, Tapestry from the Buffalo State College Fiber Program. Weaving and tapestry are the strong points of that program, intelligent is the student who can benefit from a professors expertise even if he does not want to do it ever again. Keep weaving fiber girls...

My bridal shower gift to Sheila. It is a Deni European Meat tenderizer and an European dishwasher safe chopping board. I used up cycled tissue paper cut elements from wrapping paper attached to create a pleasing presentation and finished off the package with an embellishment created from teaching samples I used in Shibori demonstrations with my students. Perhaps a gift can say more about the giver than the one who receives the present.
Today I have a new teaching positions with inner city middle school students in Buffalo, NY. Many of the students I taught as an Adjunct Lecturer in the Design- Fiber Program @ Buffalo State College are still connected to me. Never concerned if my students like me or not my only concern is that I shared my knowledge and that they respected me as their instructor.
Some students and I, happy to say, have created the ties that bind ;~)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails