Dyeing to be different

You’ve got to dye daily….

I’m not afraid of dyeing…

Who knew there were puns about fabric dyeing?

I try to come into each Cornerstone looking for a new experience, not just a list of new bands to see. I never can predict what it will be before I arrive, but it always finds me. This year, I stumbled onto a fabric dyeing workshop as part of Burning Brush. I noticed it in the program and (as a quilter and fabric lover) I decided it would be a good choice. Turns out that it was an even better choice than I expected, since it meant that I weathered Friday’s power outage doing something that definitely didn’t require electricity!

I’m a little ashamed to admit that in all my years here, I’d never before done a single activity with the arts programs, short of walking by the art pilgrimage while on the way somewhere else. I now realize that I’d been missing out. Just like there’s a crowd that favors the Imaginarium, and there’s a crowd that knows all the ins-and-outs of the generator stages, and crowds who love to sip refined coffee and hear refined music at the Gallery, I’m realizing that there’s a crowd who eagerly anticipates the art programs. There are people who mark their fest schedules with not only the workshops they want to attend, but the first moment they can get on the sign-up sheets.

I shared a worktable with a few of these people yesterday, as JPUSA artist Sara van Alkermade showed us the basics of low-water immersion dyeing while another table of eager students learned about needle felting. My fellow students were artists & crafters eager to talk about our hobbies, our hometowns, the bands we’ve seen, swap stories of past festivals, and even talk about our faith a little bit.

Burning Brush 2011 also offered workshops on mosaic, block printing, and spinning – in addition to a guided walk of the art pilgrimage. For just a $5 fee, we all walked away with inspiration, confidence, and little pieces of hand-made joy.

This was a different experience for me, but one that I definitely want to come back to!