The Textile Geek Is IN! (On Spring Registration.)

posted in: Day In The Life 12
Crochet detail. (Hey, you never know!) Photo: Wikipedia.
Crochet detail. (Hey, you never know!) Photo: Wikipedia.

Registration for my second term of graduate school at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) was this week. I had forgotten how stressful it is to register for college classes because it’s been awhile since I did it. Here are the facts:

  • there are only so many seats in each class (i.e., you may get the classes you want)
  • there are requirements you must meet (i.e., you can’t fart around and only take classes about David Bowie)
  • students’ registration times are staggered (i.e., you might be dead-last for a registration time, which is bad)
  • you are paying a ton money (i.e., is it hot in here?)

I’m happy to report that my registration went great, but I know very well that this is lucky. Next fall, I might not feel so chipper — it’s really the flip of a coin. Therefore, I’m allowing myself to enjoy my good fortune while I’ve got it. This includes reading and re-reading the course descriptions for the classes I got and psyching myself up for January 26th, the first day of Spring 2017 term.

One of the jewels in the crown is “Micro/Macro Textiles” in the Fiber and Material Studies Department. Just look at this:

This seminar will use the Textile Resource Center of the Department of Fiber and Material Studies as the location for source material to explore artist research practices. Emphasis will be placed on research as hands-on knowing. Understanding textiles through possibilities of drawing, notation, photography, video, live action, and remaking will be considered. Close observation of textile structure, fiber spin, dyestuff color, fiber content, and formal resolution will be considered alongside larger frames of cultural context, meaning, and metaphor. Artist lectures and visiting scholars from areas including textile conservation, restoration, curation, and science will extend our learning alongside field trips to Chicago area museums and collections. Students will be expected to develop studio work, written research, presentations, and rigorous journals.

Darlin’, you had me at “rigorous journals.” Or maybe you had me at “close observation of textile structure” and “larger frames of cultural context.” Actually, no; I swooned in the first sentence with “Textile Resource Center.”

The professor? Internationally acclaimed fiber artist Anne Wilson, who is, as the graduate advisor for the Writing Department told me, “an absolute rockstar.” She warned me to have a solid backup, that I might not get into the class. But I did!

There are several weeks left of the fall term; I’ll have stories for you as I do my first “Critique Week,” where a panel of fancy people read my work and then peer over their glasses at me and talk to me about what they liked and did not like. And then there’s the ginormous project I have to finish for my Design For Writers class.

I can’t help it: I’m already dreaming in micro.

12 Responses

  1. Tim Latimer
    | Reply

    can you get a really really big book bag and put me in it and take me to class with you?

  2. Kate
    | Reply

    I would give an arm to sit in a lecture hall again! If I gave an arm, it would be so much harder to sew, though!!

  3. Colleen
    | Reply

    Go Mary go

  4. Lindsey
    | Reply

    A Swiss woman gave me two linen bedsheets that were handed down to her. The flax was grown on a family farm in Northrn Italy where the fields were plowd by a mule or oxen. The flax was processed on the farm and woven there also. They have embroidered initials on one end. There is a hand sewn seam down the middle lengthwise to make them wide enough for a double bed. One of them has lost its hem on one side so it is raveling and you can see the warp and weft. It is not fine linen, but more peasant linen from the 19th century. It was taken to Switzerland and buried in a trunk during WW1 and WW2 along with the family’s other valuables
    Would you like to borrow it for your class? I’d be happy to send it to you. It isn’t precious to me, butI am a weaver/spinner and I love the story. I use them as tablecloths. Since I have 2 I’d be happy to send you one of them.

    • Mary
      | Reply

      Lindsey! Wow! The class would certainly love to see this (that includes me and the professor.) Send me an email and we’ll work it out. I love everyone!

      • Lindsey Cleveland
        | Reply

        You have my email, but I don’t know yours. Send me a message.

      • Lindsey
        | Reply

        My email is weavinfool at gmail dot com. I need your address so I can send the linen sheet

  5. Rachel S
    | Reply

    So happy you are on this journey,,,,your writing shows your joy! Love reading your posts!

  6. Denise
    | Reply

    You were born for this class!!

  7. […] looks different than it does today. This is not dress rehearsal! If I wait for the perfect time to go to grad school, do a 30-day yoga challenge (I’m on Day 11, by the way), or design a line of fabric, that […]

  8. Susan
    | Reply

    Oh Mary! How I’d love to sit in on that class!!!! I have orphan quilt blocks that are reportedly from the civil war era — (found in a barn with other civil war era ephemera) that my mother inherited from a quilter friend who has since passed away….another very fragile quilt top also reportedly from that time period, also from my mother’s collection…Mom has been a quilter and quilting hoarder for decades. I have an amazing nineteenth century (?) crazy quilt that my mother’s late sister purchased in New England long ago, given to mom before my Aunt Joan passed away. I have several quilts from the 30’s, some hand embroidered coverlets and bed linens, numerous embroidered table linens, an abundance of hand crocheted doilies and table linens passed down through the family…a cross stitched sampler from … oh I’m not sure the date …1800’s…tatted items…handkerchiefs…and recently was sent a heavily embroidered silk scarf with a gold dragon that my father sent his mother when serving in the Korean War (the wife of a long lost cousin tracked me down)… all these things and more are in my possession and I’ve no idea what to do with them! Perhaps a museum??? I’d at the very least like to know more… do you have any suggestions???? (Not-so-subtle hint here!) Any idea where I might begin? Any grad students interested in textiles you know??? I am currently piecing a quilt top from my great grandmother’s aprons…yes, mom still had them, being from sturdy, practical northern stock as she is…. I know this isn’t a hand-written missive sent to the PaperGirl mailbox, but I’m siting in the Everglades at the moment…. I’d LOVE to hear your thoughts….BTW our family came to America in the mid 1600s and apparently never threw anything away!

  9. […] an MFA in Writing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) needs to take a seminar, an elective, and a workshop each term. There’s plenty more stuff you have to do on top of that, […]

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