Welcome back to the Future of Fine Crafts Mondays, where we are following four artist-students during the month of July as they reflect on their experience, art medium, skill development and works of art created during recent classes at Peters Valley Craft Center.
Last week, we heard from Kristin Muller, Executive Director at the Center. Today, we hear from student/artist Kathe Brannon, who reminds us that you don’t have to be a professional to take classes at Peter’s Valley – they welcome anyone with a passion for creativity.
A friend talked me into joining her in an intermediate felting class at Peter’s Valley. We rode together, and every night after class, I thanked her for encouraging me. I knew about PV but never considered taking a class. I thought it was for “professionals,” not avid amateurs like myself.
I’ve been involved with needlework and fiber all my life so I decided to try something new. The environment at Peter’s Valley was perfect: we were at Thunder Mountain in a studio with a beautiful view of the Delaware valley. Also, the lunches at picnic tables were healthy and delicious, the students and instructors were relaxed and pleasant to be with, and the learning experience was exceptional.
In my class, we had a small group of 5 people of all levels of competency. Each person brought their ideas to the group and shared their challenges as well as their successes with everyone. It was a very supportive environment, with humor added in as we worked the felt into vessels. The intimacy of the setting provided our instructor the ability to keep in touch with all of us in the large studio. It was tough work physically, and it was mentally challenging as well – going to the right side of the brain for 8 hours at a stretch was exhilarating. Pam MacGregor, our instructor, was so encouraging, knowledgeable, and positive that I’d take any class she taught.
What I discovered during my time at Peter’s Valley is the tremendous resource it is to our community. As we all struggle with overloaded schedules, a class at PV can be just what we all need to kick back, put on our jeans, and discover new skills. I love working with my hands and felting certainly challenged that! It’s an upper body workout that starts out a mess and becomes an object of beauty through manipulation of the wool. The overall experience was just so positive, I can’t stop telling everyone about it (plus showing off my accomplishments!).
You can learn more about the the Fiber Studios at Peter’s Valley here.