Sunday, 26 January 2020

The Honours List

is out this morning.
I know two people on it - neither of them well. One is a former politician who has continued to be involved in a wide range of community activities.  She is one of those rare politicians who probably does deserve to be acknowledged for her work in other fields. I know she leads a rather busy life - and gets things done. 
Perhaps the other politicians who are, inevitably, on the list also get things done that I know nothing about.
The other person is an embroiderer, quilter, artist and the like. She knows an enormous amount about Gujarat and Moroccan textiles. Her work is heavily influenced by those traditions. It is not just simply "colourful" but almost fiery with colours from the deserts. She leads tours to Morocco and India. (I'd love to do them but know I never will.) She teaches. Not being an embroiderer I have never done one of her classes but people tell me her classes are usually "one of the best I have ever done". I have heard her telling people how to do something and there is a quiet authority there - the sort which will give a student confidence.
I thought of all that this morning when I saw her name in the list because yesterday there were some knitters here. One of them had brought a project she had finally finished from the first class I taught at the Embroiderers' Guild Summer School some years ago. Yes, a couple of mistakes but does that matter? It was her first attempt at lace work and everyone makes mistakes. I know I do.
It still looks good.  The same person also brought her second project from another class I taught. I know she will finish it. I reminded her how to do a simple two stitch cable without a cable needle. I'd forgotten the pattern I gave the class. (If I had known she was going to bring her work I would have looked up the file and refreshed my memory.)
What interested me though was the idea that, if you are open to ideas, you can go on learning. You can go on learning about the subject, the form and the idea you are teaching. There is never an end to it. You can go on learning from the people who are supposedly your students.  The honours day artist once told me in conversation that there was "still so much to learn".  
I know. I keep wanting forty-eight hours in each day - not a mere twenty-four.
When I was talking to another group on Friday I discovered they pursued a wide range of crafts. One of them asked if I had ever taken up  card making. The answer was "no". It is too fiddly for me. I would not be good at it. There is also an enormous amount to learn in any new craft.
I need to stick to knitting and crochet. I really have only just scratched the surface in those areas - and I can go on honouring the experts.

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