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A Typical Week? Never.

April 8, 2012

What does a typical work week look like for me?  There is no such thing.  Last week was one of those weeks. (This also helps to explain why I’m not always at the studio, and why it’s best to call ahead if you want to see me!)

Monday I headed up to Lincolnwood, IL  with my friend and fellow artist, Kristi Sloniger of Moonstar Pottery.  We had a meeting with the coordinator for the monthly exhibits at the Lincolnwood Village Hall.  We are hoping to schedule an exhibit of our work there sometime in the next year or two!

Penney/Sloniger collaborative work

Tuesday I started a project with two of the second grade classrooms at Irving School as part of the Art Start Program with the Oak Park Education Foundation.  I prepped for that in the morning and headed over to dye wool pre-felt with the students in the afternoon.  I will be working with artist Jeanette Durand for the next 6 weeks with all four of the second grade classes to dye, felt, sun-print, stitch and stuff pillows with the students.  Another fun collaboration!

Art Start at Irving School

Wednesday I had an early meeting for the Visit Oak Park Tourism Committee.  One of the many “hats” I wear is as that of the current Vice Chair of the board of directors for Visit Oak Park, our local visitor’s bureau.  I enjoy the many Oak Park organizations that unite to make it a great community to visit for a day, weekend or in my case to live in for a couple of decades!  The tourism committee meets every other month and brings together members from many local organizations and attractions.  From the Brookfield Zoo, the Frank Lloyd Wright Home and Studio, Hemingway Museum, Pleasant Home and the Park District, to Wonderworks Children’s Museum and much more.  It is great to hear all the activities that are happening in the area.  For this meeting I was asked to make a short presentation about the Oak Park Arts District.  I spoke about our upcoming What’s Blooming event and our Summer Art Camp Programs.

Wednesday afternoon I was off to Dominican University to sit in on the Senior Presentation that Rosa, my intern from the past year, was giving for her special studies class.  Rosa started working with me about a year ago.  A quiet, hardworking and thoughtful young woman, she has really blossomed in twelve months.  Rosa made a wonderful presentation about the nuno-felting and the devore processes.  She created beautiful garments for the Dominican Student Fashion Show that included these interesting fiber art processes and showed those as part of her presentation as well.  It was nice to see the influence her work with me had on her own design work.  She did a wonderful job speaking in front of an audience, professional, well organized and interesting.  I know she’s ready for a successful career!

Rosa teaching in the studio

Thursday I headed back to Irving School to work with the other two second grade classes.  It is really fun to walk into a classroom and recognize 3 or 4 kids that have been into the studio for Art Camp classes or birthday parties.  Both Tuesday and Thursday classes had several children that introduced me and explained what type of artwork I do!  “Yes, Ms. Pam I know what fiber art is!”

Friday I had our “No School Day Art Camp“.  Another “hat” that I wear is that of Art Camp Program Director for the Oak Park Arts District.  I coordinate the schedules, communicate with the student’s families, take registrations, budget and do the bookkeeping for the Art Camp Programs as well as teach!  Friday I got to teach a really fun group of children.  Several had been into the studio for classes and birthday parties in the past.  So they know me and are relaxed and really enjoy the process!  We created stencils cut sort of “paper snowflake” like with paper punches.  We used these to do mono-print silk screened banners.  They turned out fabulous!

the finished banners!

And finally Saturday!  I had several sewing students into the studio.  First I met with Kandice.  She started private lessons last week.  It has long been a desire for her to learn to sew, and now her work schedule has eased up a bit to allow her to make some time for it.  She bought a “vintage” used Singer machine.  It is working well and has several nice features, like being able to make buttonholes.  Last week we covered the basics of winding a bobbin, threading the machine and sewing basic straight seams, corners, and curves as well as trimming and pressing.  We finished off a pillow case this week and she was very proud of her first creation!  Later in the afternoon, I helped Hannah a young tailor in the making and her mother Kristina.  Hannah has been working on a beautiful grey wool jacket with a gorgeous floral lining.  (I’ll be posting more pictures very soon) and her mom is making a duvet cover for her bed. (She has finished a fleece blanket and a t-shirt for her son already).

So it’s been a busy week and I’m glad today was Easter Sunday.  I stayed home, baked a lemon meringue pie and relaxed.  I’m ready now for whatever this next week brings my way!

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