Odile Texier is a French textile artist, whom I've discovered yesterday during a workshop at the patch shop. You can see more of her at http://www.cuerspatchwork.com/reportages/lyon2006/07/index.htm
She is a very nice lady, eager to share her experience. Yesterday, her aim was to introduce us to her techniques, to challenge us but not to change us (I appreciate that a lot).
The main idea of the workshop was that you don't choose a material. You are chosen by the material. Once a material has "called" you, you have to find other materials and embellishements to go with it. Odile does not use a sketchbook or drawing. Instead, she has collected a lot of fabrics, threads and odd bits and get her inspiration from her stash.
The first thing we did, was to take out the materials we had brought, hers included. Then we were given a sqare of background fabric (black or white, it was up to us). As soon as a material had imposed itself to us, we went through all the materials available in the room and took whatever we needed.
This is Odile talking (with the red jacket) and you can see examples of our stashes.
Between Odile and the lady in grey, you can have a glimpse to one of Odile's work.
We spent the rest of the morning preparing the basis of our piece. Here are the six pieces at lunch time. Mine is the green one, and my first material was a vegetable net that is only fixed with pins on this view.
We had our lunch in the shop, from the dishes (and wines) brought by the students. It was delicious and fun. The students of this patch shop are known to like their food and wines...
In the afternoon, we started embellishing with threads. Once again, the idea was to let the threads impose themselves to us. Odile had brought a huge amounts of thread, and it was a pleasure to select some of them.
All through the day, Odile has answered all our questions, with one exception: "Do you think this fabric or this thread is better than this one?". It was part of her challenging but not changing conceipt. We had to decide what we like or not ourselves, in order to express ourselves and not to produce an imitation of her work. She watched us, came to help whenever needed but never to influence us. I mean, she would explain how to sew a speciality thread, but she would not tell us where to place it. If we wanted some kind of thread, she would help find it in her stash, but she would not tell us to use a given thread at a given place, etc...
The day went by at full speed. It was exhausting too because we have worked with our soul. We have to finish our piece, I'll try to finish the embelllishement today, but I have to purchase some black fabric to finish the piece, probably on Tuesday.