Sunday, May 10, 2009

Advanced Improvisation with Denyse Schmidt

Yesterday, I spent the day in the Bridgeport, CT studios of Denyse Schmidt where she and her assistant Richard taught their new course in Advanced Improvisation. Part retrospective of Denyse's quilting evolution, part design concepts, this was a low-key, hands-on, personal exploration of design. There were two participants besides myself, so the teacher-student ratio was exceptional, and the high point of the 5 hour session was having both Denyse and Richard pulling fabric and ping-ponging ideas with me at the design wall.

Here's where the day started:

Sketching potential design ideas:

First-pass fabric choices, pulled by Richard, with greens added by Denyse:

Bringing in the berry colors:

Ending up with a rugby-striped theme and the pieced blocks in stripes:

Denyse in action with another student's blocks:

Denyse and Richard have a similar asethetic, but different approaches and they play well off each other. It was an interesting and engaging day, and I finished the day in a completely different place from where I started, and landed in an unexpected place, with an unexpected palette, and an unexpected layout. And, pretty much, that was the point.

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