art retreats, book arts, dyeing, fiber art, Madeline Island, Minnesota/Wisconsin, Slow cloth

Madeline Island: Chapter 6, Friday

Peering into the final dyepot.

Part of the patchwork of the 15 nine-squares the class laid together on the floor. Mine is the one in the bottom right corner.

The second book and two final fabric bundles come out of the dyepot.

I don’t mind that I nearly destroyed the La Pointe Cemetery papers through impatient handling and poor protection in the dyepot – the beautiful decay is fitting for the object’s inspiration.


One of the prettiest spreads in my first book.


I used the drip paper to make a protective cover for the La Point Cemetery book and sew pages into the first book.

I am done. I am exhausted. I am full to the brim with goodness. I hug India and say goodbye to my new friends, the friendliest and most soul lifting group I have ever studied with.

Waiting for the ferry. What the heck is that red stuff in the water? Is it natural?

Brenda drives C___ and me to Duluth to pick up the shuttle to Minneapolis. What a generous, lovely woman. As we wait at the Duluth Radisson on the patio, I notice the subject of a recent Facebook photo making the rounds – the outside of the Duluth Public Library.

C___ and I collapse into our hotel room in Minneapolis. I have deep and pleasant dreams.

Update 11-27-20: As I moved these photos over from my Flickr site and edited these posts, I noticed that I glossed over or left out almost all the negative aspects of this trip, and there were many, enough that India canceled her next workshop there and I have never attempted to go back there for another workshop. On the shuttle trip there, India totally lost her temper with the driver for texting while driving. The food that the school provided was mediocre at best. There were ticks in the bedrooms. A couple of the women fought over their bundles on Thursday. Then the school scheduled my shuttle back to the airport on this particular morning, and would not refund my money when I objected. Brenda volunteered to drive C____ and I, a three hour trip for her, so that we would not have to miss the last day of class.

I liked C____ a lot, but she was a very strange person, and I didn’t use her name because she was extremely phobic of being on the Internet and, apparently, sewing of any kind. I felt like I took her under my wing: odd behavior for me, but I guess I related to her as a person who has been considered “weird” all my life. We kept up through email for a short time, then dropped it. Brenda and I remain friends on Facebook. My roommate asked me to come visit her and stay in her beach studio in San Diego! And I lost her name and contact information! GAH!!!!

However, I understand why I focused on the positive. The workshop itself was one of the most moving experiences of my life. The La Pointe Indian Cemetery was a source of inspiration and sacred awe. And my classmates, well, my classmates made me feel like a queen. I had the odd experience of being very popular, and people came to me before I left and said sad goodbyes and how much they enjoyed getting to know me. A very, very different art retreat experience for me in that way. I’m glad that I took so many photos.

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