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Phyllis starts her tapestry inspired by an illustration of the sea

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Alison focuses on textural effects

Reflections as another workshop draws to a close

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Alice shows her artwork inspiration for her weaving

The Hirsch Wellness Network is a unique organization that provides more than free workshops in art, yoga and gardening. It’s overarching goal is to provide classes that are structured to support and encourage participants in creative endeavors during and after their cancer treatment. This means that sometimes students may come to the workshop, in the middle of their treatment or at the start of a new drug, and may not be physically or mentally at the most receptive to learning new skills, or even socializing with fellow participants. What amazes me is the courage and graciousness of the participants as they tackle their projects, jumping into the unknown with great spirit and determination.

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Charlene chooses very fine, sparkling blue yarn to start her tapestry

We did something different this time around, we began the class by each student warping their own looms. This is significant, as it is quite a challenge to warp ends under the correct tension, especially for students with no prior knowledge or experience in weaving or warping. I was so impressed with their ability to keep on task and keep pushing their own limits.

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Tammi weaves different forms and colors, as well as a warp stripe

Everyone is encouraged to work at their own pace; it really is about the process, working with your own sensibilities, finding out what works for you, discovering your own preferences, making choices.

This session ended with a short assessment to find out what worked for the students and ideas for future workshops. Out of the 8 students participating on the last day,

6 were interested in follow-up classes with 2 maybes.

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Rebekka weaves tapestry in the Navaho style

3 would have liked to have woven a finished product-such as a coaster or bookmark. 5 said it was  not as important to them to have a finished product.

3 would like to weave immediately and work on warping at the end of the session, if there was time

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Rebecca weaves shapes based on a landscape illustration and blending yarns together in gold areas

5 wanted to learn how to warp, even if it did slow down the weaving time

It might be make sense to offer a follow-up class, now that we have covered the basics. We could focus on creating colored shapes and outlines.

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Sylvia weaves some beautiful textural yarns

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Sara Jane- about to add a bold yellow triangle to her design. Thanks for your help, Sara Jane!

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