Today I enrolled in the Box Hill TAFE Diploma of Arts - Studio Textiles/Stitch. I've been wanting to do this for about three years, ever since I realised the art potential of fibre beyond knitting other people's patterns.
I was initially slightly put off because at first glance it seemed to be heavily biased towards embroidery. I don't have anything against embroidery but I am not a natural at it. I've done lots of cross stitch over the years but always following other people's patterns, and never had the desire to design in it. But having checked out graduate exhibitions from this course on the web I have come to realise that there were all sorts of textile arts being used by the students and today confirmed my feelings - I was told that they had 'lots of fibre people' and that I could use any textile media I wanted to, so long as I experimented! I got really excited when they said that there are always some students who want to explore 3D work in greater detail and that they had studio facilities for that - I do want to do this, very much indeed!
It's every Friday during term time, for three years, plus lots of homework, about the equivalent of another full day a week. Some of the subjects sound boring - OHS, that sort of thing, but being a TAFE I would expect subjects like that, and the bulk of the course is design theory and practice. Dyeing is apparently a big favorite, so my eyes lit up when they mentioned that!
I'd forgotten the delights of enrolling at tertiary institutions - fill in this form, get it signed, go downstairs to the cashier, be redirected by the cashier to another room, go back to cashier, go back upstairs to give in my receipt number, wait while they find the form I filled in half an hour ago... but it's all done and dusted and I am officially a student for 2006! It felt very odd indeed getting a student card - the last time I had one of those was in 1987, and prior to that was my very first uni one in 1979!! Baby Bear was with me, it being her curriculum day, and she rudely laughed at the photo and said 'Mum, why are photos of you always so awful?' Well, she was certainly right!
Then we went to the Box Hill S'n'B. Baby Bear has been aching to go all year but I was afraid she would be bored. She was, though very polite and well behaved. In the end I gave her some money and sent her off to Diva (cool jewellery shop) to buy a birthday present for one of her friends and to spend some of her pocket money. By the time she had thoroughly done over Diva (and found a pair of earrings that she said would be perfect for me - I went back there on the way home and bought a pair of diamante skull earrings, how could I resist!) it was lunchtime so we ate and then went home - to be greeted by an answerphone message from Wombat's teaching aide saying that he had run out of medication. At that stage it was a good hour and a half after he should have taken his lunchtime dose so I had to hare over the school. Fortunately he was OK, we are trialling a new medication and it really seems to have worked so far.
I asked if I should do any preparation over the summer before the course starts in February, and was told to read everything inspirational I could find in the textile/fibre field and maybe start keeping a scrapbook of ideas. So I shall spend happy hours reading some of my many books!!