Randall Darwall Workshop - One Year On

It has been one year since 12 eager weavers gathered at a small but beautiful polytechnic campus in Paraparaumu, north of Wellington. When I think back, I still feel the giddiness of anticipation I felt as we sat around the picnic tables in the courtyard, waiting for the opening ceremony. I remember spotting Brian first, because he turned his head in just the way he was photographed on Randy's website back then.

I've asked my classmates for their observations and reminiscences one year on.

Robyn wrote: "Randy's workshop was a good boost to my weaving. I have been putting more effort into planning my scarves and wraps, adding more texture and color. I have spent more time on each and consequently am charging more for them.

"I think you have captured the sense of camaraderie that existed in the class and for me that was a real conduit for creative thinking.

"Off now for two months in Europe and all the textile excitement that entails."

Agnes said: "I thoroughly enjoyed the week in Paraparaumu, no emails, no phone calls, just get up every morning and weave all day long amongst a great bunch of like minded people and getting great inspiration from Randy and Brian - it was a fantastic holiday! As to how the weeks experience reflects in my new work - well, not really, at least not yet. My passion still is in warp painting and creating curves, waves, moving images in the design and not so much in the use of 50 or more warp and weft colours but who knows, maybe the bug will bite me at a later stage."

Margaret K remarked: "I still think about Randy's work and what he taught us, I'd love to do another workshop with him."

Ann commented: "To me the Randy Darwall class allowed me to rekindle aspects of my weaving I had passed over in recent years. I thoroughly enjoyed the workshop with a 'Master Weaver', his dynamic partner Brian and like-minded weavers. Being able to share the knowledge gained with other weavers is an on going privilege. I am enclosing photos of three scarves I recently wove on the one warp using, dare I say it, 50 colours!"

And Dianne remembers: "Well its there but often I feel its etherial rather than tangible. Most of my work since the workshop has been orders for shops so my influence is not great. I did make a series of wraps some time ago in red(s). If I recall I had 14 chains all of different combinations of reds including black, hot pink, orange, starting dark on one side and moving through to orangey red on the other.

"The quote I keep hearing at present is "if its not working add more colour".

"I'm working my through an order for 12 blankets and 18 throws at present; white warp, black mohair weft; taupe warp, black weft; Wedgewood blue warp white weft etc. As you see not great scope for playing."

So what of me? I've been thinking about this for a month, and I'm feeling very lame.

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