Thursday, December 10, 2015

Remembering the Lisa Litchenfels Workshop

While creating my last post on the Betts Vidal Frog Prince Workshop, and contemplating my next one, which will be on the Kate Church Workshop, I reminisced about the amazing Lisa Litchenfels Workshop the Flying Phoebes put together in 2013. Lisa is extremely well-known internationally for her often life-size cloth sculptures of human figures. She often spends a year working on the completion of a single sculpt, and her work has been sold in galleries around the world. Google her and you will be amazed. Actually, we were amazed when she agreed to fly out to California from the East Coast to conduct a workshop for us.

This group photo shows most of the people who attended the 3-day workshop. Lisa is pictured on the left, followed by Maudell, Mary, Elizabeth, Tani, Colleen, Geri, Marcella, Donna, Daisy, Stephanie and Diane. On the table in front of us are the figures we completed. The figures were from a pattern Lisa had given us, and it was not intended to be accurately proportional to the human body. It was only a small reasonable facsimile, to be used to practice techniques of  needle sculpting nylon (like in pantyhose and nylons) over a padded base. We soon found that dry, rough hands were a terrible detriment to our results. 

Lisa was the most patient and thorough teacher and demonstrator ever. Her work is meticulous, and she was most understanding of our lack of skill... always encouraging us onward. I was most fortunate to be able to spend extra time with her before and after class, as she stayed at Kelly's home in Livermore and they rode with me to and from the Tri-Valley to San Leandro, where the workshop was held. And, we spent some time in conversation at dinner after class. Lisa shared many of her life stories with us and it was truly amazing to be able to learn so much about her. Actually, I would have to say she is a very interesting and amazing woman!

Daisy, ever the over-achiever who always finishes multiples in any workshop, completed these two adorable hand-holding "golden-agers."

This photo is of some finished and unfinished figures. Mine is second from the right. Close inspection would show that I was one of those people with rough hands from household chores, and my figure has a very bad complexion. Lots of snags in that very thin and delicate nylon.

More photos of finished and work-in-progress figures.

Lisa had agreed to return to California to teach another class if we had enough people interested. Many voiced interest, but I must admit, while I loved the class experience with Lisa, I don't think I have enough patience for this type of fine needle-sculpting, or the inclination to pursue working with nylon material.

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