Posts Tagged With: Red Shoe Workshop

Wild Women at Work

“Wildlife and the wild woman are both endangered species”  Clarissa Pinkola Estes

…which is why I’m playing my part in ensuring that neither become extinct!

Over the past few weeks six women from Grahamstown have tapped into their wild, creative side by attending one of my Red Shoe Workshops. This project began as part of my commitment to the support and upliftment of women. Shoes are a powerful metaphor for the journey we take through life and after making a pair of my own, I saw the healing potential that lies in this creative process. The workshop is fun and deeply therapeutic, with the objective being for participants to leave the workshop with a sense of achievement and a renewed belief in themselves, knowing that their shoes are as unique and beautiful as they are, and a true reflection of their souls.

Meet the participants:

Daksha

Daksha, learning to do machine embroidery

Virginia

Virginia

Karen

Karen

Bev

Bev

Ann

Ann

Leela enjoys the treat of having time to focus on her creativity

Leela, enjoying having time to focus on her creativity

The three day workshop was spread over two weekends, and the participants quickly overcame their anxieties and launched into the project with gusto. As is often the case with workshops like this, the ladies were not sure what they would end up making or how they would go about it. However, the structure of the workshop is such that the participants moved through each step of the process with ease and by the end were able to look at their achievements with pride, and in some cases, a little amazement! After years of teaching beginners, I have learned to recognize resistance and fear for what it is and guide the participants forward through the process of choice and decision making, encouraging them to make connections and gain insights into why they choose what they do.

Click on the images below to see some more of the action:

And now meet the shoes…

The class of October 2013

The class of October 2013

When asked what she would say to others who might be considering doing this workshop, Leela said “Do it for the joy of discovering or rediscovering yourself. Laugh and be at peace with the essence of you.”

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Categories: Fibre Art, Workshops | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Red Shoe Workshop goes to Keiskamma

Well, last week was certainly a busy one! On Monday I gathered up piles of fabric, embroidery threads, scissors, needles and pins, loaded them into the vehicle and set off for Hamburg, a small coastal village that lies between East London and Port Alfred. My purpose was to take my Red Shoe Workshop to the trainee Community Development Officers of the Keiskamma Trust. This programme is overseen by the Centre for Social Development at Rhodes University, and my co-facilitator for the workshop was the group’s trainer, Nozipho Khwababa, an employee of the CSD.

The great thing about this workshop is that depending upon the group who are participating; it morphs into what it needs to be. In this case, Nozipho wanted her students to have the opportunity to strengthen their sense of self, so that when they walk amongst the community, they will feel lighter, less burdened by the trials they face.

The concept of the workshop was completely new to all but one of the group, so their anxiety levels were high when I explained what they would be doing. Most of the participants couldn’t believe that it was possible to achieve the goal I had set, but nevertheless bravely entered into the process.  By Day Two the mists of confusion were gradually starting to lift, and by Day Three, the students had the bit between their teeth and were so into the process that they took their projects home and worked on them overnight.

By the final day, the frowns and shaking heads had changed to laughter and celebration. They couldn’t believe what they had achieved, and in the closing discussions reported feeling very much better about themselves and what they were capable of achieving.

We returned to Grahamstown late on Friday, extremely tired, but happy that the workshop had been such a success.

Categories: Workshops | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments

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