Kindred Spirits in the Inspiration Sessions
When someone walks into the studio and tells me they are a member of the Inspiration Sessions Membership I feel a kindred spirit. Each month I record myself alone in the studio working on a rug and explain every movement, every change that I make along the way. When I know that someone watches the sessions I know they really understand the process of making rugs and that they have a special love for it. I know they are dedicated to learning and that connects me to them.
Every month in the community I mention that if you come into the studio be sure to tell me that you that you are a member. I like to make the connection in real life. It is interesting how we get to know each other through the comments, the community page and through our live zooms. We have stories that we have shared, ideas that inspire us and of course our rugs.
Each of us comes to the membership at completely different levels. We have beginners and we have people who have been hooking for twenty years. Some of us hook daily. Others hook when they can. We have all agreed that rug hooking is important enough that we want to learn more and be better at it, and share our joy in it with other people. It is as simple as that.
I call it the inspiration sessions not because we are all seeking inspiration but because when we learn we get inspired and when we are with like minded individuals they inspire us. Community is inspiring. It leads us. It excites us and helps us grow into ourselves.
The sessions have involved a great deal of learning for me too. Recently, I recorded it twice because I made a recording error. Sometimes the mistake is just me and the technology that provides the lesson. What I have really learned though, from creating the sessions for the private membership, is to observe my own process. In showing them what I do as a rug hooker I see myself sometimes for the first time. And that excites me. It has been like learning to think about the way you think. Suddenly you are both there and outside yourself and you can see how one thing leads to another.
I thought that I would be revealing all the secrets of my rug hooking to the members, but it turns out that at times, I am revealing those secrets to myself. That is one of the best things about teaching. You never know what you will learn yourself.
After this month's session went out I had so many notes, questions and comments in my inbox. I answer them directly and they also get posted on the sessions comment board. It ends up being a conversation and sometimes the members comments and I hope, my answers reveal new thoughts and ideas to the session. I always read the comments. You just never know what you will find there.
I teach because I want to share what I know with others. I teach because I want to inspire others to create beauty everyday, and so they will share in the joy I have found in making rugs. I say this so often because it is true. There is so much potential to be found inside ourselves when we go deeply into something. In losing ourselves in a craft or art we find ourselves. We find ourselves transformed by our own hand.
I also teach because it inspires me. For me teaching is like an art project in itself. I go in with the same love that I would as if I were starting a rug. I try to use my ingenuity and imagination as well as my experience and knowledge. I want the learning to be as good as I can make it. That means I am constantly learning myself so that I have more to add, more to give. Teaching inspires me to dig deep and mine my own experiences, but also to search for ideas outside myself.
In the sessions I come to the table ready to share but also ready to listen because each member of the sessions also has knowledge and wisdom. We see this best in our monthly live hook ins but I also see it on the community page and in the comments as well. We learn from each other as a community. Part of my teaching is to encourage members to share with each other.
So though we are now beginning to offer some live workshops in the studio, I will continue to grow and develop the Inspiration Sessions and other online classes because through them I am reaching so many more people who share a yearning to go further with their rug hooking and use it to make their lives richer. These people are kindred spirits and I want to be here to bring them together.
- Deanne Fitzpatrick