This is Part 1 of my report from Palmetto Tat Days.
I'm finally returned to Italy from the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, with a trip of more than 18 hours and it took me a while to recover from the stress.
Today is Saturday and I'm alone at home, so I have time to tell you all about my trip to South Carolina. This is not an easy task, because there is so much to tell and I hope you will comprehend, that not every person I met, can be mentioned.
I arrived at Columbia the afternoon on Tuesday, the 3rd of September, and Jane Henson, a slim and very beautiful lady with white hair, which seems an actress from the fifties, took me from the airport to her beautiful home, where she hosted me for several days. She let me take part of her way of life, which is the American way of life. She drove me around with her big car and her soft driving manner for hours to go shopping in different malls and shops. In the evenings we sat together tatting, with her 3 cats looking at me with suspect and then running away disgusted.
On Thursday Jane took me to a small village, where we were invited at a restaurant to have a teacher meeting. Here I came together for the first time with most of the teachers and organizers of this years Palmetto event: Jane Eborall, Hope Green, Mimi Dillman, Riet Surtel, Joanie Culverhouse, Teresa Woods, my teaching assistant Barbara Hevener, and others from whom I don't remember the names. I'm a bit shy and speaking in english is not so easy, so I listened and memorized.
On Wednesday morning Jane Henson took me to the White Oak Center. While we were waiting for the keys of our rooms, we sat together tatting and talking and I didn't miss the opportunity to put my hands in Jane Eborall's tatting bag and touch all her colored tatting treasures: earrings, broaches, bracelets, flowers, etc. She is such a sunny and creative person, exactly the same as she appears on her blog and it seemed to me to know her since ever, and she is very English, with the English accent and above all the English humour. Her jacket and her handbag, all was covered with colored tatted animals and flowers. Her love for colors is amazing and "infecting". It's a pity that I live so far away from her... for european distances, about two hours of airplane.
Then I also met Riet Surtel, which I already knew from our German Tatting Exhibition Event in Horstmar. She is like a Tatting-mother to us, and inspires a lot of love. During her lessons she invites her American students to sing canons in … dutch. I’m very honoured that she took my butterfly class the week after Palmetto Tat days. She told me, that if we want to hold the interest in tatting high, we have to use colors. I agree with her, because also in Italy there is nobody, who makes some laces for the household objects anymore, like it used to be only a generation ago.
Naturally I got together with my teaching assistant, Barbara Hevener, which had helped me so much to make all the descriptions for the Palmetto doily slice, which I would not have been able to do without her. She is a very discrete lady, with white hair, who does not speak very much, but listens. After the Palmetto Tat Days she invited me, together with Joanie, to a restaurant, where they serve traditional homelike meals, which I liked very much and which was the best I eat in a restaurant in all the days I stayed in America and Canada. She had also thought about where to bring me to see something special, so after the restaurant we went to see the zoo of Columbia. This is a very special zoo, where all the animals where held in spaces, which recreate the surroundings of their natural life, so a lot of animals where not easy visible, because they where camouflaged by the surrounding colors. We passed a great day there together.
There were not many students, but important ones, at my two classes, the doily class and the design class, and all expressed their satisfaction and made me a lot of compliments. Especially the design class was a great success and I’m very satisfied of the result. I hope to be soon able to show you here the realisations of my students designs.
On Saturday afternoon I attended Nina Libbins beaded necklace class. I was surprised by the simplicity of her pattern to obtain a great design. Nina Libbin is a very patient and friendly teacher and I enjoyed it a lot to know her personally and to learn from her.
Between the classes I had also the opportunity to take a look at Mark Myers tatting sample book. I cannot tell how I’m impressed to see those tiny, lacy, beautiful works, made with the thinnest thread. Every time I went into the exhibition room, I admired his gorgeous new white angel and other work. We did not speak a lot together, because time table was stressing and also Mark is a bit shy, like me, but having him met in person is great for me.
One of my students was Katie Verna. Her name was already familiar to me because of her beautiful works on the roundrobin doilies of Maus’s roundrobin site. She spoke to me in perfect Italian, though not of Italian origin. I don’t know if Riet met somebody who could speak to her in... perfect dutch LOL.
To be continued.