Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Someone Please Teach Me

I spent four years in college and part of me thinks that that was not enough. I find myself still longing to learn, but lacking the time to do so. Also, I find myself lacking teachers, financial resources and to some extent mental capability (or patience). As of late, the things I have wanted to learn most are practical skills as opposed to all the theoretical knowledge I learned in college.

Here is the list of things I desire to learn in order of practical importance to me at the moment:

Sewing – I need someone to teach me how to properly operate my sewing machine. The “User’s Manual” is lacking quite a bit in detail. I also need some lessons in craftsmanship.

For some reason my needle keeps breaking. It might have something to do with the tension that I do not know how to set properly, or the machine might need a repair. I do not know.

It comes up so often that there is something that needs to be hemmed or needs a custom fit. I sure wish I could fix the hem on my curtains and make some custom curtains for Alexander’s room. Now that we are having a little girl, she will need little bloomers to cover her diapers under dresses (Yes, this is necessary, because girls wear dresses and their diapers are not protected like when boys wear pants and the diaper starts to deteriorate before its time.)

I am torn though, because it seems these days anymore things can be bought cheaply enough that sewing is not a necessary skill.

Icon Writing – I view this as an essential skill for my faith formation and for the faith formation of my family. This is the mystical art of interpreting Biblical and historical figures into imagery through prayer, meditation, fasting and the use of tempera paint on wood. Everything that is done in icon writing has special religious and philosophical meaning. When finished they are intended to be used for spiritual meditation and enlightenment.

There is a place in Austin that I can learn this special skill. However it would involve 5-7 weekend trips down to Austin plus about $500 in supplies and studio time. I would need a scholarship to complete this “degree.” Too bad they do not make scholarships for Icon Writing School.

I think that in theory I could learn about this without taking an expensive class. The Priest at our church in Spokane gave a couple weekend courses on it. However, I could not attend, because I was busy in college at the time. I do not think that he went into depth about symbolism, etc. He simply explained how it is done. They used templates and transfer images onto the wood.

It not good enough that I simply paint an image onto wood in the style of icon writing. If I am going to do this, I am going to do it right and pay homage to the tradition and to the Lord, Our God.

There are no books that I could find on the subject.

Minor skills I wish to learn:

How to discipline Alexander and get him to eat his dinner like a little gentleman at the table.

How to sell art in galleries.

And one day, I want to learn how to be an organic subsistence farmer. This might be a task for a whole other lifetime. I am a far cry from being a “green thumb.”

Do you have any of these skills? Do you want to teach me? I’ll clear my schedule for you.

1 comment:

Anne said...


You take the words right out of my mouth!
First, we need to get a farm in the PNW and live there together (T says there's some nice farm land near the coast in WA).
Second, we need to get Mrs. (John) Corrigan from St. John Chrysostom's parish to give us an icon writing class ('cuz I want to learn, too!!).
Third, we need to set up our sewing machines right next to each other so we can learn together.

And life will be wonderful :) Our husbands can teach at schools in the area and we'll raise our kids together!