When ever we talk with someone who needs a class that nurtures the inner artist and calms the committee of critics that lives in our mind, we always think of Mary Ann Hall first. She’s the beautiful instructor who makes you feel as though you can accomplish anything. No problem you encounter will be too big, no mistake you make will be insurmountable…in fact, Mary Ann will soon convince you that you didn’t make a mistake…instead, you were the creator of in incredible stroke of genius.
But Mary Ann doesn’t “computer” very much…so here’s a taste of her interview without pictures…you’ll simply need to know she’s drop-dead gorgeous and her quilt work embodies motion through the inspired juxtaposition of original color combinations:
1) Teaching takes courage and experience…and so much extra time. When you’re not teaching, what else do you like to do?
When ever I have some free time, there is always so much I want to do. It always involves a new project that I’m excited about and old projects that I need to complete, so many projects so little time, how do I choose.
2) Fill in the blank s for the following statement: Inspiration for my work comes from NATURE and from OTHER ART FORMS. BEING CREATIVE is a very important aspect of my work and something to which I find I am very sensitive. Whenever I create a piece, I am most pleased when someone understands the THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS behind my work.
3) Describe the perfect class that you’d like to take…is when I am learning something new that I have never done before but the instructor lets me do it in a way that works for me. In other words, there is wiggly room, there is more than one way a project can be done.
4) We’d like a sense of your expertise and ability to teach the class you’re offering…so tell us how you came to feel confident about lea ding a group through your particular class. How long have you been practicing? I have been sewing ever since Junior High School, quilting for over 30 years, and have engaged in all forms of quilting from traditional to art quilts.
5) If you make a knitting error (substitute your art form here) do you jump right in and frog it (rip it out) or do you call it a design feature and keep right on going? Does the mistake cause you anxiety or do you feel like it’s just one more opportunity to make the project your own? Making mistakes…who me?!?!? It all depends on where I am in the process. Sometimes I do take it out especially if it’s in the beginning of a project and it will effect everything from there on out. Otherwise, if it something I can live with, I usually go with it and turn it into something to talk about…as if I NEED more things to talk about:)
6) What techniques are in your bag of tricks for motivating a student to struggle through a difficult step…maybe something that’s just a bit out of his/her range…and come out the other side feeling successful? Usually it’s to make them feel comfortable, like they can do anything. No mistake are too big, everything can be fixed or worked around. Helping them work through it to give them confidence so they are successful and happy.
7) If you could ask your students questions and class time wasn’t an issue, what sort of things would you like to know about the people sitting in front of you? I usually like to know where people are coming from. Where in their life adventure are they, what are they looking for and what secrets have they discovered.
8) I am an avid collector of: Blue and White things. Not only fabric.
9) The best advice I have ever been given: Never give up and Never give in.
10) What is your favorite color? BLUE List three qualities of the color. Richness, Peacefulness, Happiness. Consider that these qualities apply to your work. I can look at a Blue and feel better, more content, and happier. It brings me to a better place, memories that are priceless. It is what happens when I look at something I’ve created, it’s that part of me that I’ve put in it.
11) What do you do differently from the way you were taught? I make the principles and concepts and tweak them to make it work for me.
12) What’s your favorite tool? My Hands. Why? I love to touch things and connect with them.
13) What do you like best about what you do? I can be me. I can create something that in not right or wrong…something that simply makes me happy.
14) What do you mean when you say that a piece has turned out really well? That I like it. That it makes me smile. That I want to share it with others.