The first public workshop for hand-made tsumami kanzashi dragonflies in Cluj-Napoca, with the support of Incubator107 Cluj – march 18th 2013.
Monday evening, the sun has just set, the people are going home from work. On Eroilor Boulevard you can see the streetlights turning on. I know I have to get to the Bookstory Bookstore (funny name, I know), number 6-8. What does 6-8 mean? In this case, like many others, it means that I walk around the place without finding it for 10 minutes and then finally spot the glass door. Glass doors usually do that to me.
Inside the bookstore the air is warm and welcoming and our workshop room is in the basement, well lit and with books and games-covered walls, waiting for visitors to explore them. In the middle there is a small table, slightly larger that the one I usually work on. We’ll make it, even though we have a lot of stuff we need to find space for that will end up all over the table and beyond.
I can see my “apprentices” arriving, eager to learn how to make dragonflies out of recycled fabrics. I expected them to be a bit late, but I am pleasantly surprised that they arrived on time. I’m still fidgeting around the room, placing things within reach, so that everything runs smooth. We have two very good glue guns, many kinds of fabrics and accessories that I needn’t have brought (I usually accessorize flowers rather than dragonflies).
We start by presenting ourselves. This time I didn’t prepare a ‘script’, I wanted everything to run on a natural pace, working and telling our stories at the same time, just the way it’s supposed to work. After a short introduction about myself (as an environmental sciences graduate who loves to work with fabrics), the Butterfly Garden and the Incubator107 (a really nice project that helps people teach others what they know), we start working on the first petals. I call them petals even though they later become wings since it’s easier to talk about them like that. This first petal is an exercise in order to learn the technique.
We pick our favorite fabrics and we start working on the dragonflies. All of the participants give us a few words about themselves for an hour (we keep starting new discussion topics, so it takes a long time to get around the table) and we discover that we have two pairs of sisters and six pairs of people that have lived or are living together. You wouldn’t have thought that’s possible with 9 people, would you? We work, we laugh, make very bad jokes, ask questions, inspire and help each other and finally we have 7 unique and beautiful dragonflies.
In the end we evaluate this little event: what we liked – the open atmosphere, we relaxed after a full day of working; what we’re left with – mostly the dragonflies; we will recommend the workshop to our friends. I gained a great deal of experience (especially regarding adaptability to surprises and space management, as well as in teaching), I had a lot of fun and I gained some donations that will be used for developing the Butterfly Garden.