Sometimes, after a long journey, fullfilled with impressions and adventures, you do not know, where and when to start talking about. That’s my actual situation. End of last week I returned from the Asia-Workshoptournee for BERNINA, that lasted 2 weeks. And still I have not really arrived yet. Touched the ground with my feet, but the head is still quite unsorted. Therefore I started looking through hundreds of photos and my diary and made a plan for the coming traveldiaries which will be posted here in the BERNINA Blog.
You will find in the next days blogposts from both sites I visited and held workshops in Korea, in Daegu and in Bundang, near Seoul. There will be another report about a free day, visting one of these special palaces in Seoul and another one with many photos of the fabricmarket in Seoul.
India will follow. We realized two great workshops at the BERNINA CreativCenter in Mumbai (Bombay) and another one at “The Square Inch” in Chennai. And you should not leave India, without a Sari. I found and bought one in a spectaculous shop in Chennai. You will therefore read another traveldiary about this shop and get a few more impressions of my days in India, in the little moments I had time, besides the workshops.
Before starting telling my stories, my heartfelt thanks go to Sabine Scheiner from BERNINA International AG, Steckborn, Switzerland. Sabine gave me the utmost support in planning and preparation of the workshop-tournee and managed the entire coordination with her partners in Korea and India. Without you, this adventure would not have been possible.
After an intense preparation of a couple of weeks the travel finally started. Most of the workshopmaterials had been sent in advance by airfreight to Korea and India. More material has been packed in a second suitcase. Wednesday, 8th april I finally “got off”.
The travel began at Stuttgart Airport, which is quite near my new home. It was easy and comfortable to get rid of my luggage, until I arrived in Seoul. Just a short flight brought me to Amsterdam Schiphol, hurrying through transfer to get the connecting flight to Seoul. Finally I am on my way. And happy and finally realizing what was going on. During the last weeks, there was so much to do, usual business, teaching, traveling, just doing one thing after another one, that there was no time to think about, what was coming. Anticipation :-).
12 hours later, having enjoyed a quite and safe nightflight, I arrived with a time change of + 8 hours in Seoul. Another 2 hours later I passed passportcontrol and got my luggage (hurray, both suitcases arrived inspite of transfer!). And finally I met Mr. Kim from BERNINA Korea and Sue, the translater, who did a fantastic job during theses days in Korea.
We had a quick coffee and went off, taking the KTX high speed train and travelled with 300km/h through Korea, into southeast to reach Daegu.
Have a look on the conjunction inbetween Seoul airport and mainland during low tide.
Having arrived in Daegu, we met Mr. San Jung Lee from BERNINA Korea, such as Gye Soon Ahn, a korean quiltartist, who works at BERNINA Korea too. We shared a pleasent dinner.
After 22 hours of travel I finally fell into a narcosis-like sleep at the hotel.
The next day startet with sunshine, climate in South Korea is quite similar to the middle european. Breakfast was interesting. You will find photos during this blogpost. 8:30 Mr. Lee picked us up at the hotel and we drove to the BERNINA CreativeCenter.
Tables where prepared with plastic foil, and within minutes, we finished everything to let the workshops start.
It was such a good feeling to meet again so many familiar faces. Last september we met first time at BERNINA International AG in Steckborn, Switzerland, during a first workshop. It was a pleasure and quite special to meet again – but in Korea.
Mr. Lee opened the workshop, some presentation followed and I could hardly wait to open the pots of colour and to start working. Sue, my translater shared not only my words, but also my mimic art – funny moment in a photo ;-).
I started with a comprehensive material science for technics in fabric design, that was followed and saved immediately on various data loggers.
They were no longer able to sit on their chairs or to stand still. Without fear of contact on material and technics they had a go.
Experimentation, sampling and testing made the tables change into a creative chaos and I started to feel sorry for Mr. Lee and Mr. Kim. Did they have expected such a thing? What counts in the end is the result – and this was fantastic!
After lunch, we hurried back into the CreativCenter to go on with the workshop.
Whilst planning the travel and the workshops it was quite important for me to share my creative handwriting with the korean and indian Quilter. Therefore I was so curious what it would be like, when we startet quilting and how “artistic scripts” would mix and match.
Oh what good fun, easily and quick they startet quiltling in this different type. The printed fabrics turned out different and the asian handwriting shows up distinctively. West meets East succeeded.
At the end of the workshop it was a pleasure to talk a little bit about my history, my intention and my own person as an artist.
Finally, it was the moment of handing out the workshop certificate to every lady. What a nice idea, to do this. And with this certificate I had the chance to give a self made art-card to all of the korean ladies. Giving and taking. Equally.
It was a great first workshop.
The evening finished with a nice dinner in a pleasant korean restaurant. We had tofu and beef, soup, light and dark sesamebread, and some very special sesame icecream.
The second workshop day startet early again. I met Sue at 7:30 for breakfast. Not to expect an intercontinential breakfast ;-).
The morning was full of spring. Azaleas where in full blossom, ginkotrees come into leef, pleasant colour spots in town.
Second workshop startet as the previous one, the day before. But I decided to change the programm a little bit. As the ladies where so fast whilst printing and designing their fabrics the day before, I asked them to cut their fabrics into smaller pieces and to print part by part. Therefore they got the opportunity to sew a small collage, before starting freemotionquilting.
It insprires me over and over again anew how the asian handwriting finds into the form- and colour in this new design.
Forenoon passed quickly and lunchtime arrived. We just had to pop over the street to find back into the small korean pub. The old korean lady, who was a bit like the ruler over pots and pans was a real character.
All tables for lunch had already been set. The base of the meal was a fresh green salat, served in a bowl of stainless steel, customary for this country. And you help yourself with all appetizing dishes you find on the table.
A small bowl with delicious sticky rice was served from the lovely lady, who had always a smile on her face.
What more could I say: eating with copsticks is an art in itself – if you get wooden chopsticks. But it is a different story to use those, made of metal. Well, they gave me a fork, that I put beside and had another go with chopsticks.
Saturated and relaxed we found back into the CreativCenter. I did another small presentation with tips and advices for my form of freemotion quiltling, furthermore some ideas about using colours and different threads.
This was just a BERNINA paradise! Almost any model was set on the tables to work with: Bernina 880, Bernina 780, the Bernina 750 and the 500 Series.
The results were brilliant. The ladies were full of eagerness and concentration. And the beautiful purring of the Berninas filled the silence in the room.
Hours passed in an instant and the second workshopday in Daegu came to an end. Certificates and cards were handed over, we hugged each other, saying good bye, hopefully seing us again some time.
As different as we women are, be it religion, culture or ethnic origin, but the one thing we all have in common is the interest in texile. And the enthusiam we share for BERNINA sewing machines. Their reliability and the service, that BERNINA offers worldwide. The Bernina Family that is lived and that is vivid. And who is, despite 8900 km of distance to Steckborn actucally pulpable. BERNINA is unique.
As soon as the material suitcase had been closed, Mr. Kim, Sue and I went of to the station to take the KTX highspeedtrain, back into the night direction Seoul.
It’s saturday night, 23:00, at the hotel in Bundang, near Seoul. Tomorrow, Sunday will be the only free day during these two weeks of working and travelling and I am curious what awaits me. Mr. Kim will pick me up at the Hotel.
Will we read us again?