Zentangle “competition” at modell-hobby-spiel fair in Leipzig

This weekend, the fair modell-hobby-spiel about building models, a variety of crafting hobbies, toys and games takes place in Leipzig, Germany. I went there yesterday, mainly because of a “Zentangle competition” I read about on the fair’s website. This competition, however, turned out to be a huge flop: It was only one beginner’s workshop after another (for 5€) and it wasn’t a very well done one. After just 2 minutes of watching, I noticed several things that were not QUITE right (e.g. they didn’t teach Crescent Moon but a tangleation of Crescent Moon – you definitely should point that out!). No CZT was involved in the teaching (a CZT would have been more accurate). It seemed to me that the method was presented in a pretty “loveless” way, too. I know that there are no mistakes in Zentangle, but… this was not a good workshop. By far not as good as the one with Michele Beauchamp I took two weeks ago. Although I’m not 100% positive about this whole CZT principle, I think this is a shame because I guess a CZT’s introduction is far better than this.

modell-hobby-spiel 2015_Zentangle workshop

I took a picture of the workshop running when I arrived – the umbrella on the right side is a nice idea. I Hope that the pen used is waterproof! 😉

They also sold the official material by Sakura of Europe there. I met a woman yesterday who only wanted to buy one of the white gel pens. With the Sakura sets she had to decide if she wanted to buy a set of 4 pens (including 2 of the gel pens she was looking for) for a juicy 14€ – or no pens at all. I find this not only way too expensive but also too inflexible having to buy those kits all the time. Why aren’t the pens sold individually? I’m so glad to have my own sources for the original material and that I’m not dependent on Sakura’s kits.

Another disappointment was that there weren’t that many REAL Zentangle books on display, too. They only had a very small selection of German Zentangle books – the best one being aone lonely German copy of One Zentangle a Day – and a HUGE variety of these so-called “Zencolor”-books. I really dislike those books because they simply have nothing to do with Zentangle at all but are borrowing the reference to it by using “Zen-” in the name now that Zentangle is getting more popular in Germany. They are just colouring books and that is what they should be called in my opinion..

All in all, I don’t think I’d have come to the fair if I had known all this in advance. But it still was a nice day because of the boardgame part of the fair. I meet new and interesting people there and also bought two new card games.

Workshop with Michele Beauchamp & Beate Winkler

If you’re familiar with Zentangle, you probably have already stumbled upon the wonderful blog of the Tasmanian CZT Michele Beauchamp. I’ve been following her blog for many years now and since the first time I saw her art, I always admired her beautiful, elegant, airy, free-flowing style. You can imagine how thrilled I was when I read about her giving a Zentangle workshop on “Organic” in Beate Winkler’s studio in Hamburg, Germany. Right now, Michele is travelling through Europe with her husband Paul and made a short stop in Hamburg to meet Beate and to give this workshop. Beate is a CZT, too, and you can find her blog and a post about this workshop including many pictures of everybody and the group’s work here. Of course, I decided to sign up immediately because I just knew this might be this famous ONE chance you cannot possibly miss.

Before the workshop I tangled more frequently than before to get into the groove again. However, the beginning of the day the workshop was to be held on was not very Zen-like.. My bus to the train station arrived early and I only had the time to wave it goodbye. After a forced march I only barely caught the last train and the last (other) bus to the main station where I arrived just in time for my train to Hamburg. That was a close one!

Due to construction work and a rail replacement bus service, I and a few other participants were a bit late for the warm-up we were to take, too. But we still had enough time to repeat the basics (nothing new there for me..). In this time, we started to tangle a tile. We didn’t have the time to finish it during the warm-up, but I finished it later on. I’m quite happy with it. Here it is:

introductory tile
My tile from the warm-up using Hollibaugh (tangleation with Quipple), Keeko, Opus, Paradox and Zinger – I really like how Zinger and Hollibaugh are weathing together.

When we arrived for the workshop, I was very happy to find out that Michele is a very amiable person. It was a real pleasure to meet her! The workshop was scheduled for four hours. However, it felt like barely a few minutes although we tangled two tiles and a bookmark. It definitely didn’t feel like such a long time at all! In all, we were 15 people not only from different cities in Germany but also from different countries. Most of us came from Germany (from Hamburg as far as Würzburg!), but three tanglers came as far as from the Netherlands and one from Belgium – wow! Among them were quite a few CZTs, but other, much less experienced tanglers were present and had their share of the fun, too.

First thing we tangled was a tile with a very simple string. Michele usually doesn’t work with strings, but to make things easier for us, she chose a very simple one for a “warm-up”, which was a monotangle with (one of) my personal “uncomfortable”-tangle(s), Mooka… Mine just never look nice but only wonky and wobbly and.. just not how I’d like them to look like at all! That’s why I was not that thrilled when we started. However, step by step Michele showed us nice ways to weave Mooka into an elegant and natural-looking way and by the end I (and everyone else) was super-happy with the result. But see for yourself:

My Mooka-Tile using Betweed, Bunzo, Mooka, Printemps, Tipple, Quipple and Zinger

After this tile and a short break we continued with a bookmark. We tangled a very free-flowing version of Yincut and I must say I like it! Yincut hasn’t really crossed my tangling path before and it didn’t look very special or interesting in the beginning. But that’s what I ike about Zentangle, it’s a constant surprise! Playing with tangles really is a lot of fun and I decided to look at a few tangles in-depth more. It is such fun! Here is my bookmark – I really like how the grid-Yincut turned out, but the free-flowing “onions” of it.. well, I guess its ok, it’s Zentangle after all!

bookmark workshop
The tangles we used were Yincut, Sprigs (the “onion”, one of Michele Beauchamp’s tangles) and Zinger. I added some Ahh on my bookmark, too.

Last and sadly least we tangled another tile since two participants arrived late due to heavy traffic and didn’t have a chance to tangle one yet (no complains from my side here! I was very happy we tangled another one). This time we tried a spiral and it was great fun. Sadly, time was running up quickly and since Michele is so fast and we had little time left, my tile looks actually very different from hers. I mean, I TOTALLY messed up Finery (another “uncomfortable”-tangle that I personally find really, REALLY hard to draw, even more than Mooka before this workshop) and had to make something up for the whole thing to work on my own. But I still love the result very much! For me, it certainly has this “Michele-flow” and it is a wonderful souvenir from this very special day. Here it is:

Tangles used: (can’t remember the center..), Tipple for filling the gaps, something that was supposed to be Finery, Tripoly, a TOTALLY messed up Finery that I turned into something you might call a tangleation of Crescent Moon or maybe rather something totally different (the string with the onions), Grass Border and Printemps.

Unfortunately, I didn’t take any more pictures of the meeting and not even with Michele (which I now regret very much). But as already mentioned before, you can see more pictures of the workshop on Beate’s blog (see above for the link).

I had lots of fun in this workshop, it was great to meet so many tanglers and, of course, Michele in person! She even gave me one of her ATCs after the workshop! I’m really happy about it and feel so honoured! ❤ It’ll get a nice spot in my ATC collection. You might remember seeing it in her last post before coming to Europe), it is the first ATC of the two ATCs.

Thank you again, Michele, for this wonderful workshop, it was a pleasure to meet you in person! And thank you, too, Beate, for making it all possible and for your hospitality!

EDIT 13.10.2015: Michele is now back home and has written a blog entry about the workshop. You can see me in one of the pictures, too! Guess who I am. 😉