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First was a slide show of various people's work, not just our instructor's pieces, and not always in gut but similar types of built pieces, and not always art pieces but sometimes cultural artifacts. Interesting works. The waterproof parka from Alaska, for instance, looked very much like one of those throwaway see-through plastic raincoats.

Actually, very first action was introductions. Of the six students, all are women, three have worked with gut before, and most gave the impression of being active and established artists. I felt very peripheral, but, hey, that's one reason for being here.

Next was building a framework from reeds (they had various sizes in flat and half-round), tied together with the waxed thread or whatever else we wanted to use. There were concepts to use for inspiration, but we weren't held to that. Then we got our buckets of guts (bought from www.sausagemaker.com!) and were shown how to separate them, clean them (not from hog-insides: they're packed in salt which needs to be rinsed off through several changes of water), split them, and cut and stretch them over the framework(s).

Fascinating to see the variety of styles, and a lot of people incorporated outside materials. Literally "outside": rocks or small branches. Our studio is well off the main road, up the hill on a dirt road and through the woods. past swamps. to a clearing with parking area and three simple one-story buildings. There were fans blowing, and most found it comfortable, but I was glad to collapse in an air-conditioned hotel room when I got back.