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June 19, 2019 / weavingschool

Weaving at Little Middle Folk School

For one amazing week every summer the John C Campbell Folk School opens its studios to kids. The work they do is always outstanding. I’m lucky enough to introduce weaving to rising 7th grade through high school aged students to the traditional way cloth has been made for thousands of years. Kids in the morning session wind half the ends for a 5 yard warp, sley it in the reed, then the afternoon kids wind the other half and fill in the spaces. The color combinations they come up with are unique and surprising. Somehow it all works out and there is never an ugly combination. We thread straight draws the next day with a little help from the “weaving fairies” after class. By Wednesday, the shuttles are flying across the colorful warps with all the color and texture to be found in the Folk School’s massive yarn closet. Finally the kids understand what and why they “suffered” for the first two days. After plain weave comes twill and the weavings become complex and even more beautiful. Friday is project of your choice day to be made with two yards of hand woven cloth.

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June 7, 2019 / weavingschool

Showing Off

Weekend classes at John C Campbell Folk School are always a whirlwind of activity, hardly time for taking a deep breath. Even so, the Folk School always inspires great works and we even took time to show off a few of the many felted items we created.

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April 18, 2019 / weavingschool

Connecting Four

Ever play Connect Four as a kid or with your grandchild? I just finished a whirlwind of four weekends in a row of out of town fiber art events, exhausting but worth every minute of it. Weaving and felting connects all of them thus the title. Sharing my passions with enthusiastic students, networking and reconnecting with other fiber artists, and of course always learning connect them all as well.
First was a wearable art fashion show at the Five Points Museum in Cleveland, TN
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Second, a weekend weaving class at John C. Campbell Folk School


Third, Fiber Forum at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg teaching the combination weaving/felting class.


Fourth, Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival


They are all my favorites, each venue unique and all connected by a love of fiber arts.

 

 

April 10, 2019 / weavingschool

Rebecca’s Research

Rebecca'sResearch copyMy eldest daughter collected 6000 bottles of bugs for PHD research in the 1990s.  She is no doubt an expert in her field, but she never got back to doing more research on this set of bugs and they’ve been stored ever since. I’ve been contemplating projects for them for several years. Just the vast quantity of the tiny jars begs for an instillation piece. When the call for the Arts in the Airport exhibit for the Knoxville, TN airport came up, the theme was University of Tennessee. Research is such an important part of any university that it seemed appropriate to use a few of the 6000 in an entry. I’m happy to say, it was accepted.

Here is my artist statement:
For “Rebecca’s Research” I have lovingly encased one one-hundredth of my daughter’s PhD research collection in a felted mountain landscape reminiscent of where she does her research.  She is a research scientist and like all women in science her story is all too typical, so I was taken aback but not surprised when I told her about this project that she asked if I’d included the bottles with her sweat, blood, and tears in it.

 

March 31, 2019 / weavingschool

Family Magic

 

Folks, both teachers and students, frequently refer to John C. Campbell Folk School as “magical.” Despite the long hours of preparation beforehand and studio hours during the workshop, I’ve always thought the same. I even looked forward to this weekend’s class as a vacation. The weekend met that goal and even had a bonus I hadn’t expected. Because the Folk School allows small class sizes, I was able to work with my two students on a one on one basis; very helpful when learning some of the more labor-intensive complicated crafts. It reminded of the times growing up when our grandmother would come for summer visits and teach us girls to knit and crochet. I think now I can add “like family” to my descriptions of the Folk School as magical.IMG_9769S

January 21, 2019 / weavingschool

Bangkok Show

My show at Rangsit University in Bangkok this year is about shadows. The pieces require tension and balance to hold them in place.The mixed media show is made up of woven, knitted, crochet, origami, and felted pieces. They require audience participation to make the shadows have new shapes and patterns. Here are a few pictures and the artist statement.

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Shadow Shapes
Over the years, I’ve collected random pictures of things I see at home and on my travels. Clothes lines and shadows are two of the things that fascinate me.  The changing nature of shadows as the sun light passes by and the way the shadow can simplify and often times change the shape is of particular interest to me.
The pieces in this show create shadows. In gallery lighting only static shadows are formed that greatly enhance the piece with the careful attention of the installer. By using the flashlight on a cell phone however, the viewer can create a myriad of moving and changing shapes and patterns.
Here, I challenge the viewer to make the pieces come alive, create new shapes and patterns, laugh, and even dance.  Add music from your collection, have a friend take your picture with your individual creation and post it to your favorite site.

 

January 12, 2019 / weavingschool

Space Available Fiber Forum

I’ll be teaching one of my favorite techniques at this year’s Fiber Forum at Arrowmont in Gatlinburg, April 4 to 7.
First we’ll weave, then we’ll add colorful merino fibers, and felt everything together.
We’ll be using plain weave in the class, but I’ve been experimenting with other weave structures lately. Below are some of the textures that happen with this easy technique. Of course, you can check in with me ahead of time to work out exceptions to plain weave based on your experience. Rigid heddle looms work great and some looms may be available on site. Yes, there will be rolling, but forget about all those rumors you’ve heard about hours of hard labor. This is a great way to use up your collection of white yarns, or a mixed warp of everything and the kitchen sink. But don’t worry if you aren’t a weaver, this simple structure is easy to get on the loom. And don’t worry if you’ve never felted before, results are guaranteed. You’ll go home with a wonderful scarf, and the inspiration and knowledge for what comes next. Beginners to advanced in either technique will love this combination.

Fiber Forum is a fun regional fiber arts conference held at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN. There are lots of workshops to choose from, key note speakers, fashion show, and plenty of good food. The weekend is spent with people who speak your fiber art language.