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January 5, 2018 / weavingschool

Busy November

1BoxClassRecently I took a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School on medieval box making. It wasn’t easy to put it mildly. The boxes had an inner and outer box that had to fit precisely. Then the outside was covered with leather. As with any new class, it opened up a whole new thought process.
I’ve been contemplating the amount of work it takes to become an expert. My daughter stored her PHD thesis project at our house. It consists of 6000, yes 6000 is correct, bottles of bugs but after 20 years she’s moved onto other things. I’ve been wanting to make them into an art project. It raises more questions than answers. As a starting place, I made a box to hold ten of them. At first glance they look like perfume or spice bottles. But take one out and the bugs are revealed.  It’s a fun idea but hardly makes a dent in the number of bottles or ideas.

1TabletWeavingThe week after Thanksgiving was a bonus return to the Folk School when I was the assistant instructor to Angela Schneider in her card weaving class. It was on my “make one of everything” list so I felt confident. I understand handling yarns without tangling, know knot tying, tensioning, and a few other weavers tricks, but Angela’s depth of knowledge of the process was exemplary and now I’m itching to get my hands on some cards.

1KarenBillsA third opportunity came on the weekend when I helped a friend with her needle felting class at the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center in Norris, TN. The students had so much fun creating owls that I couldn’t help but move needle felting up on the list.

 

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June 23, 2017 / weavingschool

Rainy Week at Little/Middle

It has rained all week at Little Middle Folk School at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. But my brilliant and talented weaving students have easily drowned out the sound of the rain with the regular sounds of the loom clacking and beating weft into place. The colors they choose outshine even the sunniest of days.

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June 9, 2017 / weavingschool

Workshop for Knox Makers

The Knox Makers meet in an unassuming building but lots of amazing things happen there. The building houses makers spaces with plenty of high and low tech supplies and a large room for meetings and workshops. If you are not familiar with what maker spaces do, be sure to check them out. I took an arduino class here recently. Last week I presented a slide show on wearable technology to the regular Tuesday night meet up, then did a follow up workshop on stitching with conductive thread.

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May 22, 2017 / weavingschool

Meeting the Challenge

Los Angeles ladies are up for any challenge. In our (what is now low tech) world, adding electronics to fiber art works is a strange and new thing, but 15 ladies, members of Wearable Arts Connection (and some with joint membership in Surface Art Association) got their foot in the door of electronic textiles. We started with one of the oldest processes, wet felting, by making a nuno felted scarf. The warm California sun dried the pieces over lunch then we added an led light by stitching a circuit with conductive yarn. From scrolling the art work on their web pages it is clear that the ladies are already creating beautiful pieces. I can’t wait to see what they do next.

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Loading supplies into a members house. A great location for an outdoor workshop on a beautiful sunny day.

May 21, 2017 / weavingschool

Wearable Arts Connection

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Members in line for show and tell.

LaLa Land is a great place to do a workshop. So much to see and do here. The cactus in full bloom and different smells of plants than we have in East Tennessee greeted me while walking through the botanical gardens in Clairmont when I first arrived – a wonderful way to get jet lag behind me.
I’m working with the creative ladies of the Wearable Art Connection who are open to all things new. Yesterday I presented a slide show combining the newest technologies available to sewers with the ancient technologies still in use in the countries I’ve been lucky enough to visit. I shared my journey into this new world and encouraged them to get started on their own path.
Today we will get our hands wet in the felting process then stitch on some lights for an extra bit of glamour.

April 26, 2017 / weavingschool

Smoky Mountain Fiber Arts Festival

Scarves, vessels, curtains and electronics classes this year. Plus animals, Girl Scouts, great food and amazing shopping. Put this on your to do list for next year.

March 29, 2017 / weavingschool

Walking on Blue

I’ve embarked on a plein air project. It all started when my husband got in the bull dozier and went to war on the privet encircling the woods on our farm. I see such amazing things on my walks around the farm, but now that he has opened up the woods I can extend my walks through the woods instead of around them. The forces of nature are even more evident inside the woods along multiple new paths. Gigantic trees darkened at the base with moss and fallen ones on their way to return back into the earth, vines the size of a man’s wrist and of seemingly unlimited height tangled up into the trees some with the hairy clue that they are poison ivy, grey kudzu vines awaiting their spring growth spurt, small baby trees climbing their way to the sky, mosses, lichens, leaves of all sizes, toadstools, spider webs, occasional bugs, the one early asparagus that didn’t quite make it past the last frost, and new paths my son has cleared into the two farm ponds left over from long ago barite mining.
I can’t wait to get into the woods every day. In this early spring it is like walking on a blue carpet with so many tiny four petal blue flowers underfoot. I’ve packed a backpack with needed supplies to card, spin, weave, and felt wool to the colors that surround me on these walks.

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