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November 8, 2020 / weavingschool

Forest Floor

detail

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts annual Meet the Artist: https://airauctioneer.com/mta2020

Link to Forest Floor: https://airauctioneer.com/mta2020/forest-floor-woven-and-embellished-work-with-beaded-flowers-geri-forkner-value-300

22″ x 14″ 
Techniques: Natural and chemical dyes, woven section done during residency, various felting techniques, bead flowers, hand and machine embroidery
Materials: Wool, sari silk, vintage lace, repurposed garment, various silk cloths, glass beads, pearls; cotton, wool, and rayon yarns.

Link to the Meet The Artists web page: https://www.arrowmont.org/visit/events/meet-the-artists/

January 31, 2020 / weavingschool

From Gaudy Gatlinburg to Bustling Bangkok

I’ve just arrived in Bangkok and am struck (with the help of a little alliteration) by similarities between Gatlinburg’s tourist crowds and traffic jams and the over the top sounds, constant movement, and traffic of Bangkok. There is an excitement to both places of course. When I’ve had enough, I can step just beyond the gates of Arrowmont or retreat to my hotel room in Bangkok. Finding food, shopping, and hanging out with family and friends are universal entertainment.

 

January 22, 2020 / weavingschool

Out of the Frying Pan (So to Speak)

The temperature this morning in TN is 18 degrees so to make myself feel warmer, I looked up the weather in Bangkok where I’m headed next week. It is 84 degrees there at 9pm, a twelve-hour difference from Eastern Standard Time, with a high of 93. Not sure this strategy worked.
My project for the Rangsit University’s Pattana Art Gallery this year is an instillation piece that asks fashion design students who attend the two days of workshops to reflect on how they will make their work stand apart from the vast amount of clothing being designed these days. Texture? Color? Shape? Design? So many things to consider. The students and viewers will be asked to write a response and attach it to the exhibit. The instillation piece includes streamers constructed of shirt labels, spun dress pattern paper, and crochet wire figures hanging on for dear life.  Many of the shirt labels have mirrors attached to them. I often put mirrors in the bottom of my vessels so that the viewer looks back at him/herself when peering down to see what’s inside.
Here is a picture of the spun dress paper packed and ready for instillation. I’ll post pictures of the exhibit in about two weeks when it goes live.

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January 12, 2020 / weavingschool

Up Close at TN Aquarium

I’ve been volunteering at the Tennessee Aquarium almost since we moved to TN. I’m continuously inspired by the colors and textures every time I go. Today was no exception. Here are a few of the pictures I took. Hard to limit to these few.

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December 26, 2019 / weavingschool

Finding Home

I wrenched myself out of Arrowmont about two weeks ago after spending three months there as the first of what will become six Appalachian Craft and Culture Fellows. This morning I was reminded of one of the things I missed while I was there.

Before heading to Arrowmont in September, I dyed the yarn I intended to weave with natural dyes influenced by a class from the very knowledgeable Donna Brown. So much cochineal pink. I’d come across some exhibits about Annie Albers recently. That, combined with my thinking we are living in the 1930’s lately, led me to pictures by Gunta Stolzl were pink dominated the images.

So this morning’s glorious pink sunrise made me jump up and grab my camera before the fleeting color disappeared. The dots connected automatically.

The view from my living room windows is a privilege I’ll never take for granted.

December 20, 2019 / weavingschool

When is Enough Enough

IMG_5100I wonder if it’s enough every year at this time since I’ve been doing daily weavings. Will I say one day, “I’m finished” like Simon Rodia who spent most of his lifetime building the Watts Towers? Or will I just keep chugging along the next year as usual? One thing keeping me going is that I’ve never been able to answer the question what will I do instead? Not that I spend so much time on each daily weaving that it would leave a big hole to fill in my time each day. Over the years, the daily trash has changed. So much used to come in the mail but with internet that has changed things. I actively look for something to use now instead of waiting for it to walk into the house. At times, I work through my accumulated stash of things.

September 26, 2019 / weavingschool

Weaving and Felting in Atlanta

This past weekend, I was invited by my long term Atlanta guild, Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild, to do a slide presentation and workshop. I had a blast visiting with friends and being inspired by all a big city has to offer. The “weaving for felting” workshop requires folks to rethink every weaving rule and learn how to shingle wool. This group had never even heard the term “shingle” but they jumped right in and never looked back. The results were spectacular.

August 15, 2019 / weavingschool

Thoughts on Natural Dyes

I’ll have to admit, I never really “got” the use of using extracts for natural dyes. After all, wasn’t part of the lure of natural dyeing going out in the woods and finding the dye materials. Well, all that went by the wayside when I took a class from Donna Brown (link to her garden project) at Shakerag Workshops this summer. First of all, somebody did go out and pick and process the actual dye materials, it just wasn’t me swatting misquotes and trudging through tall grasses. I even sent my granddaughter out to pick Queen Ann’s Lace for one of the many dye pots I did the rest of the summer because I guess I’m just a little older that I was when I started this adventure in the 1970 and 80s. But most importantly, natural dye extracts can be thickened and used to make beautiful art cloth by stamping, painting, or silk screening.  Combined with the ability to change the color of the cloth by changing the pH using discharging and darkening agents, the possibilities are ever expanding. Now I have stacks of yardage and yarns to keep me busy this winter when the plant materials have died back and the water in the three season workroom has been turned off before the first freeze.
Here is a small sampling of what I’ve done so far.

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.

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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