Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Celebrating Weaving Greatness

When I was asked to chair a fund-raising raffle for this fall’s Blue Ridge Fiber Show, I was tempted to hit the floor and Army-crawl out the door. I’m glad I didn’t, because we’ve just put up an exhibit of raffle prizes at Sutherland donated by some of the top names in the fiber field, locally and nationally. Catharine Ellis, Daryl Lancaster, Alice Schlein, Lisa Klakulak, Suzanne Gernandt, Liz Spear, Tommye McClure Scanlin and Tina Feir. These pieces are, as  you certainly would expect, beautiful.

The Blue Ridge Fiber Show is a biannual show sponsored by the Western North Carolina Fibers/Handweavers Guild. It is a very large, unjuried show, attracting entries from around and outside the United States. Cash prizes are given in several categories, which means fundraising is critical to its success. The raffle is only one of several fundraisers for the show.

Here is a picture of the raffle items on display at 020sutherland. It doesn’t do them justice, especially for the framed items, so please follow this link to the BRFS website for detailed descriptions and much better images.

We will be selling tickets here through June 13, (Studio Stroll weekend)  then the whole exhibit moves to Textures-For the Finely Crafted Home, in Waynesville, NC, through July 14. Textures is owned by fiber artist and raffle donor, Suzanne Gernandt, and her husband. After that it goes on the road again to Earth Guild where the BRFS committee is holding a trunk show as another fundraiser. Then it returns to sutherland until the drawing during the BRFS Opening Reception in October. The pieces and tickets also will be at every WNCFHG meeting through September.

Feel free to share the link with anyone you think might be interested in winning one of these beautiful prizes. Tommye Scanlin has posted details of the raffle and her tapestry in progress to her blog, and I’ve already had two emails from people around the country wanting to purchase raffle tickets through the mail. We can do that!

If you’re in the Asheville area, please stop by sutherland to see these beautiful pieces in person. Buy your tickets early and often! They’re a bargain. $1 each, 6 for $5 or 15 for $10. You can enter different drawings for each prize, and you do not have to be present at the drawing to win.

By the way, at our May Web Chats AT sutherland this Friday 10am-noon, I’ll be showing my Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving Level I samples (all 40 of them) and answering questions. That would be an excellent opportunity to buy your raffle tickets. Just email or call to let us know you’re coming.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Where Do You Live?

Whenever a customer comes into the studio I am drawn to ask them where they live. I am fascinated by all the different places people come and also why they are visiting the Asheville area.
Today there were the Snow Birds heading back to New York, the couple from Cincinnati who diverted due to the oil spill, the sweet elderly couple from Santa Fe, the Lady from Toronto, another from Minneapolis, Seattle, and more. The reasons for visiting are as diverse as the places from which they hail.
After work I met up with a new friend for dinner while her husband was taking a photography class at A-B Tech and she asked me how Karen Donde and I met. As some of you might already know, we met at Convergence four years ago when Grand Rapids hosted this wonderful event. She was living in New Jersey at the time and I was in Columbia, SC.
When I returned home from dinner, I got to thinking (scary, I know) about how fortunate I am to have met Karen at just the right time and where that has led us today.
She is doing what she loves (well, maybe not right this minute unpacking all those boxes from Jersey) by teaching weaving and starting classes at Haywood Community and I am doing what I love-just weaving and talking to the people who walk through the door. I have had many years of practice talking with people while I was giving outpatient chemotherapy and it is serving me well in this new part of my life. I was thrilled today with the sisters, one a first grader the other a fourth grader, who came in with their mom as part of their homeschooling for the day. I was able to show them about making cloth and it made my heart sing to see how excited they were.
I suppose the point to all my rambling is I am amazed each day by the gift of friends, new faces, and smiles when people walk through the door of our studio. Thank you.

Oh, and in case you are interested I am posting a few pictures of what is either on the loom or what I have recently taken off the loom.

Friday, May 14, 2010

When Weavers Move…or why they don’t

Last week I was finally able to move the rest of our New Jersey things to Asheville. That included many  weaving things I had been missing. My most familiar and tiresome lament at sutherland over the past 5 months has been, “I have that, but it’s in New Jersey,” whenever we decided we needed something for the studio.

So now it’s no longer in New Jersey. I just don’t know which box it’s in. I had my home studio looking pretty good before the movers arrived. New cabinets in place and yarn shelves at the ready. As the movers carried in boxes and asked for direction, I kept sending them upstairs to my weaving loft. Later I went up to assist in placing some bigger items and gasped. Where did I get all this stuff?

So here’s a look at what awaits me at home, which is probably why I’m lingering at Sutherland today. I know it will eventually all get put away, and I’ll undoubtedly look around and decide, “Now what I really need to get is…”


Tuesday, May 11, 2010


Several weeks ago Karen had this lovely idea to weave a piece of fabric to be a representation of Akira Satake's work. She has been so busy teaching, taking her math test for acceptance into Haywood Community College, and moving the rest of her life from NJ here she has not had time to start. And I had not even thought about it until I took this piece off the loom and realized I had done just what she plans to do without meaning to do so. I had woven this piece for a shop in Venice, CA named Roots, where I met the proprietor while visiting my daughter. She expressed interest in my work and so I thought I would weave something within the parameters she desired, and this is what evolved. It is all silk and just lovely.
Thank you Karen for your inspiration. And Akira for your work.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Yes, it really is the President.

Just to bear witness to Barb’s last post, here’s a photo I snapped when the Presidential motorcade pulled away from 12 Bones Smokehouse and right past our studio.

That is him, the figure through the tinted windows in the white shirt. He is waving to the crowd of assembled River Arts District Artists and customers, several of whom were just waiting to get across the street to pick up their take out lunches. Talk about starving artists!

We couldn’t see which car Michelle got into, but we know she was there from Pattiy’s video.

obamas 040

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Walt Disney was right after all...

Last weekend Curve Studios and Garden hosted our Spring Open House. If I must say so myself it was quite a success. How often does one's Open House begin with a drive-by featuring the President of The United States. That's what I said: the Obamas were in town and they ate at our local BBQ joint across the street called 12 Bones. So the whole weekend we were all on a presidential high, as it were. (And just in case you missed it, I have included the link to the video our very own Pattiy Torno took of the Obamas ordering at 12 Bones.)

All the artists in Curve Studios and Garden opened their doors on Friday night for a Twilight Party with cocktails and delectable goodies to say thank you to our neighborhood and customers. We are guess-timating there were 400 people or so who stopped by over the course of the evening. A good time was had by all.

We had much foot traffic all weekend long and Karen and I thoroughly enjoyed showing off our new space. Karen was by far busier than I. She had students on both Friday and Saturday for a Just Weave class, where she had the looms dressed and ready to weave. The students came in and after a brief tutorial were off and weaving. Looked to me like they all had a grand time and each went home with a finished scarf they had woven. Aside from all that, Karen also had set up a loom for customers to "try out" if they were so inclined. The two people who seemed to not get enough of this action were middle school kids. So with that in mind Karen is now mulling over having some classes for the younger crowd. The thought of young people wanting to learn to weave just gives me chills!

With all the comings and goings throughout the three days, I met lots of new people and caught up with some I had not seen in awhile. One of my favorite stories of the weekend was a family who stopped by to look around. As is my usual, I asked from where they were visiting. Turns out they were from Keene, NH, just 12 miles from Harrisville, where I took my first weaving class. Not only that, but the grandmother in the group had lived in the little town of Harrisville for a number of years and knew the family who owns the Harrisville Mill. My first loom and my favorite is my 48" 8 shaft Harrisville.
And that is where old Walt Disney had it right: it is a small world after all.