Thursday, September 30, 2010

Never in Our Wildest Dreams

I love Fall. Everything about this time of year makes me happy. I especially love the way the sun falls through the woods and makes long shadows of even short trees.
Last year this time Karen and I were experiencing a few sleepless nights planning the opening of sutherland. Never in our wildest dreams did we think ten months after opening we would be hosting Daryl Lancaster for a workshop.
This past week Daryl not only taught a color class at sutherland, she also taught a garment construction class at Haywood Community College, and was a judge at The Blue Ridge Fiber Show opening next week at the NC Arboretum.
I had taken a half day class color class taught by Daryl at Midwest Weaver's Conference 2009 at Grinnell College, so this time I sat out and manned the studio. I admit I did sneak in from time to time to see what the students were doing. I also listened to Daryl's lecture, inspirational in her instruction as always.
It was fun to see how each student was progressing through Daryl's assigned color exercises. The last exercise requires each student to use a photo as inspiration for a color wrap which could be used as a warp. The photos show some of the students work(for some reason I am unable to load them all), but really do not adequately depict just how beautiful their work was. One of the members of the class expressed her true dislike for the color orange at the very beginning of class. And, yes, hers is the one with the rock striations and blue sky. Just goes to show you the magic Daryl has in making everyone recognize proportion and balance int he scope of color.
The Daryl story continues in the next blog installment....

Friday, September 24, 2010

Cathy’s New Baby Wolf Loom

Cathy has been taking weaving classes at sutherland since last spring. As soon as she finished her first scarf in the Just Weave class, she was hooked. While working her way through warping and weaving three towels in the Weaving I class, she started asking about buying a Cathy's new loomloom.
As Schacht Spindle Co. dealers, we offered to order her a Baby Wolf loom, which is what she’d been weaving on at the studio. She shopped a while, thought a while, and finally decided to treat herself to a brand new 8 shaft Baby Wolf. We ordered it and it arrived this week. Cathy was in this morning and I helped her with the final assembly. Then her wonderful husband came over and helped her swaddle the new baby in a blanket before loading into the back of his truck for the ride home. He also made it her birthday gift!
Cathy was so excited to get this loom that I gave her the tracking number so she could follow it during shipment from Colorado. We both puzzled over why it went from Atlanta to Winston-Salem before coming back to Asheville. She emailed me when she learned it had been unloaded in Asheville.
Tomorrow she returns to continue her Twill Gamp class and talk about plans for her first 8-shaft project, a 1/3, 3/1 twill block threading woven to make long vertical pleats. She had been eyeing a similar one I have hanging in the studio.
How nice to send a new weaver home with her first loom. I feel like a delivery room nurse.
Thanks again, Cathy.
Also we hope to see friendly faces tonight at the CURVE studios & garden Open House Twilight Party from 5-8 pm. There will be snacks, wine, Wedge beer, soft drinks and lots of lively conversation while you’re enjoying all the new work by CURVE artists.
PLUS, Daryl Lancaster is in this weekend for workshops at Haywood Community College, sutherland and for judging the handweaving entries at the Blue Ridge Fiber Show. She will be at sutherland tonight selling and autographing copies of her various monographs. You will find the titles at her website.
And, she brought enough materials for a few more people to attend the Play with Color! workshop at sutherland on Monday, from 10am-4. So there are still a couple of seats available. But call ASAP.
Happy Fall!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Yes, we are mentioned by Daryl!

Girls’ Day Out…

I’ve mentioned before in previous blogs how much I love living very near NYC. I wish for time to see everything, read everything, experience everything, and eat everything I’d like to try in this world, alas, there are way too many things to do, see, experience than anyone can possibly hope to fit in in one life time! But I keep trying…

I’ve also mentioned in previous blogs that I have lunch once a week, during the “school” year, with a handful of assorted teachers from the local school district. It started when I was diagnosed with cancer, and has continued for nine years, and now, almost all of the teachers are now retired and able to do things during the week they could never have done before during the school year. So four of us headed into NYC on Wednesday, we all met at the Museum of Art and Design on Columbus Circle.

I timed everything just right on my own commute in, and arrived a good 45 minutes ahead of schedule. I wandered through the Time Warner building, looking at all the windows of the shops, they weren’t open yet, taking notes on a couple of design details I’d like to try, and I wandered through Borders, which was open also taking some notes of books to add to my wish list. I went out and sat on a bench along Columbus Circle, near the museum, to wait for my friends. The weather was glorious, the traffic around the circle entertaining, the vendors hawking their tours, bike rentals and handsome cab rides were all out in force. The horse driven cabs were of course gorgeous, I was fascinated watching how the drivers deftly managed to weave in and out of traffic alongside cabs and buses and crazy commuters, while the horses, in all their ribboned finery, just clip clopped along paying no mind… (Did I think to get a picture?)

I love the Museum of Art and Design, their themed exhibits are alway interesting and thought provoking, great to see with a group of women friends, especially this group, a retired art teacher, music teacher and the Gifted and Talented program teacher. The discussions are fun, and meaningful, and provide great lunch talk. This exhibit in particular. The exhibit was called Dead or Alive, and all of the artworks were created using something that was once alive, but is now dead. Dead bugs, animal bones, Dandelion seed pods (I’m still trying to figure that one out, they are so fragile), dried sardines, silk cocoons, lots and lots of feathers, lots of social commentary, lots of decorative works, and my favorite, was a loom, sitting in the middle of the floor, in one of the side galleries, near it a pile of mouse skeletons, and on the loom, a beautiful grey cloth, upon close inspection (and after reading the wall description) turns out to have been made from mouse fur. OK, I know that’s weird, but seeing a loom in an art exhibition is actually quite an anomaly, and seeing beautiful competent, usable cloth made from something so odd and revolting drew me in, in a way I can’t quite describe. Of course I wasn’t allowed to take a picture, the guard was standing three feet from the loom, but many of the works are in a virtual tour of the museum on their website, and the link for this image is wonderful. The thumbnail from the site appears here.

We all went to lunch in a sort of average uninspired trattoria calledRINO, (we are always trying new restaurants), my salad was good, avocado and shrimp, you can’t go wrong with that combination, and we headed off to the theater. Brief Encounters just opened, I believe it is still in previews, fresh from “sold-out” performances in London, and I can say it was a lovely way to spend a Wednesday afternoon, the show is an interesting concept, and full of British humor and timing, and though the show overall seemed a bit silly, I’m glad I saw it and again, it made for interesting dialog afterwards.

The premise of the show is a stage recreation of an iconic black and white masterpiece from 1945 of two strangers who meet at a train station, fall madly in love, and realize that they can’t continue their passionate affair, as they are both married, with children. So clips of the film, seamlessly woven into the stage production, and some clever special effects, and some occasionally hilarious choreography and flawless British timing, made for an original piece of theatre, though in this day and age, the passions of two lovers captured in a period black and white film, are pretty lost on a contemporary audience. I am thinking the cast, many from the London show, mostly British, was thinking maybe their audience was mostly dead. The director Emma Rice claims that the 1945 David Lean’s masterpiece film “Brief Encounter” is “almost part of their DNA in Britain”. Since I doubt most Americans have ever seen the film, (or at least I hadn’t), the premise of the show was sort of lost and came across as silly.

We all headed downtown after the show, and stopped at Thalia, a lounge on 8th Avenue around 50th. We had wine and cheese, and Warm Molten Chocolate Cake for dessert, with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and a scoop of pistachio. Can I say I died and went to food heaven? I highly recommend this restaurant, it is definitely on my “need to return” list. (My new favorite cheese is called Humboldt Fog!)

The day got even better. I walked my friends to Port Authority, where they all headed back to NJ, and I headed over to 35th and Park to the September meeting of the Textile Study Group of New York. I rarely am able to get in to the meetings, but I had to attend this one. The speaker was Iris Apfel, one of my fashion heroes, who calls herself a “geriatric starlet”. Iris is 89 years old, and is considered a world class shopper, who spent her life collecting and mixing items, both high and low end, current and vintage, and has a collection of garments and accessories that has the MET salivating at her doorstep. A retrospective of her closet was mounted at the MET in 2005, titled Iris Apfel, Rare Bird of Fashion (I own the book of course), which then traveled to museums around the country, where I finally got to view it at the Nassau County Museum of Art. She and her husband Carl founded a legendary textile design company, Old World Weavers, which they ran until they retired in 1992. Old World Weavers restored many of the fabrics in the White House during the administration of several presidents. Can I say that Iris Apfel is probably the most interesting person I’ve ever heard speak, and I am so glad I was home long enough to be able to catch her lecture and I’m really really grateful to the Textile Study Group of NY for making her appearance possible.

So I’m home now, preparing for the next trip, to Asheville, NC the end of next week. All the handouts, pattern paper, interfacings, and monographs have been cut, printed and shipped ( a big thank you to my son Eric for lending a hand), and the house is quiet, it is a lovely Saturday and I’m onto the next scarf warp on my loom. I’ve gathered the colors, using a more neutral palette, again drawing from one of my forecast palettes from Handwoven Magazine, and I finished the warp wrap, and will have lunch and start winding the warp.

Tomorrow I will be giving the keynote address at the North Jersey Chapter of the American Sewing Guild’s Birthday Bash at the Barn in Clifton, which should be lots of fun, and I get to dress up in my handwoven clothes, and put on some make-up, and get out of the house for a few hours. I have the tendency to not get out of my pajamas on days where I don’t have to go anywhere… :-)

Stay tuned…

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Going, Going, GONE!

Hi everyone,

Daryl Lancaster is printing out handouts and materials today for her Play with Color! workshop at sutherland Handweaving Gallery & Teaching Studio on Monday Sept. 27. She needs a final headcount, so if there are any of you who were thinking about attending, but haven’t contacted us yet, please let us know right away. The materials she ships for this class are substantial, so we don’t want her to ship more than necessary. However, neither do we want anyone who planned to attend to be left out. In addition I just placed a listing for the class in this week’s Mountain Express, so please sign up quickly.

Here’s another description of the workshop. If you’ve never taken a class with Daryl before, I promise you’ll get more than your money’s worth and will leave energized and inspired—whether you’re weaving, knitting, crocheting, sewing, quilting, felting, printing, dyeing, painting or doing whatever it is you do with color.

Karen and Barb

PS: To be removed from this email list just hit reply and let us know!

Daryl Lancaster

A one-day, hands-on workshop

Monday, September 27, 2010

Play With Color!

Through a series of creative exercises, participants will learn to confidently place yarns of different colors and textures together to make beautiful warp combinations. This is a fun, hands-on class, and participants will be asked to bring a bag of assorted odds and ends of yarns to use and share. Based on the Color/Fabric Forecast Column from Handwoven Magazine, participants will experiment with palettes based on mood using photos for inspiration, and see illustrations of how to translate them into handwoven fabrics and ultimately a garment. For more information about Daryl Lancaster, visit

10 am-4 pm Limit 10 participants Pre-registration required $120 + supply fee

Educational & fun for:





Fabric Printers

Daryl Lancaster received her BA cum laude degree in Fine Arts in 1977 from Montclair State College, Montclair, NJ and has been actively working since then as a weaver/fiber artist. Comfortable with the sewing machine for more than forty years, she spent 10 years as a production craftswoman, selling her handwoven clothing in craft markets and galleries throughout the United States. She teaches garment construction and related topics to weavers and other fiber enthusiasts across North America. She was the Contributing Features Editor for six years, for Handwoven Magazine and wrote the Fashion and Color Forecast Column. She currently writes a monthly column for the online Weavezine Magazine.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

New Mexico Sunset and Northern Lights

So, we have been very busy.

Karen has been working on two very detailed pieces; each for entry into The Blue Ridge Fiber Show later this month. The piece Karen is holding in her left hand(on the right in the photo) is the one to be juried; it is quite fine yarn for her and is woven in Beiderwand. If you put those two things together you get a lot of picks per inch, hence lots of time at the loom. I love anything orange, so you know this makes me most happy. The other piece Karen is holding is what she wove with the extra warp. I love the window pane effect with the various colored weft colors used. Fellow studio mate, Pattiy Torno, has already placed dibs on it.
The second piece Karen will be entering into the BRFS is a tapestry of a puffin. I will post a photo as soon as I have one. For now you must take my word it is amazing. Karen really doesn't like to admit it, but she is a tapestry weaver. Just ask Madelyn Vanderhoogt if you don't believe me.

As for me I have been working on a rather large commission piece for installation on a client's dining room table. As inspiration I used the couple's painting in that room as well as a recently commissioned painting by fellow CURVE studio and garden's artist Constance Williams installed in the area adjoining the dining room. The warp is 60/2 silk and the weft is 60/2 hand dyed silk in a multitude of colors mirroring the colors in the home and paintings. It measures 19.5" x 120". I must say when I took it off the loom yesterday it was a delight to see how it turned out. When I placed it on the couple's table today it was magical. Will make final installation Monday when I have hemmed it and finished the corners with beads. Photos to follow.

And speaking of photos-I need to work on how to make the photos in the blog work with my writings. I am failing in this aspect miserably. Think I will ask my daughter.

And for anyone interested the rug hanging on the wall behind us in the photos is woven by Wence Martinez. He is from Mexico and will be having an Exhibition opening at sutherland October 8. We would love for you to join us for this event. More on that later.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Don’t Miss Daryl Lancaster at sutherland!

We are thrilled that Daryl Lancaster will be teaching a one-day workshop at sutherland, Sept. 27, while she is in Asheville to judge the handweaving entries at the 2010 Blue Ridge Fiber Show. Titled Play with Color!, this workshop is a fun, hands-on class that helps participants learn to place yarns of different colors and textures together confidently for warps or other fiber art projects.

Daryl is famous for her beautiful handwoven yardage, her skill at tailoring it into garments that are beautiful inside and out and her willingness to generously share all her secrets through teaching. Believe me, her energy and enthusiasm will leave you breathless, but armed with many more ideas and information than you ever dreamed.

This is a no-loom, tabletop workshop. Space is limited and alancasterForestFireFrontLGlready filling, so if you’d like to attend we need to hear from you as soon as possible. We’ll need your registration fees in advance to save you a seat. Just to whet your appetite, I’ve included an image of one of Daryl’s beautiful garments.

Daryl Book Signing!

While Daryl is in town, she will be a special guest at sutherland during the CURVE studios & garden Fall 2010 Open House Twilight Party, Sept. 24, from 5-8 pm. She has agreed to ship down an assortment of her monographs and will sell and autograph them during the party.

No charge for this event. Just come on over, meet Daryl, snap up your autographed books, enjoy some snacks and libations and tour the other artist studios at CURVE.