Friday, October 15, 2010

A CRAZY Three Weeks!

September is always a busy time as people return from vacation, get the kids back in school and get back to work, refreshed and energized. Here at sutherland, the pace is usually a little more relaxed. We weave a while, teach a while, chat with visitors and pack up customer purchases.
Then, suddenly, it was Sept. 23, and Daryl Lancaster was arriving on a late afternoon plane to teach workshops at Haywood Community College and at sutherland, and to judge the Blue Ridge Fiber Show produced by the Western North Carolina Fibers/Handweavers Guild. That show opened, by the way, Oct. 2 at the NC Arboretum. Barb and I were Daryl’s hostesses for the six-day visit, and we had a blast showing her great places to eat and fun things to see in Asheville. Barb already posted a picture taken from our Play with Color! class at sutherland. We had a seat available so I was lucky enough to sit in. Who knew you could make so many different yarn wrappings in one day.
Speaking of the Blue Ridge Fiber Show, I’m proud to say that one of my entries, a beiderwand scarf in the thinnest yarns I’ve ever u090sed shared the People’s Choice Award with another entry. While Daryl selected the other handweaving prize winners, the People’s Choice Award is voted on by guild members who attend the opening reception. Recognizing the talent gathered for the reception, I was honored. I titled the scarf New Mexico sunset, recalling my trip to Las Cruces and Albuquerque last summer for Convergence. Here’s a photo I took of it at the Haywood Community College photo studio, where I’m completing the lab for my Studio Craft Photography class. I was rather pleased and am grateful to the teacher for suggesting a different angle on the shot.
While Daryl was touring the fun textile places in Asheville with Barb on Wednesday before her departure, I was busy with students in the classroom. I also was preparing for two days of my Just Weave: Weave a Scarf in a Day class at the Arboretum. I had offered to teach two sessions of the one-day class in conjunction with the BRFS, which involved hauling three warped looms and a big bucket of yarn and supplies out to the Arboretum. I had two students on Saturday and three more on Sunday, just one short of a full house. All five wove lovely scarves and, I believe, caught the weaving bug so I’m hoping to see them in the sutherland classroom soon. Here are a few pics from those classes.
The following Tuesday was the BRFS opening reception, which also meant the drawings for the seven BRFS raffle prizes that were in residence at sutherland all summer. We raised more than $1,000 to support the prize fund and the artists whose work won awards. I shipped off two of the raffle prizes to good friends in New Jersey who had ordered tickets by mail. Honestly, I stirred the tickets and had other people pick the winners. The tapestry donated by Tommye Scanlin was won by Kathe Todd-Hooker, from Albany, OR, whose own tapestry won Best of Show at the BRFS. The handwoven shirt by Liz Spear was won by a guild member who needed a different size. As Liz had generously offered from the beginning to give the prize winner something that fit, I jumped at the chance to purchase the shirt that Liz had on display. I had determined (about five minutes after the shirt arrived in the studio last spring) that it fit me perfectly.
The day after the reception, we welcomed Wence and Sandra Martinez to Asheville. They were here for the opening of sutherland’s special exhibit of Wence’s contemporary tapestry rugs. Friday morning they spent a little time at the Arboretum for a BRFS demo showing their rugs and talking with visitors. That night Wence, a Zapotec Indian, regaled guests at our opening reception with stories and pictures from his home village in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he learned to weave from his father and grandfather at age 9. We also learned how Wence and Sandra, a painter from the US Midwest, met, married and opened a studio in Door County, WI. That studio is where Barb first met them. Now they winter in Mexico at a B&B they recently opened, so the 11 rugs they brought with them will be on exhibit at sutherland through the winter. Here are some snapshots of several of them now hanging in the studio. (Sorry had to pull the album. An images-for-sale service hijacked them. Please know these are copyright protected images.) If you’re in the area, you have to come in and see the ACTUAL RUGS.

Wence and Sandra spent a few hours Saturday and Sunday in the studio talking with more visitors, then did a little touring in Western North Carolina before continuing on with their journey. What fun they are! We decided a field trip to their Oaxaca B&B should be in our plans.
So we’re now in mid-October, prime leaf-peeper season, and back to the day-to-day. The mountains and hillsides are looking beautiful and truly inspirational. Our next event is the start of the new sutherland Weavers’ Study Group on Oct. 24 from 2-4. We already have a nice participant list, but there’s room for more! If you’d like more information about what we’re studying or how it all works, just email me. Or just show up on the 24th.
Then it’s only three short weeks until the River Arts District Studio Stroll on Nov. 13-14. It’s almost more excitement than we can stand, but we’re loving it!

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