Since Karen and I came together some 2.5 years ago here in Asheville, we have been telling each other we needed to submit for entry into The Southern Highland Craft Guild. Well, we finally bit the bullet and entered this past Fall.
The process is two fold. We each had to submit 5 photos of our work. This was all done individually, but we worked on it together. But this I mean, we went to the photographer together, etc. And let me tell you, shooting film of fiber is no easy feat. With the type of yarns we use (very fine) it was imperative the photos show the drape and sheen of our cloth. Lots of photos and re-dos later we each finally had said photos in hand. I am not talking CDs with the photos, I am talking the Guild requires the old school 5 x 7 type. Crazy, I know. We submitted, I believe, in October.
The week of Thanksgiving I am hosting a multitude of family (over 20) for multiple days. This whole submission thing is the least of my worries. (I'm not sure about Karen here, I can only speak for myself.) So, I am in downtown Asheville showing the favorite cousin around when I get a text from Karen: "have you checked your mail today?". Several hours later I arrive home to find indeed I had been accepted into the second phase of the jurying process, along with Karen. Yippee! We all had a reason to drink more champagne over the holiday--like we needed one. ha.
At this point I must add Karen has been juried many times in her weaving career. Me? Never. With a capital N. I believe this is where I began to feel a tad nervous; as in what-if-Karen-is-accepted-and-I-am-not kind of Nervous. With a capital again.
The second and final part of the process requires submission of five actual pieces to encompass the body of work we have been producing for the past 2 years. Ok, we had this part easily enough. But then we had five MORE photos to submit. I have to tell you this was torture. We did it and submitted in January.
Again, I am at work and Karen calls me and asks if I have checked the mail. Sigh. I call home, have my husband open the mail and yippee!! We were both quite excited to say the least.
Last week I found myself at the orientation for SHCG without Karen. Sort of sad since we had done it all together, but she had class. There were 18 acceptances this time (a large number so I am told) and there were 15 of us there. And I was Humbled. As in very very humbled. We each were to bring one example of our work to show and talk about to the other new members. The breadth of work was amazing. The artisanship was beyond words. The day will live in my memory as one of my most special moments.
For those who are not familiar with SCHG, here is a description:
The Southern Highland Craft Guild, chartered in 1930, is today one of the strongest craft organizations in the country. The Guild now represents close to 1000 craftspeople in 293 counties of 9 southeastern states. For over 80 years the Guild has been “bringing together the crafts and craftspeople of the Southern Highlands for the shared benefit of education, conservation and marketing”.
I love this area of the country, its people, and its heritage. I am awed to be a part of such a community and thankful I am a weaver.