Early tomorrow morning I'll pack my loom into my car, along with my assorted other items (yarn, bobbins, scissors, books, tapestries, handouts--and probably more), and head to Asheville. I'll be doing a demonstration of tapestry weaving at the Southern Highland Craft Guild's Folk Art Center on Thursday and Friday. The demo will be in the main entrance where there are usually two Guild members set up in the area to show visitors about their particular craft process. Southern Highland Craft Guild is one of the oldest craft organizations in the United States. One of the goals of the Guild is to educate the public about the nature of crafts and craft traditions. This quote from the Guild's website gives just a brief description of the history of the organization:
In 1890 when Frances Goodrich, a Yale graduate, moved to Buncombe County, NC, to do missionary work for the Presbyterian Church, she could hardly have imagined what would eventually become of her "good work". She found a few women who were still weaving traditional coverlets in wool and cotton, and from these associations Goodrich's idea of a cottage industry that would assist mountain families grew. Allanstand Cottage Industries, which she founded in 1897, in Madison County, NC, would ultimately become Allanstand Craft Shop. Goodrich moved the business to downtown Asheville in 1908 and from her College Street headquarters, she would network with other leaders of the Southern Arts and Crafts movement. In 1928, many of them met at Penland School of crafts and the idea of the Southern Highland Craft Guild was formed.
Chartered in 1930, it would grow to become one of the strongest craft organizations in the country. Second in age only to the Boston Society of Arts and Crafts, the Guild now represents over 900 craftspeople in 293 counties of 9 southeastern states. The Guild has partnered with the National Park Service for more than fifty years. It operates the Blue Ridge Parkway's Folk Art Center.
More about the Guild is found at the website: http://southernhighlandguild.org