Saturday, May 6, 2017

Endings and Beginnings





Penland Spring Concentration 2017 is now history.  The thoughts of working together and "weaving a dialogue" that Bhakti Ziek and I began imagining over a year ago and intensely planning for through the early winter of this year have materialized over the course of the past amazing eight weeks.

We met twelve incredible people who made a leap of faith to take the journey with us.  Each of us was challenged in many ways throughout the two months... sometimes with weaving in technical or design challenges, sometimes with health issues.  But everyone persevered and became part of a class that won't easily (or ever) forgotten.

Endings are hard.  Hugs have been given; tears have been shed; gifts and notes exchanged; promises made to keep in touch.  Now, all of us, except for Sarah Rose, a Penland core student who's just begun two years there, have headed off the mountain.  I think maybe all of us hope to return again to Penland and Lily Loom House in the future.

Thank you, Penland.  Thank you, Bhakti.  Thank you, Allie, Anastastia, Caroline, Cyndi, Debra, Dorina, Krysten, Nancy, Nina, Sarah, Sarah Rose, Rebecca. Thank you, Edwina, for being so much a part of our class.  I'll see you all again someday.

Thank you to all of the wonderful guests we've had.  Thanks you to those who made our field trips possible by inviting us to visit--Valdese Weavers; Oriole Mill; Amy Putansu at Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber Program.

Photos of the last two weeks will be coming soon once I get home and have time to do an update.  We've had an ongoing Instagram feed since the first days.  You can find us @weaving.a.dialogue to see more right away, if you haven't followed us before.

 Now... onward to beginnings of lots of good things for one and all!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Can. Not. Even. Begin. To. Describe. These. Last. Weeks.



So I won't even try right now.

More soon (I hope!)

The push is on to finish this session on Friday.

Phew (almost).

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Week Six is OVER!


These days are now flying past!  When we began it seemed that eight weeks stretched out before us like an endless highway.  Well, that was then and this is now.  TWO weeks before the end of this concentration!  But, as Bhakti was saying to the students on Saturday morning... think about this as if it were the beginning of a two week class (what the summer class length typically is).  So much can be accomplished in two weeks.

Here are photos from a few of the things we did this week.  Each and every week here in concentration seems like a lifetime, in some ways.  And yet they seem to also flash by so that it's hard to remember from one day to the next what's happened before.  But let me give it a try:

Monday--Rebecca Mezoff visited at the end of a residency she had at Hambidge.  She very generously did a day of dyeing with us with acid dyes.  She wrote more about her stay with us at her blog at this link.




Sidsel Moreb, who has Norsk Fjord Fiber, was also visiting over the weekend and stayed through Monday.  She brought some yarn and also a few of her beautiful tapestries.  She brought a loom and wove along with us through a couple of days.  And also helped with Dorina's unwrapping of an ikat dyed warp:


Tuesday--mostly we worked in the studio.

Wednesday--field trip to Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, then back to Asheville, where I gave a presentation for the Textile Study Group that meets at the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design.  We went back to Penland in time for Nina Ruelle, our fabulous assistant, to be among the studio assistant presentations of slides at 8:15.  Below are some photos from the Oriole Mill visit.




Thursday--work, with some discussion of suppliers of yarns, dyes and equipment for weaving in the evening.

Friday--Jessica Smith, from Savannah College of Art and Design (and former student of Bhakti's) gave a fascinating presentation about overshot history, and also discussed the project she and Susan Falls are doing as they curate the exhibit, Fold Unfold that opens at Lyndon House Art Center this June.  (The exhibit will be at Lyndon House Art Center at the same time that "Time Warp and Weft" will be there... the exhibit of time work weavings by Janet Austin, Geri Forkner, Janette Meetze, Rebecca Mezoff, Kathy Spoering, and myself).

Jessica showed us some of her experiments with overshot that will be exhibited.



Bhakti will have a piece in the exhibit.  She finished weaving the fourth panel for her large overshot coverlet while here at concentration.


Saturday, several of us went to Haywood Community College to visit the Professional Crafts Program in Fiber and talk to Amy Putansu, the instructor for that program.  Below are several photos from our visit.  Beautiful facilities and Amy's students are doing wonderful work.






Now it's Sunday night, 11:15 p.m.--time for me to call it a night and a week.  Tomorrow, we'll start the next/last two weeks of this grand adventure.  Lots more to come!



Monday, April 17, 2017

Penland--WEEK FIVE!!!!!!!!



OMG, how much went on last week.  Yes, here it is, in week six when I'm posting this very brief account of the past week.


On Monday, we were able to get into the dye kitchen on the third floor--Amanda, the Studio Coordinator for Textiles, gave us the safety tour needed for turning us loose with the gas burners and the dyes.

Tuesday, we had guests, Aime Adelman and Janet Taylor, visit to show and talk about their work.

Wednesday, a few of us went into Spruce Pine to meet with the spinners there, with Edwina's invitation.  Later, Sarah Rose and Krysten took us through a process of spinning paper.

On Thursday, Noel Thurner and Patrick Horan visited to talk about both dog hair spinning (chinegora) and also the work Patrick has been doing with the hemlock wooly adelgid.  After dinner at Bhakti's lodging to talk about options for the future: graduate programs, artist residencies, workshops or classes... lots of thoughts and opinions flying around about it all.

Friday morning, Chad Alice Hagen visited to show her work, from early rag rugs to current felting and book works.  Later in the afternoon, we had a walk-around view and discussion of everyone's work, to this point.

Over the weekend, (while I made a trip to Dahlonega) Bhakti led several through painted warps and lots of weaving, and on Sunday. other things (like the big Penland Egg Hunt) went on.

Photos to follow from week five (maybe!)

This week, the beginning of week six... Rebecca Mezoff is here with us for a day!  We've dyed some yarn with acid dyes, started an indigo vat, and weaving continues all over the room.

Now... a brief calendar for week six...



Amazing.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Penland--Week Four


So much happened this week!  Here's the schedule... but, of course, much more occurred than what was planned and anticipated:


Monday, we went to Valdese Weavers, a field trip that Bhakti had arranged, and in a van driven by intrepid studio assistant, Nina. She was put to the test right away as she drove thirteen of us in the big van down the curvy mountain roads from Penland to Spruce Pine, then on the really winding road past Little Switzerland and on to Valdese in very dense fog.   On the way back, the fog was gone--to be replaced by torrential rains! The unflappable Nina got us all safely back to Penland with a bit of white knuckled driving and a lot of grit. 

View from the back of the van where I was sitting
Bhakti had arranged the visit to Valdese Weavers and it gave us an incredible insight into what happens to create the textiles we use.  It is a "vertical" mill, one that designs, dyes and weaves the fabrics and we got to see each of those areas.

Here are a few views from the Valdese trip:

Bins and bins of yarns.
Dyeing.
Allie photographing one of the looms at work.
Peeking into one of the designer's offices.
Sarah and Nina look at design boards.
Back at the weaving studio for the next several photos... not much caption... just work--some on the loom, some in planning stages, some just cut off!




















A visit to the Penland archives one afternoon to see some of the Lucy Morgan samples and drafts.
Carey Hedlund, the Penland archivist, showed us several things and invited students to schedule a time to visit to study the collection in more depth.
One of the Lucy Morgan samples in the archives.
On Friday, Ann Roth visited to show her work and talk about her process of working on a commissioned piece, including designing and detailed planning of hours of execution.
Over the weekend, Bhakti and her husband, Mark, who was visiting her for a few days, and I went to Dahlonega to visit my husband (and cat).  On the way back, we stopped at the Hambidge Center.
Rebecca Mezoff is a resident at Hambidge right now and she invited us to her studio to say hello, see what she's working on, and have an impromptu picnic lunch with her.  She'll be visiting us on Monday, the 17th, as she leaves Hambidge (lucky us!)
Week FIVE is now underway with dyeing going on with black walnuts, Bhakti experimenting with four-selvedge warp set up and weaving on a four shaft loom, me working on finishing off the last tapestry I'd completed before leaving for Penland, and all the students going in many exciting directions.  We have several guests coming this week who will share their incredible knowledge about fiber and inspire us all.

More soon!