Sunday, July 29, 2018

Arrowmont--class begins tonight

We hit the ground running at Arrowmont!  

Everyone has arrived now on this sunny day in Gatlinburg.  My morning walk took me around town for a couple of miles, then Alli and I set up the studio after 10 a.m. to get ready for tonight's first class meeting.

After dinner tonight there was orientation in the auditorium from 6:30 to about 7:15 and then off to the studios to begin the week with a two hour session.

In the class tonight we introduced ourselves; I have ten students and my trusty assistant, Allie, here this week.  We took a quick trip around the room to see the different supplies we'll be using and then did a very fast painting exercise to prepare some papers for tomorrow's collage exercise.  Here are a few photos from tonight--more to come tomorrow!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Arrowmont Once More

I'm at Arrowmont School of Crafts this week to teach a class. 

It's the first time I've been here since the tragic fires in 2016.  Getting into the school was a challenge... the entrance is now shared with a pay-parking lot entry/exit.  Cars exiting the lot tend to take up the whole roadway, making it difficult (impossible!) for those going to Arrowmont to enter.  YIKES! Couldn't get a photo of that because I was driving, trying to find my way into campus! After a drive-by, u-turn, wait to turn left--finally I was at Arrowmont!

It's a bit unsettling to see that a chair lift goes over part of campus... YIKES again!  I've heard from a couple of people that have been here for the summer that some riders on the chair lift have not been nice--more about that later.

I'm here on Saturday before classes begin tomorrow, Sunday evening.  I'll post updates about the class through the week when/if I have time.

For now... I'm so happy to be here at Arrowmont School of Crafts one more time!  In spite of the hassles to get here.  It's a fabulous place to learn.

Saturday, July 21, 2018

Summer Time

Dog Days of Summer. And it's time for hot, humid days in north Georgia featuring frequent afternoon (or middle of the night) pop up thunderstorms, lightening bugs in the evening, and mosquitoes at any time of the day.

There are tribes of groundhogs in Dahlonega--two (or maybe four or six or eight or ...) live all over the neighborhood.  In fact, a family of them has burrowed into the dirt floor of my old garage at the studio.   They, squirrels and possibly rabbits are wreaking havoc on seedlings in a nascent dye garden and a brilliant naturalist/gardener is working on a solution for that (including live traps for the critters and an ingenious fencing design for the dye plants).

In spite of these assorted annoyances I do love summer in the southern Appalachians.  Sometimes the quality of the light at certain times of the day will throw such a wave of nostalgia my way that I'm almost moved to tears.  Then there are the bright and hot days when it seems like the world will never end, that time has stopped and life will be this way forever.

Already, summer's lushness is showing wear and tear.  The greens of foliage are duller in hue.  Rain may become less frequent and we'll probably have days/weeks on end with none in sight as summer nears the end.  If that happens everything will become brittle with dryness.  Fire danger will increase and the sky will frequently show a tinge of murk from distant smoke.

It's been a summer full of activity, anxiety, sadness and sorrow.  In April, our family lost one of its brightest lights, my husband's sister.  The day after her funeral, my husband had surgery.  His surgery turned out successfully but it was quite stressful to be dealing with that--much less immediately after losing his sister.

In May, the Tapestry Weavers South group met for a retreat weekend at St. Simon's Island.

It was three days full of talking about and weaving tapestry.  Jennifer Sargent was the guest artist.  She showed her work and then led a critique of members' tapestries.

On the last evening, I was surprised and quite overcome by being given a life membership in TWS!  I was presented with a certificate, decorated cake (saying "Congratulation" -- much to our amusement) and many cards from tapestry friends... overwhelming, all of it.  Thank you, TWS, for this gesture--the organization has been dear to me for many years and I hope it will continue to thrive to share tapestry to one and all through exhibits and workshops, among other things.

In late May I had the Folk School class that is the topic of my previous post.  And soon after I returned from that week, my husband and I traveled once more in a rental van to Paducah, Kentucky to pick up the tapestry that was in the Fantastic Fibers exhibit.  When I got there,  I was happy to learn it had been awarded third place.

Motel room in Paducah became a studio while we were there overnight.

My tapestry is at the corner on the right side.  Oak Leaves.
I've mentioned the exhibit of which my work is part at the Hudgens Center for the Arts and Learning in Duluth, Georgia.  The reception for the show was held on June 2, and a few days later a group from the Hudgens came to Dahlonega to visit my studio as well as the ceramics and weaving studios at the university.


I returned to the Center on June 23rd for demonstration of tapestry during Family Day. 

On  July 7th, I talked with a group from the Southeast Fiber Art Alliance who came to see the exhibit.  And on July 11 I was back to Duluth once more to see some others from the Atlanta area weaving folks--and by chance, a group of kids who were visiting the Center!

The show ends on July 28 and it's been a pleasure to have my work there.  I really appreciate the way Angela Nichols, the curator, mounted the display of all the pieces in the show.  Lois Young, the volunteer coordinator, led groups through as docent many times over--I got to see and hear her in action with that bunch of children and she certainly had them engaged in looking and responding to what they were seeing!

In the midst of all of this, I spent a weekend at the Lillian Smith Center to complete a writing project that's been underway for the past year.   That's done for now... more work on it later but this part is finalized.

Next up, a class at Arrowmont at the end of July.  THEN, the major goal for the rest of the summer is to be in my studio to get as much weaving done as possible.  There's a much neglected tapestry that's begging me to return!

Later (maybe) I'll have time to add some photos to this post... but for now, just words. Just updated with a few photos!

Happy Dog Days.