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Teaching at Arrowmont


We spent the weekend in Gatlinburg, TN, where I taught a three day class on fitting your body. The event was the Southeastern Fiber Forum Biennial Conference, and it was wonderful. The facility is perfect for an ultra-casual, get your hands on fiber playdate with your tribe.



Dyeing, spinning, weaving (even a bench), and this year—a knitter. (People kept saying to me, “oh, you’re the knitter.)” I think I’m a trendsetter. I wish I had pictures from other classrooms for you, but they kept me so busy I just didn’t get them. Well, you’ll just have to go in 2015.

I have my friend Jan Smiley who created of the Carolina Fiber Frolic for this invitation to teach. As with the Frolic, I met fantastic, interesting people. All skill levels were there learning from instructors and each other. I know my students taught me some cool things about sewn garments.

Steve went along and had three days to wander on his own which he likes. He found an 18th century ish cabin that showed signs of rehab and an old miniature golf course that didn’t. Both entertained him. The kitschy tourist town of Gatlinburg overwhelmed him. Not at all his cup of tea. He kept talking about how many candy stores there were on one street. But check out this evening sky.

But Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts is a different world. It is right in the center of town, but once you turn into the drive, all other words fall away. Very natural, earthy, handmade. I mean the crafts are handmade.


My classroom was the pottery studio. The high shelves around three walls were a feast for the eye. I saw the tiles surrounding the entry doors and knew exactly what I wanted around my front door.






I also watched a video that included bits from a basketry class which used cotton rag paper painted with acrylics and cut into strips. The book store had a suitable paper and that is a future project.

One of the weaving instructors, Susan Levielle, used potholder looms to weave samples of different patterns. Easy to warp, fast to produce. Must try it. Mug rugs? Blanket squares? Bath cloths? Kid project? Clever, I thought.

The very best thing about a fiber conference is the inspiration, both in ideas and in motivation.
Wish you all had been there with me.

More later–


5 Responses

  1. What a lovely venue! Since I knit and do ceramics, this was an especially interesting post for me!

  2. Sounds like you both had a good time. I know Paul would have gone off with Steve as hiking and finding old buildings interest him. I used to do ceramics but it got to be expensive and had to quit. Glad your class went well for you.

  3. I love it!

  4. Hi! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after browsing through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Nonetheless, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking
    back often!

  5. Thank you. Hope you find it fun or helpful or both.

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