I love conferences! You learn something every time you go. There's such a vast amount of weaving knowledge out there to add to our brains that it's impossible to learn it all, but we keep chipping away at it and hope to acquire just a bit more each time we go.
The conference was this past weekend at Arrowmont. Arrowmont's in Gatlinburg, one of the meccas of commercialization, not exactly a place you'd want to go to for improving your knowledge of weaving. However, there's a tiny oasis among the shops and "museums". It's Arrowmont, a wonderful school for crafts. At Arrowmont, you don't realize you're in Gatlinburg. You're in a place that surrounds you with opportunities to learn! I used to go there for spring classes every year until we adopted our DD back in 87.
This is the third time SFFA has had their conference at Arrowmont.
This year I took a class with Karen Donde on Turned Beiderwand. The class was 2 1/2 days long. It could have been 5 days. So much information, so little time, so much to thread, weave, figure out....
I tried to take some pictures but I missed alot!
We all wound 2 warps before we got there. One warp we wound onto the back beam of our looms and if we had a second warp beam, the other was wound onto that one. I only have one beam on my ashford. So, the other warp had to be positioned and then supported with a weight so it wouldn't move while we threaded the 2 warps at the same time. Yup, 2 sets of lease sticks and all!!
Karen ended up helping several of the students at times, making sure they knew what they were doing!
One of the draws for the conference is that you have a keynote speaker. This year it was Jason Collingwood. He also taught rug weaving there. Of course we've all heard of his father and knew that he was now teaching, taking over from his Dad. Well, I'd never heard him speak before. What an interesting life! He showed us pictures of the studio where he weaves and explained how it all worked. I enjoyed his speech as much as any I've heard in a long time. Incredibly informative!
Here's our fearless MC for the evening, all dolled up courtesy of the vendors, including the feathers in her hair!
We all left Arrowmont exhausted but our heads full of new ideas to try to incorporate into our weaving lives. I'll take my samples along tomorrow for all the Tuesday Weavers to see and assess.
Until next week, hope you find time to weave!!