Twice a year, the second weekends of June and November, the artists in the Asheville River Arts District sponsor a Studio Stroll, when all of the more than 150 artist members with studios in the RAD (including sutherland Handweaving) open 10 am-6pm both Saturday and Sunday. The first stroll was in 1994 and attracted about 200 people to the 25 or so artist studios at the time.
For those of us at CURVE studios & garden, opening the doors is a daily thing, as we’re always (save 5 holidays a year) open 11 am-4 pm. Nevertheless, Barb and I geared up for the “thousands” of strollers we were told to expect this past weekend. And there may indeed have been thousands, despite heat and humidity that was far above the norm for our mountain climate in early June.
When I had time to catch my breath from helping children and adults weave on the demonstration loom, I snapped a few pictures. One is of the crowded front room of sutherland’s handweaving gallery, where Barb was weaving two more tencel/bamboo pashminas, answering tons of questions and ringing up a few sales. Trust me, she’s back there.
Another captured the nicest group of college-age kids who took turns weaving and sharing their amazement at the patterns made by a simple twill treadling on an overshot threading. They were all working in the area as camp counselors for a Lutheran summer camp, and this was how they decided to spend their one day a week off.
Finally there was Thomas, a young man who sat down to weave on Saturday, caught on in an instant and shared his thoughts on color theory as he pulled bobbin after bobbin out of the basket, loaded them in the shuttle and made up his own treadling patterns. He had so much fun, he asked his mom and aunt if they could come back Sunday. And they did. (Notice the shirt change in the two pictures.) Thomas wove another 20 minutes or so before relinquishing the loom bench to a couple more young men who wanted to try.
By the way, during the weekend more than 20 people signed our guest book to receive email updates about future classes. That’s a lot of potential new weavers, and we hope to see many of them in our upcoming classes. A new schedule for fall will be out in a week or so. Contact us if you’d like to receive it via email or snail mail. Or stop by the studio. You can see the finished community sampler our guests wove this weekend.