This years SeatWeavers' Guild, Inc Annual Gathering took place in Asheville, NC at the Folk Art Center along the Blue Ridge Parkway from July 30-31st. This was my second year attending and first time away from my daughter! My dad came along with me this year and we represented 2 generations of caners.
My dad and I took off early from Columbus, OH to make it to Asheville, NC in time to unload our chairs and supplies at the Folk Art Center and to make it to Brandy and Dave's shop before it closed for the weekend.
We knew we were in the south when the *KUDZU* started appearing along the roadway. The plant that carpets and drapes everything in it's path. I had never seen the lumpy oddity before in the flesh. Exciting in a invasive species way...
After we dropped off our things at the Folk Art Center and checked in for our badges and goody bags, we headed over to Silver River Center for Chair Caning in the River Arts district of Asheville, NC.
I can't help but be jealous of their S P A C E to work, their museum, and room for education with examples. So much hard work has gone into everything. Super high fives Brandy and Dave!
Area of the shop dedicated to client's chairs to-do and ready to pick-up:
My dad's one big request for the trip was BBQ. So we headed over to Luella's and it did not disappoint! Fried okra. That's all I need to say. I had my first Wicked Weed beer- a Tropicmost Passionfruit Gose - more on that later.
Officially day 1 of the Gathering in the Folk Art Center along the Blue Ridge Parkway, tucked away in the woods and hills. Upon walking in the front door, we were greeted by chairs and soaring ceilings.
Our Gathering/conference took place in the auditorium.
Our President Richard Hall kicked things off. In attendance were 90+ members- some new, some returning, but the largest group we have had to-date!
Apparently my name got mentioned at the board meeting the night before, a text was sent to me about it, and I agreed to volunteer to replace David Dick as Vice President of The SeatWeavers' Guild, Inc. My reign (haha!) will be for 2 years beginning... NOW! Voted on an approved for 2016-2018.
During the morning we had a Musical Chairs Workshop from 10:15-noon where attendees could rotate through 6 different classes including my Danish Cord station where I had a set of six Møller #71s to demonstrate on. The time went fast!
Lunch and dinner were both provided and very delicious and fresh! I think if it wasn't brought to us I would have forgotten to eat!
Keynote Speaker Walter Turpening "Pulling it Together"
Walter gave a lecture and demonstration on his custom made benches and chairs and on developing, specialty dying, and weaving with cotton cord.
Next up: chair yoga!
And then my short seminar on internet marketing business tips. Afterwards I had a member come up to me and had me help him implement some of my suggestions - for his business right there and then on his smart phone!
Between sessions we could check out chairs and related items that members had brought with them from around the country- including a chair in a bottle!
Parked out back was "Bessie"- Sue Muldoon's caning/camping/transportation van tricked out with storage, tool organization, shade, and a bed.
After BBQ dinner we had a game of CHAIR NERD JEOPARDY! And it was FUN! Mostly because our team won. My dad won 2 squares on the board, I won 3 and a 4th with help!
Before we headed back to the hotel we went to Appalachian Vintner and loaded up on Wicked Weed beer in every flavor to take back to Ohio. I knew we wouldn't make it to the brewery to try it all in person and we have no way of getting it at home. My friend even put in an order too!
On Sunday we continued our workshops and also opened to the public to demonstrate techniques and answer questions.
I continued demonstrating with Danish Cord. Mical gave me some great pointers from her 3 decades of experience and Bill Brick finished a chair.
Shaker Tape demo:
The fabulous Mary Beth Lodge working on a porch rocker seat:
A BIG thanks to Brandy Clements for all the hard work putting the whole Gathering together this year. All the planning really paid off!
After we loaded our chairs and tools up and said goodbye to friends, my dad and I stopped in to a few antique stores before they closed early on a Sunday.
There were a few things I would have loved to take home- like this little Tramp Art chair and stack of Mad Hatter/White Rabbit restaurant ware partitioned plates...
...and trio of Creative Playthings toys.
And I did some Canespotting!
It may have been the let-down of a travel and fun-packed weekend, but I had the worst migraine in recent memory! Thanks to the hotel necessities shop for the meds on the spot!
We took off early Monday to take a detour on our way home. We took the Blue Ridge Parkway to Great Smokey Mountain National Park.
The detour down the Blue Ridge Parkway was totally worth it! Super calm drive with no one else on the road, it was cool, we had the windows down, had beautiful views, woods, and exposed geology. At the top of the pass we stopped for pit toilets (ew), swarms of busy bumble bees and butterflies going nuts over the blooming clover, and views over each side of the pass.
The parkway dumps right into Great Smokey Mountains National Park- this was my 16th National Park! The Great Smokey Mountains NP was beautiful, but not necessarily as breathtaking as Yosemite or Canyonlands or as in-your-face interesting as Arches, Great Sand Dunes, Yellowstone or Bryce. And after being on the Blue Ridge Parkway it was just more of the same + overcrowding. And maybe I was very tired!
I really wanted to get off the pavement and into the woods and trails, but the broken toe and leg in boot kept me on solid ground. Rats.
Now for a moment of nature...
Glad to be home
We got into Columbus about 7pm and I was so glad to see my daughter Mina! I'm pretty sure she grew 5 inches while I was gone! She loved the hand carved "itsy" cherry wood spoon and owl I brought her. (And my husband and I were glad to see each other too, but we don't matter any more!)
E Emza Uphill