Arrowmont

My daughter and I will soon be going to Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts to take a week-long workshop together. Arrowmont is a lovely old crafts school nestled in the Smoky Mountains, hidden just off the beaten path in Gatlinburg, TN. This will be my fifth visit there.

The first time, in 2004, I think, Annie and I took a class in glass fusing. What a wonderful time we had! The next year, she and I tried enameling.

Two years later, in 2007, David joined us, and we took a class in woodworking. It was a blast! Learning something new with grown children, focusing on the task at hand, in beautiful surroundings – well, I highly recommend it!

This is the coffee table David made. After he got home, he finished it, and it was one of his most prized possessions. When everything else in his life fell apart, this was one of the few things he took great care of. It is now in Annie’s living room, and she cherishes it.

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This was Annie’s wild and crazy table! She included every technique we were taught 🙂 Unfortunately, it sustained some water damage in a closet and had to be discarded.

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And this is what I made. It was supposed to have a quilt made to go behind the wavy lattice, but that hasn’t happened, and the table is still unfinished.

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The surroundings are so gorgeous! The entrance to Great Smoky Mountain National Park is just a couple of miles away, and there is a little scenic drive even closer.

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In 2008, Annie couldn’t make it, and David and I took a workshop in bead-making. Hot glass and torches. These are some of the beads he made.

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Because they needed to cool overnight in the kiln when we left, the instructor shipped them to us. Sadly, they never made it here. I wish so much I had some of his Arrowmont beads! Aren’t they beautiful?

David had taught himself some lampworking before we went, and fortunately Annie and I do have some of the beads he made at home. She made me a pendant with one of those beads (but of course I can’t find the photo right now!)

I made some beads, too. So what did I do when I brought mine home? Added fabric, of course! I made a quilt. This is “Monochrome.”

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It is 45.5″ x 60″ and was made in 2009. It is truly a mixed techniques quilt! It includes English hand smocking (because I needed some hand work to do while my husband was in the hospital for a week), fabric manipulation (inspired from a costume in the stage production of “Phantom of the Opera”), foundation piecing, machine applique, digitized embroidered motifs and free-standing lace. And glass beads above the tassels! It includes cottons, necktie silk, machine embroidery, monofilament, and silk threads, perle cotton, seed beads, glass, purchased tassels, and cotton batting.  Embroidery designs were from EmbroideryOnline, Zundt Designs, and Martha Pullen/Zundt.

“Monochrome” won 2nd place in the Computer-Aided Machine Embroidery category at the 2010 Houston Internation Quilt Festival, and an Honorable Mention at the 2010 AQS show in Paducah.

Here’s a close-up…

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And the beads (click on these images to see them better)…

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Now, it’s been seven years since I’ve been there. Annie and I will be learning about wood-turning. She’s done some, but I never have. If previous years are any indication, it will be a fun, memorable, relaxing, and creativity-inspiring week!

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5 thoughts on “Arrowmont

  1. Hi Susan, Love hearing you have been attending Arrowmont. We now own an old log home near Cookeville,TN. All of my husbands family have lived near there since at least the Revolutionary War. This fall I hope to stay there awhile and visit the fall leaves around Gatlinburg. I know right where Arrowmont is. In the late seventies they would demonstrate many crafts. Have a beautiful, enjoyable time!!
    Hugs, Mary Hawkins

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    • Thanks, Mary! It’s a beautiful part of the world, isn’t it?! I’ve never seen the fall leaves there. We tried once to drive part of the Blue Ridge Parkway in the autumn, but it was thick, thick fog for the three days we had there, and the parkway was closed. Hope you get to stay there.

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  2. What a beautiful documentary of your family experiences at beautiful Arrowmount. Who is teaching the wood turning class? You are an artist extraordinaire. Thanks sew much for sharing.

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  3. Pingback: Important Things | SusanStewartDesigns

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