Mary has been knitting for 50 years, weaving for 30 years and spinning some of her thread for 18 years. She primarily works with natural fibers, both dyed and undyed. She prefers to make everyday items that are meant to be used. She teaches both adults and children in her farmbased studio.
I was born and raised in Iredell County, North Carolina, the son of hardworking farmers. My grandparents owned the local general store selling reliable and useful products. My rural upbringing gave me an appreciation for an honest day’s work, traditional craftsmanship, and well-made everyday items. As a young boy, I felt the need to create something with my hands. Drawing and painting didn’t seem right – didn’t seem useful enough. I wanted to make something lasting … something both practical and beautiful. When I came across an article in the local newspaper about an old-time master chair maker, I knew I’d found my calling. I searched him out and talked him into teaching me the craft. After learning the basics I took that knowledge and began to create my own designs.
Since early childhood, Melody has demonstrated a remarkable artistic ability. During her middle school years, Melody’s pen and pencil self-portraits and illustrations earned her several first and second place awards at the North Florida Fair in Tallahassee, Florida. While in high school, her creativity was further encouraged and nurtured during summer art camp at Le Moyne Center for the Visual Arts.
I began crafting my one-of-a-kind handbags in 2005, mostly because of a longtime interest in repurposing castoff and throwaway items. RagBags are created from a variety of materials, including decorator fabric samples, wool sweaters, carpet pieces, books, game boards, and many other objects – even VHS videotape! Broken jewelry, vintage buttons, and other items are used as embellishments. I am totally self-taught using no patterns and I do all my sewing on a 1958 Singer Featherweight machine.
GrandMotherMadeIt is as literal as it sounds.
As a Grandmother of two, Pat Miller quickly learned that the grand kiddos needed only so many dresses, pajama pants, placemats, and quilts. That led her to expand her artistry into more fiber venues with a current focus on quilting, thread painting, embroidery, patchwork, and mixed fibers. Her designs range from modern and contemporary to playful whimsical. Most of her work is free-form based on natural inspirations. Several of her works are privately commissioned or memory quilts.
Pat began weaving in 1987. An award-winning and published artist, Pat has woven various styles of basketry and vessels - Nantucket, sculptural design, twills, coiling with pine needles and contemporary gourds. She has used reed, waxed linen, natural materials such as pine needles, barks and vines, gourds, antlers, foraged forest materials, cane as well as hand-painted paper, threads, wire, yarns, metals, alcohol inks and sometimes recycled materials such as stereo speaker wire, plastic tubing, or videotape.
I grew up in rural Union County, North Carolina in the small town of Weddington on a dairy farm, the oldest of six girls. I graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1974 with a degree in Intermediate Education. After two years I returned to graduate school at Appalachian State University to receive a master’s in counseling in 1977.