Sunday, July 28, 2013

Arrowmont Summer 2013: Day 1

So today I finally made it to Gatlinburg, TN (which is the location of Arrowmont). The 774 mile drive wasn't grueling at all, but the fact that I lost my debit card somewhere between Kansas City and Nashville was very stressful. Let's just say, always have numerous forms of payment while you travel, not just checks, and thank you Aunt Cindy for wiring me money! Anyway, Arrowmont is an arts and crafts school located in the very beautiful Smokey Mountains. At Arrowmont I will be spending a week learning sculptural knitting techniques from Adrienne Sloane, a well known fiber artist and knitter.  The drive here was beautiful, despite the sporadic bombardment of themed tourist traps along the way. I do wish the school was located a bit further away from the hustle and bustle of the town, but then again fresh ice cream or homemade fudge is just a short walk away.
Hand drawn map of Arrowmont, very handy on your first day!
As I pulled up to the school, I was greeted by a very helpful guide in the information center. She gave me directions to my dorm, a name tag, a packet of information (including the very charming hand drawn map above!), a parking permit and I was on my way to unpack. I get to stay in the Red Barn dorm complex, which is literally a red bar turned into dorm rooms (very cute). The building is equipped with lounges and large community bathrooms on all floors. The room that I am staying in is nothing fancy, but it's all I need for a week of fun knitting.
The Red Barn Dorm
The Red Barn Lounge
The Bedroom
After I unpacked and got settled in, I headed down to the dining hall for some much needed food! As I was headed down the hill, I ran into a bunch of familiar faces from the Kansas City Art Institute, including the one and only Pauline Verbeek-Coward (head of the Fiber department at KCAI). It was so nice to eat with friendly people following such a stressful trip. After dinner, we headed to the main gallery building auditorium for an orientation. At the orientation we were introduced to all the faculty and about the classes that are being taught this week. Pauline is taking the natural dying class taught by Catharine Ellis (I made her promise to give me her notes!). Then we all headed our separate ways.

My sculptural knitting class contains four other students, which is much smaller than what I originally thought there would be, but it is also exciting because that means more one on one time with Adrienne. The class ranges from very experienced knitters to beginners, which definitely levels the playing field allowing everyone to learn at their own speed and comfort level. All of my classmates seem very interesting, eager to learn and ready to have a good time, which is awesome!

The class outline for this week will be:

1. Knit with unconventional materials and explore.
2. Use wire and fabric stiffener in conjunction with knitting.
4. Make two large samplers.
3. Formulate a project based on your own ideas.

I'm pretty excited for this week!


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