In late July 2018, I had the privilege of attending Haystack Mountain School of Crafts on Deer Isle, Maine. I’d never done anything like it before and I didn’t know what to expect. It was quite an experience spending a week in such a beautiful location, surrounded by such a supportive group of people.
I attended a class taught by Lois Russell. Her work is spectacular, check out her website. I had been weaving for almost a year using waxed linen and had been trying to learn coiling and twining. On the first day of class, I learned I had been doing reverse twining and had to start re-training my fingers to work in the opposite direction.
Haystack is a bit of a magical place. The rustic accommodations are quickly forgotten as you sit working side by side with other enthusiastic artists from around the country. All meals are taken care of in extraordinary fashion by the kitchen staff and interns. During the family style meals, you often find out that you were sat next to a well known artist that was teaching one of the classes.
As a first timer, you feel as if you are important, your ideas are valid, and that what you are trying to create in your art is worthwhile. It was such an encouraging experience!
I learned a lot of new techniques and met a lot of new friends during my week at Haystack and I also learned that I am a basketry artist! I’m still embracing that idea, but I’m leaning into it and really enjoying weaving baskets.