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Three-hour tour

I was so on the ball: I got the photos from Peters Valley Craft Center posted to Flickr the day after I got back. The accompanying text? Not so much.

Peters Valley Craft Center is gorgeous, out in the woods in the Delaware Water Gap. Most or all of the former village of Bevans has been repurposed for the craft center. The farmhouses, store, and other buildings are part of the complex, offering studio space for weaving, blacksmithing, fine metalworking, woodworking, and so on. Summer interns, staff and students are housed in the old farmhouses, and common meals are served while classes are in session. Most of the classes are five days (Friday through Tuesday), though PVCC does have shorter classes too. If you happen to be in the area, there’s a nice little craft store and gallery right at the entrance.

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I arrived Thursday evening and got set up in the studio for my class to begin bright and early Friday morning. I had three students: two basketmakers and a woman who’s been taking diverse classes all summer. None had any weaving or ply-split experience. The fiber arts studio manager also sat in on the class. Incidentally, the food is really good: a lot of variety, and plenty of fresh local produce.

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The first two days were nearly all ply-split. We covered a complete foundation course: single course oblique twining, plain oblique twining, and two-layer oblique interlacing. Everyone made samples of all of these, learned to make cords, got over being scared of the electric drill, and then we started small baskets.

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Saturday afternoon we started talking about tablet weaving.

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Saturday night we had a hurricane. You may have heard about it on the news?

Lots of rain, lots of wind, trees down all over. Bridges closed, roads closed. No power, which meant no lights and no running water for the last three days of the class. We filled buckets from the streams to flush the toilets, and there was plenty of bottled drinking water. The kitchen had a generator and a gas stove, so they kept us fed.

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That? Same little waterfall as above.
We switched to tablet weaving exclusively after that: without electricity we couldn’t make more cords, and tablet weaving needs a bit less close-up visibility. Sitting in the windows worked pretty well, though we needed to wind up around 4:30 instead of working late.

We covered diagonal patterns and double-face. This class, everyone had trouble following charted doubleface patterns, the same ones that my previous class had no problems with. It’s interesting to see how classes vary. I tweak things every time I teach, and so I need to think about a different way to teach doubleface.

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Mostly though, the class went exceedingly well despite the weather. One of my students praised my “infinite patience” (those of you who know me in person can stop laughing now, thank you very much). Another student only wanted to do ply-splitting, and really wasn’t interested in trying tablet weaving. But she did, and now says that if I teach a five-day tablet weaving class at PVCC next year she will be there.

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I drove home Tuesday evening, by a different route than I’d arrived because the roads were still closed. I jumped into the shower immediately, not even bothering to unpack the car. (It’s done now, though the boxes are still just sitting on the floor of the studio.)

It was a lot of fun, and I hope to return next year to teach, just not during hurricane season.

4 Comments on “Three-hour tour”

  1. #1 cyndy
    on Sep 13th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    So close, yet sooooo far!

    …… wish I could afford to take your class, it looks great! (I’m suffering from lackoffunds syndrome!)

    Glad everything went well! Fingers crossed for next year !

  2. #2 Phiala
    on Sep 13th, 2011 at 7:16 pm

    Their classes are certainly not cheap, but they pay the teachers correspondingly well, so from my point of view it’s just fine. But it would have been a lot of fun to have you there.

    I hope you are starting to dry out.

  3. #3 Laura
    on Sep 14th, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    I think you need to make a commemorative ply-split hurricane.

  4. #4 Phiala
    on Sep 15th, 2011 at 11:16 am

    Laura, I’ve started a commemorative piece, and it may well have a hurricane in it. I’m not sure of the details yet, just the broad structure.