Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Guest Blog Post by Brece Honeycutt


Here's my guest blog offer.

Details below!!!


Another Pocket Utopia

Just back from two weeks at Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

A blissful, perfect pocket utopic community nestled on Deer Isle, ME and supportive of artists. The staff led by Stuart Kestenbaum work tirelessly in efforts seen and unseen to make one's experience perfect the moment one steps onto the large rocks that support the shingled buildings. 

The site was designed by Edward Larrabee Barnes in 1960 and received an AIA 25 year award in 1994. The buildings hover over the lichen and moss and are nestle among the trees. I never stopped looking at the surroundings as I walked to my room or on the trail to the the ocean for my 4pm daily swim. The day began early with the mist, bolstered by bottomless cups of coffee and followed with an incredible breakfast at 8am. All the food was served in the dining hall and was made on site with each meal surpassing the last one.

I took a course in the fiber studio--- "Wool equals Bronze, Time does not equal Money"---taught by the incredible Janet Morton from Canada. Classes met from 9-12pm and 1-4pm, Monday-Friday, but the lights were never out in any of the six studios--clay, baskets, glass, book arts/photography, enameling and fiber. The 13 knitters--11 students, Janet Morton and TA, Nora Renick-Rinehart--(pictured below) worked night and day on our projects.

The first week, we worked on various techniques (replicate a 3-d object; knit a word via intarsia technique; knit a circle in copper wire; knit an enclosure with Canadian salvaged plastic) and contemplated the group project. Janet selected the site and we met on the vacant platform to discuss what it should be--a nest, an enclosure, a home. In the meantime, we each made a large pair of circular needles from 1/2" dowels and plumbing tubing. After a discussion on Friday, we cast our stitches for the group project and on Sunday, we scavenged the local dump for discarded fishing line to use as a base for the piece. Luckily and by happenstance, fellow artist Deb, brought a knot book and taught us the basic knot for the structure. 

We knitted furiously, everywhere--at the nightly lecture, by the fire into the wee hours, by the sea. Tuesday we began the knot structure and finished by Wednesday morning. "I am from..." (the title of our collaborative structure) was finished by the end of Wednesday and ready for the studio walk and tour and the grand reception which was to take place on Thursday afternoon.

The peace, beauty, energy, people and the Haystack community lingers in my mind. What an honor to work there amongst all the talented artists!

my pictures are above, seated is Nora knitting.

Brece Honeycutt

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