Sunday, September 18, 2011

September 18 - Studio Tour

The Off the Beaten Path Studio Tour has gone on in and around Mountain View for ten years and though we always talk about it, we have never taken it until this year. I don't believe we'll make that mistake again. We only visited three of the studios, but thoroughly enjoyed each and every one of them. We visited David and Becki Dahlstedt's Stoneware Pottery. David works with the clay and Becki comes up with incredible glazes. Mugs are her favorite thing to make and they are so unique and it was difficult not to buy several of them. Dana Shaeffer's Tapestry and Weaving Studio was our next stop. Dana's designs come from photos and Photoshop and end up as original and beautiful tapestries made on a loom imported in pieces from Sweden with directions all in Swedish. Our third and last stop was Common Threads where the process goes from "sheep to shawl".

I grabbed this quick shot before they noticed me.

As soon as they noticed me, they took off.  Not pictured is a lama and some angora goats.  The fleeces are kept in large plastic bags with cedar chips to keep the bugs out.

Shawn makes crochet hooks that are little works of art.

Another crochet hook in the making.

Three of Jeanette's beautiful shawls.

Shawls are made on a triangle loom and the stick that pulls the thread through is like a large crochet hook.  She uses commercial yarns for some of her shawls for people who are allergic to animal fleeces.

A few of the fleece rugs Jeanette has made.  She first washes them in the bathtub and then washes them in a large front loader five or six times before they are ready to be sold so there is no worry about them shrinking after you get them home.

It takes 16 hours to get all the warp threads onto the loom, longer if you should miss a loop and have to take half of them off.  Jeanette was 12 when her aunt bought this loom, but her aunt was only 5' tall and the loom was too big for her Jeannette has used this loom to make her beautiful rugs for 20 years.

Friday, September 16, 2011

September 16 - The Gathering

We've been in Mountain View for a month now and we have played a lot of music but not taken many photos.  Right now we are involved in helping plan the Ozark Dulcimer Gathering that begins on the 25th.  We'll be playing in a couple of mini concerts, teaching, managing the stage, and working in registration during the two week event.  I have put together the logo, name tags for the hosts, and an informational brochure to give people when they arrive.  All the concerts and workshops are free and the whole event will be very relaxed, not too rigidly planned, and lots of opportunities to learn, teach, and just have fun.  We have no idea how many people will show up since registration is free and no one will register until they get here.  About 20 of us are involved and we'll have a good time even if no one shows up.

A Gathering meeting in the pickin' shed taken from both ends of the table so you can see everyone.