Sampler Platter

For the sheepish: The Heritage Weavers and Fiber Artists at Historic Johnson Farm invite the public to put their own spin on traditional crafts.

For the sheepish: The Heritage Weavers and Fiber Artists at Historic Johnson Farm invite the public to put their own spin on traditional crafts.

We can’t remember the last time we heard “bobbin lace” in casual conversation — but this ancient, fine textile is mentioned in European royal analogues dating at least back to the 1500s. Fiber art in Western North Carolina is both a tradition and an artistic life force. The recent “maker” culture has called forth a marvelous variety of practitioners, from young artisans weaving boutique textiles on old-fashioned looms and hand-dying them with wildcrafted berries, to seasoned knitters and felters breaking out on the national scene with their high-couture wearables.

On Saturday, January 30, Heritage Weavers and Fiber Artists hold a demonstration at their Boarding House enclave at Historic Johnson Farm, covering weaving, knitting, rug hooking, bobbin lace, and basket making. HWFA began in 2009 with a group of 15 knitters, and has swelled to 60 fiber artists in various mediums, including DIY adherents who use repurposed materials.

“We want to keep heritage crafts alive,” the group’s president, Carolyn Miller, tells Bold Life. “We are open every day … but this is a chance for people to actually sit down and try weaving or spinning, see if it’s something they might be interesting in pursuing.”

Consider it sampling the syllabus: HWFA holds 43 ongoing classes, ensuring that the next generation of fiber artists is sewed up tight.

 10am-3pm, 3346 Haywood Road in Henderson County. 828-595-9475. www.hwfawnc.com

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