One of the first things I noticed my first morning at Penland was a new post and beam structure which was sheltering this truck.
Lucy Morgan was quite a woman. She started Penland School of Crafts with her brother Rufus. Rufus soon bowed out, but Lucy spent her life tending the school. It started innocently enough. She taught local women to weave goods to be sold as a way to support their families. Eventually she found herself running a school that taught much more than weaving.
In the midst of the Depression, there was no money and the students were not coming for classes, so Lucy rounded up the funds to take the below truck and a log cabin building all the way to Chicago to sell the weaving of her Appalachian community. Her weavers wove all winter without pay to make stock for the fair and their gamble paid off. She even got the yarn supplier to give her materials with the promise to pay him back after the fair.
I think perhaps Lucy Morgan was the inventor of the "tiny house". She had the courage to plop her little log cabin down in the midst of the glitz and glamour of that fair and to bring home a profit for her community of weavers.
I read much of Lucy Morgan's Gift From the Hills while at Penland. It is a fascinating story of a woman who had a vision of teaching people craft. She created the Penland we see today despite many hardships. And as the below quote testifies, things still run much the same today... though today the lights don't get turned out at all some nights.
Her story is full of tales of weaving and occupational therapy which makes this weaving OT proud.
What follows is a little more about my time at Penland. I'm still a bit tired, but am so glad I had this opportunity to teach at such an amazing craft school.
And here is some of the marvelous work they did near the end of the session.
There were so many more examples woven during those two weeks. I can't possibly show them all to you but you can see more on my Instagram feed.
And, as always, if you are inspired as I am by these wonderful examples of tapestry, you can study the same material with me in my online courses. Much of the material we worked on at Penland was from the Color Gradation Techniques course.
And if you want to read Miss Lucy Morgan's history of Penland School for yourself, you can find it HERE.