Kim Eichler-Messmer

Kim Eichler-Messmer

Arrowmont = permagrin

My class and myself demonstrating effective use of a dust mask. 
I spent last week at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, TN and it was supremely awesome. In 2007/2008 I was an Artist in Residence at Arrowmont, which means I lived there for a year with four other "emerging artists". As part of the residency, each person gets their own bedroom and bathroom in a shared house, their own private studio, and loads of opportunities to learn, network, and teach. Gatlinburg is a crazy tourist town complete with airbrushed t-shirts, fudge and funnel cakes, haunted houses, and something like 5 Thomas Kinkade galleries (shudder). It is also at the entrance to Smoky Mountain National Park.  It was one of the best years of my life (even though I was away from my husband and that part was difficult) and last week felt like going home.

Arrowmont is mostly known as a sort of art camp for grown ups. People from all over come to take week long art and craft workshops. I was there teaching a workshop on screen printing repeat designs on fabric. My students were all fabulous and blew me away with their enthusiasm and the amazing work they did.

Jennifer invited me to teach a workshop in Columbia, MO last fall for MOFA (Missouri Fiber Artists). She just couldn't get enough of me so she signed up for my class at Arrowmont. This is her on the last day of the workshop, showing off all of the fabric she made.

Sarah is a studio assistant this summer at Arrowmont. She had never dyed or printed fabric before and decided to tackle a complicated 3 color print. Her work was fabulous and she says she will make sun dresses out of all of the fabric she printed.

This is something I was working on during the week. One of the techniques I taught was using hand cut stencils made out of tyvek as an easy way to screen print. This interpretation of a Ralli Quilt was printed with dye from three separate hand cut stencils. I'm nerdy excited about the idea of printing traditional quilt blocks and instead of piecing a quilt top, printing it. I have at least two of these that I think will almost definitely be made into quilts in the near future. Maybe. We'll see. I might need to think about it some more.

Go to Arrowmont!!!