Wednesday, February 25, 2015


There is nothing quite like a trip to the Big Apple to nurture the creative spirit!  Using a free ticket on United as a result of them loosing a part of brother Jeff's easel I was transporting home after his death, I planned a trip to New York City to meet daughter Kristin and g'girls Abby (just before her 10th birthday) and Chelsea (8 1/2).   

I flew out of Savannah Sunday 2/22/15 leaving early in the morning expecting to get there for an afternoon at Loop of the Loom Saori weaving studio.  My plans were asked by high wind advisories canceling my flight so to get there I was re routed through Chicago and didn't get to the Bentley Hotel where We were staying until 4:15 Sunday afternoon after the studio closed.  No worries... After a brief rest... I took off for Brooklyn to see my old buddy Jeanette Vuocolo who Imworked with at the Corland Arts Council in the 1980s.  Had it really been 30 years or more since aid seen her? Wr quickly caught up where we'd left off... JV is now working as arts administrator for an emerging artist Jazz grant at the Classical Music Association (CMA). Her condo boast an exquisite collection of Gabbeh carpets handwoven by Nomadic weavers from Iran that were rich and wonderful.  She shared a video about the process that can be seen here... I was proud of myself for navigating the F train subway to Brooklyn despite having little sleep and the frigid temperatures (2* and strong winds!). I am warrior... Hear me roar!!!

Kris and the girls were arriving at noon the next day by train, but a I had a delightful brunch with Juliet Martin, Saori fiber artist who I met in Atlanta last July at the Saori weaving Conference.  We shared a lot of Saori info and she suggested several fun things to do with the girls in the city.  As I was disappointed that I missed my opportunity to go to Loop of the Loom, which Juliet uses as her studio, she suggested I try to go today... And take the girls!  What a super idea... I'd ask them when I see them.  

What fun it was to see them at Penn Station!  (After a quick trip to Lion Brand Yarn Store in Soho and the Apple tech to offer advise for my iPhone that was loosing charge because of the COLD) We ate lunch at Cafe 31 across from Madison Square Garden and caught up on their lives since I last saw them after Xmas... Then hailed a taxi and headed up to 86th st and Loop of the Loom!  It was even better than I'd expected!  Such a peaceful yet inspiring space full of a wall of colorful yarns, woven items and 8-10 Saori looms warped and ready to play on.  Abby and Chelsea quickly got started creating.  I had to remind myself not to instruct but to let them learn by experimenting.  Chelsea was hooked... Abby enjoyed it but lost interest ("I'm tired.") after about an hour.  So... I sat down at her loom and played.  There was a woman weaving on a 4 shaft Saori loom using stripes of pattern weave in between plain weave but the weaver who caught my eye was weaving a gossamer construction without tension on a widely spaced bulky textured warp.  I wanted to try that and quickly added it to my to try list for when I got home!  In the meantime, I played with the idea of beating the weft with my fingers to space the warp in different ways... Juliet had encouraged me to try.  What fun!

So... For $105... Both g'girls and I got to explore Saori for 1 1/2 hours and each girl had a woven piece to take home to make into a wall hanging, pillow or handbag!  A bargain!!! And a fun birthday present for Abby!

It really was a wonderful adventure... From the On Karawa exhibit and seeing friend Sharon Vatsky at the Guggenheim, to the American Girl Doll Plaza and Legoland, to Dylan's Candy Bar and Serendipity Restaurant, to the angels at St Patricks Cathedral, to shaking hands with Willie Geist at NBC Studios, to yarns stores Soho Cafe and Lion Brand Yarns, to the Textile Guild's exhibit, Squared at the chapel gallery at Citicorp, to an emotional experience at the World Trade Center 9/11 Memorial Museum... Incredibly inspiring!!!  

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