Soon after I first arrived at Sandy Oaks, I offered to teach a 15 hour beginner’s class in Nantucket Lightship basketmaking. Initial reception was not the best, because most people share their skills without charge. I pointed out that all the funds over and above the cost of materials and supplies was sent to Schipperke Rescue. I taught five students in two sessions. A man from New Hampshire made two additional baskets while there, bought a mold and lots of supplies, and engaged his son, a furniture maker, to produce more molds for his use. And a number of people approached me before we left to sign up for the next season.
One of my J.C. Campbell students, 50 miles away in Gainesville, was aching to make a Reyes Friendship Basket, and she enlisted a friend to join her. The two worked partially at home and partially at the campground, staying down here long enough to get through the difficult parts.
This is really a win-win for me. I love passing this classic craft on to others, and I am happy to help enrich Schip rescue efforts with much needed cash.
Looking toward the future . . . we attended the Florida Tropical Weavers’ Guild conference in March at the invitation of my new dear friend, Myra Hudson. Myra, a skilled artisan in loom weaving and numerous other crafts, was the former student from Gainesville who made one of the purses this winter. Myra lured me there to introduce me to Pat Iverson, their director, hoping that Pat would consider me for a teaching gig at a future conference, and I’ve been contracted for March, 2015.