Dianne and Christine’s excellent adventure started in Buffalo, NY, where Dianne landed on Monday at the Buffalo airport. Christine picked her up and we proceeded east: destination Oneida.
Oneida, NY is home to the Oneida Community Mansion House and Museum, where the braided silk tapestries of Jessie Catherine Kinsley are on display. We had seen two of the braided tapestries at the Sauder Village display, but we wanted to see the whole collection.
Jessie Kinsley (1858 – 1938) was born into a religious utopian commune called the Oneida Community. This utopia included some interesting ideas about marriage and child-rearing. Overall, it was a good cooperative community that was a happy place.
Jessie married when the community broke up and raised a family. As a widow in her 50’s, she turned to braiding as her artistic outlet. She collected scraps of silk and velvet, braided them together, and made beautiful landscapes that were embellished with braided people, sheep, trees, etc. Many of the tapestries were quite large, covering entire walls, although she also made smaller ones; they were often inspired by poetry that she embroidered onto the works. More info: http://www.oneidacommunity.org
We then headed northeast to Burlington, VT. Relying on our GPS while we chatted away, and with only an hour remaining before we were due at a reception, we suddenly found ourselves on the edge of a lake at an empty ferry dock. We were quite dismayed, because Lake Champlain is a BIG lake with no bridges. We thought we were going to have to drive an hour south or several hours north to get around the lake, but then the ferry sailed into view and we were saved.
In Burlington, we made it to the opening reception for Kris McDermet and Anne Cox, the two featured artists at the Green Mountain Rug Hooking Guild’s rug show, “Hooked in the Mountains.” Many of Kris’ beautiful hooked and braided pieces, as well as collaborative works and student works, were on display.
Also on display was the Contemporary Braided Art Rug exhibit. It was a real treat to see all of the rugs on display, and right across from Kris’ exhibit! There were a few new pieces added to the display from the Sauder Rug Hooking Week exhibit. This exhibit will also travel to Philadelphia in the spring, where it will be shown at Schwenkfelder Museum.
THEN if that wasn’t enough, we drove to Methuen MA where we are attending the New England Braids conference. Dianne is teaching “Beyond Wool for Hooking and Braiding” and Christine is teaching a small braided flower. It is always so much fun to see everyone and see the beautiful braids that everyone is making.
Truly an excellent adventure!