Author Archives: Sales

Big Can Be Small, and Small Can Be Big

North-facing exterior of The Oriole Mill with newly planted apple orchard on adjacent grounds.

North-facing exterior of The Oriole Mill with newly planted apple orchard on adjacent grounds.

The Oriole Mill is a sturdy brick and concrete building supporting thirteen multi-ton Jacquard looms along with other ancillary machinery for warping, weaving, washing, cutting, and sewing. But beyond the massive industrial facade is a vibrant, creative, intimate community of makers who call The Oriole Mill home.

Bethanne Knudson, a co-founder of The Oriole Mill along with her partner Stephan Michelson, is the mill’s Creative Director. Her lifelong relationship with textiles has led her down many diverse paths, providing us with a plethora of stories to share. “Warped Stories” debunks the myth of industry being dull and lifeless through anecdotes of our personal inspirations, aspirations, passions, and perseverance.

For example, one of our favorite designs comes from a very early connection Bethanne made with textiles. It’s a fabric we call “Tatting” because the motif is just that – a piece of antique tatting. Tatting is a way of making lace with a needle or shuttle by forming a series of loops or knots of thread around a corded thread.

[This design] started with a fragment of tatting made by my mother’s maternal grandmother, who died before I was born. This humble piece of tatting is the only object I have from her. It is all the more meaningful because she did not merely own the tatting, she made the piece of lace with her own hands as part of her daily life.
-Bethanne

Fragment of tatting made by Bethanne’s great grandmother

Fragment of tatting made by Bethanne’s great grandmother

The fragment of tatting is a small, delicate, aging textile.   As inspiration for a Jacquard design, the scale changed dramatically – one quarter of an inch becoming nearly sixty inches.
–Bethanne

We used contrasting colors to weave this example of Tatting to explain its deflected weft weave structure  and differential shrinkage after finishing during our public tours.

We used contrasting colors to weave this example of Tatting to explain its deflected weft weave structure and differential shrinkage after finishing during our public tours.

Nimble and meticulous hands made this tiny remnant connecting Bethanne to her heritage of textile traditions. Weaving this impressionable image at a large scale, on powerful industrial looms articulates her immense respect for legacy and the handmade through her modern process of making.

We make pillows and throws from the Tatting fabric, because sometimes it’s the small things in life that affect us the most.

A sophisticated, elegant collection of pillows featuring Tatting on the right.

A sophisticated, elegant collection of pillows featuring Tatting on the right.

 

The CCCD Announces Asheville Sneak Preview of Peabody Award Winning Series, Craft in America: Industry

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 16, 2014

The CCCD Announces Asheville Sneak Preview of Peabody Award
Winning Series, Craft in America: Industry

At the Fine Arts Theatre,
36 Biltmore Ave, Asheville, NC
Thursday, May 1, 2014, 7:30pm

Followed by panel discussion with local featured industry, The Oriole Mill

Asheville, NC – The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design (CCCD) is pleased to announce the sneak preview of the newest episode, Industry – Handmade in the Creative Economy, from the award winning series Craft in America. The screening will be followed by a discussion with the owners, artists, and technicians from local featured textile industry, The Oriole Mill.

Craft in America: Industry explores the business of the handmade, taking us to workshops where artists are crafting the future and making contributions to the local and national economies. INDUSTRY highlights the important connection between the consumer and the maker and explores the value of exquisitely crafted handmade objects in today’s creative economy.

Industry features San Francisco quilter Joe Cunningham visiting Lucy Mingo and Mary Ann Pettway in Gee’s Bend, Alabama, boat builder Graham McKay of Lowell’s Boat Shop in Amesbury, Massachusetts, Bethanne Knudson and Stephan Michelson of The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, North Carolina, and Brooklyn, New York Etsy artist Shane Yamane.

At The Oriole Mill in Hendersonville, North Carolina, American textile manufacturing is thriving once again. Deep in an area of the South, once the heart of textile manufacturing, Bethanne Knudson and Stephan Michelson are proving, through creativity, expertise and sheer determination, that an industry can revive itself. Knudson is one of the many Western North Carolina artists who have restarted the economy of Asheville through their creative endeavors and made it an arts destination.

Tickets are $10, available at the Fine Arts Theatre box office or online at: goo.gl/jGxLkl.

All proceeds will go to benefit the CCCD.

# # #

The Center for Craft, Creativity & Design is a national 501(c)3 nonprofit that advances the understanding of craft by encouraging and supporting research, critical dialogue, and professional  development. The Center’s programs strive to support the best examples of research and practice in the field.

Craft in America is the Peabody Award winning series exploring America’s creative spirit through the language and traditions of the handmade object, presents INDUSTRY premiering on PBS primetime, May 2, 2014 at 10 PM (check local listings).

For more about Craft in America:

craftinamerica.org
pbs.org/craftinamerica
facebook.com/craftinamerica
youtube.com/craftinamerica2007
flickr.com/photos/craftinamerica
twitter.com/CraftinAmerica

For “Industry” press images with captions, link to:

goo.gl/R9WBdB

For more on The Oriole Mill:

theoriolemill.com