Weaving

Stecoah Valley Weavers

Weavers' and spinners' guild

Stecoah, NC (Graham County)

At Graham County's Stecoah Valley Center, a historic stone schoolhouse and community center near Robbinsville, the Stecoah Valley Weavers teach area residents the arts of weaving and spinning, offering them the opportunity to learn enjoyable, money-making skills while furthering some of the region's most important craft traditions. The group was organized by spinner Eileen Hallman of Black Mountain and weaver Susan Leveille of Dillsboro.

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Martha Owen and David Liden

Storytellers, musicians, fiber artists

Brasstown, NC (Cherokee County)

Martha Owen says that "Storytelling is something that sort of comes to you," but her parents are the source of some of the inspiration she draws upon today. They were good storytellers, and her mother was from western North Carolina—where Martha spent many childhood summers—so her roots draw both from tradition and region. Her college training in early childhood education and literature, and time spent volunteering in schools, contribute to her storytelling skills as well.

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Virginia Coffey

Weaver

Newland, NC (Avery County)

Virginia Coffey was born in 1933 in Stokes County, North Carolina, and she lived there until 1975 when she remarried and moved to Avery County. There she found the Weaving Room at the Crossnore School. She learned weaving from Ossie Phillips, a North Carolina Folk Heritage Award recipient, who worked at the school for more than 60 years. "At times it's very relaxing, and at times it's hard work," she says. "I guess it depends on how you feel when you get up in the morning."

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