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Cheekwood in Bloom: JoAnna Bleasdale

Cheekwood in Bloom: JoAnna Bleasdale

Saturday April 26, Cheekwood in Bloom will be having a Tennessee Craft Day, where four of Tennessee Craft’s artists will be demonstrating their work, helping us achieve our mission of teaching the public about craft. Taking place the week before our spring Craft Fair, this exhibit will also give exposure to Tennessee Craft, our fairs, and the artists who are participating.

In anticipation of this event, we will be spotlighting the artists who will be demonstrating at Cheekwood in Bloom.

Our first artist profile is on JoAnna Bleasdale.

What is your craft?

I am a weaver and a dyer. I hand dye my yarns and then weave them on a hand loom.

How did you get started?

I actually wove for the first time when I was a little girl on a small lap loom. My mother is an artist so I have always been surrounded by art. I became serious about art in college. I studied fibers at the Appalachian Center for Craft in Smithville, TN.

JoAnna Bleasdale

What is the inspiration for your work?

Mostly my inspiration comes from nature and the world around me. I live on an organic farm and raw milk micro dairy in the hills of TN. The colors around me become the colors in my work. As far as pattern and texture of my work, I tend to work mostly from traditional patterns and update them using contemporary colors and combinations.

Why have you decided to demonstrate at Cheekwood in Bloom?

I’ve always loved botanical gardens, especially Cheekwood. I like the diversity in plants there and, again, more color inspiration from all the flowers, trees, bushes and other plants. It’s a fun setting to demonstrate my work in. For once my work isn’t the brightest thing around!

JoAnna Bleasdale

What do you find most rewarding about demonstrating your craft in public?

I love being able to share my craft with other people. It’s one of my favorite parts of being an artist. It’s especially rewarding to be able to show people what actually goes into making a piece of cloth. I think a lot of times when I tell people I am a weaver they don’t entirely understand what that means. Their eyes light up when I explain the process and I think it really gives people an appreciation for cloth.

What do you hope to accomplish through your demonstrations?

Definitely what I was saying before about helping people develop an appreciation for the amount of work that goes into creating a piece of cloth. I think it’s important for people to see how things are made and that creating something usable can be, and is, art. The art isn’t just the product. It’s the entire process of creating product. And I think that is communicated best by demonstrating.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 7th, 2014 at 10:00 am and is filed under Artist Spotlight, Events. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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