Custom Dye Job for Child’s Rocker, Part 1

one of Carla's sculptures alongside hand dyed reed


I had the good fortune to hang out with Carla and Greg Filipelli at their studio Cranberry Creek and try my hand at dyeing my own reed for weaving colorful seats.  They have been making baskets and sculptures for over 25 years and are part of Handmade in America and the Southern Highlands Craft Guild.

Carla’s free-style dyed sculptures look beautiful

A collection of awesomeness by Carla and Greg

on large walls and are a unique accent to home and office decor.  She also makes really cool small garlic baskets and teaches how to weave them in private and group classes.

I met Carla through the Guild and we got on instantly.  We talked about India and meditation and various teachers like Shivabalayogi…and of course, our similarities in our businesses.

I have been using spaced dyed reed available at Earth Guild in Asheville.  She suggested I try my hand at dyeing my own reed.

Martha's 100 year old child's rocker

6 months later, a customer came in with an unsual child’s rocker that has been passed down in her family for generations.  The weave is cool with multiple diamonds, which is easily duplicated, however, she wanted to match the color as much as possible.  Its always difficult to duplicate age on chairs, but I told her I’d do my best.

Carla and I got together on a chilly winter day (not the best weather, but we worked in the basement for warmth).  Usually Carla and Greg work en plein air outside their wooded studio on the hillside in Fairview.  Gorgeous views and trees and birdsong, etc.   You can take classes here! It’s really FUN.

Below is a photo journey of the process, for the most part in proper order (y’all are smart, you’ll realize that one picture in the top should be at the bottom….I just don’t have time to tweak things. I have spanikopeta to make for Dave’s Birthday and a yoga class to get to to save my back from caning):

Coming soon:  Part 2…Weaving Multiple Diamonds with Custom Dyed Reed

PS…Props to Colonel Bruce Hampton for providing the background music (Fixin’ to Dye) in my head whilst writing this article.

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