Hello, Hen House Readers!
A dear and talented soul has donated a very special item for me to raffle off to help with the fundraiser, and today I’d like to tell you more about Cathy Hagan and her stunning work.
Cathy has always loved working with her hands, learning to knit and sew at a young age. The desire to deepen her skills came when she lived in Ireland for several years as she trained to become a Montessori teacher. She returned to the states to teach but would go back to Dublin each summer to visit the family she had lived with during her training, the Maloneys. It was during these summers that she met Joan Doherty, who offered to teach her to weave in exchange for Cathy watching the shop. The picture below is the very first piece Cathy ever wove!
After teaching in Montessori schools for several years, she decided to take some time off and further pursue weaving. She lived in Nantucket and worked in a weaving studio that focused on producing materials for high-end designers. This is where she really honed her skills, weaving fine throws, rugs, fabric and upholstery. She soon bought her own Macomber loom and has been weaving on the side ever since. Now living in the Shenandoah Valley, you can see and purchase her fantastic work at Artists in Cahoots in Lexington, VA.
Cathy compares weaving to cooking in that while on the one hand there’s technique and know-how, it all comes down to the ingredients you begin with. Whether in the kitchen or on the loom, the raw materials make a huge difference in the final product. “I like the fact that weaving is preserving the traditional craft. But it’s more than a craft – looms used to be common household items. Until the Industrial Revolution, everything was handmade and part of the household economy – nothing was wasted. I love that kind of stuff! I think it’s important there are some people left who know how to do it.”
I first met Cathy earlier this year when she visited the Polyface store. We hit it off right away and talked about many things. Several months later, when she found out that I was fundraising to attend Ballymaloe, she immediately called me and told me that the Maloney family she’d lived with in Ireland were good friends with Myrtle Allen, who started the Ballymaloe House! (Small world, no?) She then graciously offered one of her woven labors of love, a diamond weave nutmeg-brown Alpaca throw, for me to raffle off for my fundraiser.
I am so honored to offer you a chance to win Cathy’s lovely handiwork! Here’s how the raffle will go:
Each $10 contribution made through my GoFundMe website between now and Wednesday October 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm will result in one raffle ticket with your name on it. You will receive a confirmation email from me that I have received your contribution and have put your name in the hat one time for every $10 donated. I’ll be doing this the old fashioned way – with a hat! – and will post a video of me selecting the winner after the raffle has closed.
The one winner will be chosen at random and will receive the luxurious nutmeg brown 4 1/2′ x 6′ Alpaca throw that comes with a wonderful story behind it and a hopeful story in front of it!
Many thanks to Cathy Hagan and her big generous heart. Good luck in the raffle! Enter by donating here.