About May Artist-of-the-Month, Ann Hord-Heatherly, in her own words:
I am a life-long lover of textiles. I learned to sew on my grandmother’s treadle machine when I was about six years old. She would stand by nervously, just sure I was going to sew through my finger. (So far, thankfully, I haven’t.) I sewed for myself, then later for my children. When my children outgrew my sewing skills, I became interested in art quilting and appliqué. About twenty years ago I discovered art dolls, and I have been hooked ever since. I have had opportunities to learn from some highly accomplished doll artists... Akita Blount, Dede Triplett, Lisa Lichtenfels, Charlie Patricolo, Barbara Willis, Leslie Keeble, and Deborah Pope to name a few. I belong to Go Figure, a figurative art guild, where we are always learning from each other.
My studio is in the basement of the farmhouse I share with my wife and a menagerie of animals including cats, dogs, goats, and chickens. We live on what was her family farm in in the Jupiter township of North Buncombe County. We spent most of our adult lives in Charlotte, but had dreams of moving to the mountains and renovating the old house. That turned out to be the creative endeavor of a lifetime, but we love being here and having the opportunity to bring the farm back to life.
We introduced goats to the property in 2014, shortly after we moved here full time. That is when I became involved with Local Cloth. I have always been interested in fiber and textiles, so raising my own animals and producing my own fiber was irresistible. I learned quickly that farming is best accomplished with a community of supportive friends. While I have learned a great deal from reading, that can’t take the place of an experienced friend when you need advice or help with medicating an uncooperative goat.
I admit to having more ideas than time and energy. There are several dolls in various stages of completion in my studio. My loom is warped and the heddles are threaded, but I still need to sley the reed. I have a sweater mostly knitted and pair of socks that only lack one toe. I have eleven raw fleeces waiting to be skirted and washed, and the garden still needs to be readied for spring planting. But the materials I ordered to try out block printing came this weekend, so there’s that. I’ll need to live to be 130 to finish what I’ve started, but my favorite project is always the next one. I’ve loved the variety of classes I’ve taken through Local Cloth and the people I’ve met along the way. I feel fortunate to live in an area with such a rich heritage and vibrant creative community.