Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber student Nada Jones was awarded a Teaching Assistant Scholarship by the Southeast Fiber Forum Association. Jones will assist textile maker Diane Totten at the bi-annual Southeast Fiber Forum Conference at Arrowmont Craft School in Tennessee for a weekend workshop. She is one of ten recipients of this scholarship.

According to its website, The Southeast Fiber Forum Association, Inc. was established to foster cooperation among individuals and organized groups in the Fiber Arts in the Southeast region and to encourage creativity and excellence of craftsmanship in the Fiber Arts.

The scholarship is offered to promote further knowledge of the textile arts, including, but not limited to, those relating to handspinning, dyeing and weaving. The scholarship includes a Fiber Forum membership for the recipient.

“This is an awesome opportunity for Nada,” explains Amy Putansu, HCC Professional Crafts Fiber instructor. “This is the ultimate networking opportunity. To assist a professional in this field and build a relationship with her is great. It’s like going to weaving camp.”

Jones was born in New Orleans and has lived in Asheville for two years. She spent several years homesteading in rural Tennessee where she learned to knit and spin. She started working on art show events and began traveling with these events which led her to Asheville.

“Clothing is one of the basic needs,” Jones explains. “I want to learn the old traditions like spinning before the knowledge is lost.”

Jones spent a year on a waiting list before being admitted to HCC’s Fiber program. “When I came for an interview at HCC to be admitted into the program, all my concerns were alleviated. I knew for sure that this was where I needed to be.”

On her farm in Swannanoa, Jones raises sheep. She plans to take the wool from beginning to end, to spin and dye it herself. “I want to make useful products and learn to run my own business. I want to sell raw and finished goods to other people.”

Jones is very excited about her upcoming experience at the fiber forum. “This is an intensive workshop that I would not get to do if I had not received this scholarship. There is always such an energy of gathering a lot of fiber people in one place.”

Jones, her husband, and eight year-old son live on their farm, Firelight Farm. She looks forward to her last year at HCC to learn more about marketing and more creative projects. “I have found that the design aspect of this program is really liberating. It opens you up to becoming an artist.”