Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber student Miranda Heidler recently received a full scholarship to the Traditional Appalachian Culture Bearer Program at John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, N.C. Through this opportunity, Heidler completed a workshop in traditional overshot weaving.

The Culture Bearer Classes are designed to connect highly skilled Appalachian craft instructors with present-day students of all skill levels. Instruction includes historical and cultural relevance, in addition to helping students understand, recognize, and practice traditional Appalachian skills and techniques.

According to HCC Professional Crafts Fiber instructor Amy Putansu, opportunities such as these for students create connections that serve them long after graduation. “Studying with other teachers, especially with skills beyond what we specialize in at HCC, is an excellent opportunity for our students to broaden their experience. Meeting students from all over the country is also beneficial for networking and relationship building.”

Heidler moved to the area from Ohio and heard about HCC’s Professional Crafts programs by the strong reputation the school has in the craft community. Heidler teaches primitive loom weaving at Primitive Skills Gatherings. These gatherings are an exchange of knowledge pertaining to pioneering, survival, native and traditional skills.  

“I look forward to benefiting from the networking potential that comes with the connection to HCC’s Professional Crafts programs,” Heidler explains. “I am hopeful that it will open more doors for me as I do what I love-weaving.”

HCC’s Professional Crafts programs offer an innovative, affordable, groundbreaking craft education. Through a unique blend of studio experience, classroom education and hands-on business experience, students can achieve the skills necessary to become viable independent studio artists or to become valuable, skilled employees in the expanding craft industry.

For more information about HCC’s Professional Crafts Fiber program, please visit creativearts.haywood.edu, call 828-565-4672 or email aputansu@haywood.edu.