Donated photo. Haywood Community College recently wrapped up an exhibition to celebrate graduates in the Professional Crafts Fiber program from the last decade. Originally envisioned as an in-person show, A Decade in Fiber quickly transitioned into a digital format in response to the pandemic. Part of the exhibition wasTriggerfish yardage (pictured) by Hannah Mitsu Shimabukuro.

Haywood Community College recently wrapped up an exhibition to celebrate graduates in the Professional Crafts Fiber program from the last decade. Originally envisioned as an in-person show, A Decade in Fiber quickly transitioned into a digital format in response to the pandemic. Celebrating graduates from 2009 through 2019, the show brought together the work spanning most of instructor Amy Putansu's time at the College.

In an article Putansu wrote for “Textile Society of America,” she describes the technical breadth of the work. "Most notable is the range of textile techniques, as well as the mix of functional fabrics, wall art pieces and structural installation," she explains. "Objects in this show combine handwovens with resist-dyeing, stitching, quilting, and garment construction. The students never cease to amaze me in their depth, their integrity, and devotion to the craft."

Helen Cadogen, a 2014 graduate from Trinidad, entered a narrative, figurative work into the exhibition. La Blanchisseuse is a sketch created through stitched shibori of a woman in media res; she is a laundress beating the washing on a rock. Since finishing HCC, Cadogan's focus has been to develop contemporary fiber arts in the Caribbean.

Becky Juliette Duex came to HCC from Baltimore, Maryland, and graduated in 2019. Her installation in the exhibition, R.D. 1 Box 389, is a tribute to her grandparents—both of which were craftsmen in their own right. Duex feels she owes her pathway as a maker to her quilting grandmother and woodworking/coal mining grandfather. In this installation, she translated a crocheted blanket by her grandmother into handwoven, hand-dyed and quilted form. The coveralls are ice-dyed to evoke charcoal, dust and hard work, an original pattern stitched with handwoven twill fabric.

Distinguished Professor Emerita Susan Brandeis from NC State College of Design calls the professionalism in the show superb. "The quality of what is done in the classroom and the students' comprehension and skill level are so evident in this broadly varied work."

Brandeis praises Putansu for her instruction. "You clearly embrace each student where they are and take them as far as they are able to go. I congratulate you on this fine exhibition and your decade of commitment and accomplishment at Haywood."

To view the digital catalog of the work, please visit https://issuu.com/aputansu/docs/hcc_pro_crafts_fiber_program.

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.

Registration for spring semester is now open. For more information about registration, visit haywood.edu or email hcc-advising@haywood.edu.