Issue 35 Independence (digital only)

£9.95 GBP

July/August 2010

Please note this issue is only available digitally

I’m currently planning an extended trip to the USA this summer. We are hiring a 1959 Airstream Tradewind to visit the Grand Canyon and then on across the country fromseatoshiningsea.

I’m looking forward to meeting lots of our subscribers at the Handweavers Guild of America’s convergence in Alberquerque (18-25 July). I know there will plenty to inspire me, not only at the convention centre, but also in nearby Santa Fe. I hope to visit all the galleries we featured back in issue 12 (pg 36). Technology permitting I plan to send a video postcard or two from my travels but in the meantime we have put together an issue that hopefully captures the spirit and atmosphere of an American road trip.

I won’t be able to cover quite as much ground in person as we have on paper. Our imaginary journey begins in the purple mountains of Maine, spend the night in the Marston House and buy a few antiques, before setting out to visit the Brahms Mount weaving mill. Heading south through Massachusetts we’d stop off at the Nantucket Basket Museum. No trip would be complete without a stop over in New York, where we would drop in on Cristina Gitti at matta and Sveta Dressa at her store Pip Squeak, as well as the studio of Wovenplay.

Further south we immerse ourselves in gracious Southern charm, eat fried shrimps, and watch artisans making sweetgrass baskets in the shade of oaks dripping with Spanish moss at Magnolia Plantation on the Ashley river. It’s the place to pause and remember the slaves who picked the cotton that supplied the Lancashire cotton mills, through the Industrial Revolution and beyond – perhaps sewing the seeds of the special relationship between the UK and the USA.

The New Orleans home of chair caner Mary Cooper, represents the heart of America – inspirational rather than merely aspirational and steadfast in the face of disaster. In the Lone Star State we visit Magnolia Pearl, and admire the lavish style of Robin Brown, a lady whose love of texture knows no bounds. Finally in the redwood forests of Northern California we meet up with Erica Tanov, whose sophisticated designs encapsulate a peaceful hippy vibe in an entirely contemporary way. It would be with bursting bags, and a happy heart, that we would end our fantasy trip. But after working on this issue it is with genuine admiration that we praise the integrity, ingenuity and independence of the modern pioneers of American style.

Polly Leonard, Founder

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