Berry Handicrafts Network
Connecting over one hundred years of alumni & staff for the purpose of maintaining the art and presence of weaving & handicrafts on the Berry College campus.
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See our photos on Shutterfly | Viking Creations
The Handicrafts Network provides former student workers and staff from the Berry handicrafts department a way to reconnect with each other as well as the college. This group strives to identify and find former students and staff of Berry's Sunshine Shanty, Sunshine Cottage, the Weaving Room, Handicrafts, or any other Berry weaving student work opportunity. The Handicrafts Network will primarily provide handicrafts alumni with a campus identity and a method to receive handicrafts communications. Joining the Network does not obligate members to anything other than receiving communications. Add your name and class year by emailing
Left to Right: Louise Mulinix, Handicrafts supervisor 1965 until 1986, Allison Chambers, alumni weaver and mentor, Ruth Hale, assistant supervisor 1938 until 1942, enjoying the 100 years of weaving reunion.
How We Got Started: Sunshine Room
The Sunshine Room weaving group was started by Joy Padgett Johnson (73C), Louise Mulinix (40H, FFS), and Mary Ellen Evans (63C). Jennifer LeCroy (93C), former handicrafts supervisor, also contributed her expertise. Joy and Louise got the first looms up and running in 2005, and Mary Ellen joined the team in
2006. (Together they make sure all the supplies are where they need to be and that all Sunshine Room operations run smoothly. The Sunshine Room group is a work crew that meets every year during Alumni Work Week.
Handicrafts at Berry
Weaving has played a significant role in Berry's history. It was one of the original crafts taught at the school, and remains one of the oldest occupational traditions on campus. During Martha Berry's days, weaving served four fundamental purposes: it generated income through the sale of utilitarian products, it provided an opportunity for creative expression, it served as a link to the Appalachian craft tradition, and it provided a perfect metaphor for worthwhile work.
In 2003, economic conditions and other factors brought about the closing of Handicrafts. Since 2004 alumni volunteering their time and resources has not only maintained a weaving presence on campus but helped restore the student work opportunity. Over a ten year period 75 alumni contributed 3250 volunteer
hours along with weaving studio equipment and supplies and money needed to restore the studio. Network members continue serving as volunteers and providing support for the Berry College student weavers.
In 2011 in partnership with the Berry Alumni Association the first Alumni Reunion to celebrate 100 years of weaving at Berry during 2011 Mountain Day was held. Forty guest attended and it was possible to honor five former Handicrafts supervisors, three from the very early history of weaving at Berry.
JOIN OVER 120 ALUMNI AND FRIENDS WHO HAVE ALREADY JOINED THE HANDICRAFTS NETWORK.
So proud of the new studio. Couldn't resist a picture of the
alumni and student crew after a full work day in 2012.
Are you a former Berry Schools weaver? Want to be kept informed? Want to be involved? Let us hear from you. Join us an activity of your choosing.
ANNOUNCEMENTS, EVENTS & SERVICES
PHOTO WEB SITE: As a visitor to our Berry Alumni Web Site we invite you to visit our Berry Handicrafts Alumni Network Shutterfly Site. It provides us a way to share pictures and communication as our network grows. We hope this photo album brings you home to Berry, so you can share our fun. To enter the site: Go to this link:
Enter this password: handicrafts (Use lower case and be careful don't leave off the "s")
Alumni Faye Junkins Mary Ellen Evans and Suzanne Anderson all weaving on 80 year old Berry College colonial balance beam looms that they wove on as students. (2013)
NEWSLETTER: The newsletter is emailed and/or mailed three times per year. Email Joy Johnson ‘73C
JohnsonJoyP@aol.com to add your name to the mailing list.
HANDICRAFTS NETWORK LIST: If we can add your name and class information to our
Network Members List. This list of former Handicrafts employees will be a great way track our history and let your former classmates know you still support weaving and handicrafts at Berry. If you do not want your name and class year on the list simply email
ANNUAL ALUMNI WORK WEEK: May 2017 - The Handicrafts Room is open again as alumni of all ages gather to weave and make hand work products that are then sold at Mountain Day and other events to support alumni association projects. Join us in the “Sunshine Room”. Come for a day or a week and you will be hooked. It is the most fun you will ever have working.
Click here for the Alumni Work Week page.
BERRY WEAVING on FACEBOOK: You are going to LIKE this! Thanks to Suzanne Bellamy Anderson ’72 we have a Facebook page. Log on to browse our photo albums, LIKE our page and of course comment.
Click here to see our Facebook Page.
STUDENT ENTERPRISE SUPPORT:
“Viking Creations” the Berry Student Enterprise dedicated to weaving. Network members serving as mentors encourage you to consider the beautiful work being done as gifts for any special occasion. Today’s Berry College weavers continue the tradition of “worthwhile work well done”. Alumni also have the
opportunity to work with students during Alumni Work Week each spring when students and alumni join forces in the Sunshine Room studio located in the Hoge Building. The Berry Advancement Office can also help you
make a contributionthat supports work equipment and supplies in a Viking Creations Gift Fund or helps endow a student weaving work position if you prefer.
For more information about the Handicrafts Network, please contact one of the officers listed below.