I made it down a couple of dusty roads over the weekend to visit a few artists’ studios for the 2nd annual Floyd Artisan Trail Tour this weekend. At Gibby Waitzkin’s Sarvisberry Studio & Gallery there was Villa Appalccia wine to sip and a cheese and cracker spread to nibble on.
Gibby is a papermaker and photographer who embeds photographs and botanicals into handcrafted paper that she makes out of plant pulp. Her studio is elegant and eco-friendly and her new work for an upcoming show called Colossal is larger than life.
I was especially taken by a wedding book that Gibby made for a family member’s upcoming wedding. Bound in lace and decorated with bits of poems and photographed momentums given to her by the bride-to-be, it was spread out like an open accordion and reminded me of the cardboard houses my sisters and I used to make for our paper dolls when we were kids.
It was Sunday afternoon and Gibby had a steady flow of tour-goers. There was a bookmaker from Blacksburg who took the tour in part to meet Gibby. I asked her is she knew Annie Fain Liden, a bookmaker from Asheville who has made some expandable leather books for my son Asheville Potter son Josh who does collage journaling. I was surprised to learn she not only knew of Liden but had taken a course from her in Floyd at the Jacksonville Center.
At one point the Blacksburg bookmaker’s friend asked me my name and when I told her, her face lit up with recognition. It turned out that I had written a story about her and her husband’s business, GreenWoods for Natural Awakenings magazine.
On the way out, I ran into a couple from Union Hall, Virginia and struck up a conversation. They were doing the tour after picking up a brochure during the spring 16 Hands Studio Tour. “Oh, that’s why you look familiar! You probably came to my house because my son is one of the 16 Hands potters and my house is on the tour,” I said. They agreed they had been to my house.
It’s a small world down a country where neighbors and visitors wave as they pass.
Post notes: Read a story I wrote about Gibby (pictured above on the right) for All About Her in 2010 HERE. A blog post on last year’s tour stop at Gibby’s is HERE. Locals can look for more photos of the Floyd Artisan Tour and other local artists in The Floyd Press this week.