We had so much fun at the Folk Center talking to such interesting people about their crafts and how they did them in the pioneer days and now. Along with the shops we talked about the last couple days, we also visited the Leather Shop, Cooper, and Quilter.
We spoke to Doris Panicci about her experience working with leather. She has been doing it for 55 years and three of those years have been at the Folk Center. When she was 16, she did rodeo acts and trick riding. She learned leather work from the people there. When she was back in school, people would talk to her about wanting leather belts and such, but back then, it was difficult to get ahold of the people she had worked with. So, she decided to start doing it herself for the people that asked.
She does a lot of original work and does her own drawings. Sometimes she will mix original drawings with old patterns to make unique pieces. She will use drawings or pictures that she hasn’t drawn as long as they are not copywritten.
After she has the pattern that she will use, she places it over the leather and does a rough draft with one of her tools. She will then go back over it with other tools to make the distinct shapes and patterns that she wants to achieve. Any tool has multiple uses to get the look that she wants.
She also showed us how she uses two needles to hand-stitch the leather together for wallets, money clips, etc.
Thank you, Doris, for talking to us about your craft!
We met Steve Folkers at the Cooper Shop. He was a hoot to talk to. So many stories. He started with cutting trees in 1975, moved onto spoons and bowls in 1985, and finally coopering buckets in 2000. Spoons are his favorite to make.
He shared with us that prior to the 1900’s people would spend their evenings whittling their own spoons. After that, buying your spoons from someone else who made them became more common.
He uses red cedar staves with white oak hoops to make barrels and butter churns.
As we walked into the Quilter’s Shop, we spotted Nancy Snyder working on a beautiful quilt top.
She was an 8th grade teacher (english lit major in college. We hit it off right away), and she retired right before coming to work at the Folk Center three years ago. Her mother didn’t teach her how to quilt, but in her 20’s, she paid someone $40 to teach her how.
As we wandered the shop, Nancy shared with us that long ago a girl couldn’t get married until she had completed her 12th quilt top. The 12th one was her bridal quilt for her wedding night. All of her girl friends and women family members would get together to help her with it. She would receive wisdom and encouragement from the ladies in her life in all those hours working together.