Everyone has a special place they hold dear to their heart. Somewhere they feel grounded, relaxed and inspired; a place to escape reality.
Meet Lynne Roldao.
Lynne is a glass and fiber artist who has been coming to Arrowmont since the 1970s. She first visited Arrowmont in the summer of 1973 with her grandmother, member of the Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for women. Lynne’s grandmother was a good friend of Marian Heard, Arrowmont’s first director, and insisted on taking Lynne to Gatlinburg.
Lynne had just finished her bachelors degree at Scripps College in Claremont, California. She was interested in weaving in college, but focused on other studies. Lynne wished to pursue art in graduate school, but needed more studio courses to apply and Arrowmont was the answer. After her first visit to Arrowmont, Lynne stayed an entire summer taking a variety of workshops in woodworking, metals, printmaking, quilting, weaving, spinning and dyeing. She registered as a graduate student at University of Tennessee to receive credits for the classes taken at Arrowmont.
In the summer of 1990, Lynne ventured into glass for the first time. She took a workshop with Jude Schlotzhauer and became fascinated with the medium. She stated, “I was in love, this was it for me.”
After returning home, Lynne took a glass fusing class at the Parks and Recreation center in Oakland, California. One of Lynne’s good friends, Janet Hiebert, accompanied her in the class. Lynne continued to pursue glass as a hobby and worked as a general contractor for 20 years.
Now retired, Lynne works in textiles and glass depending on the season. In summer, she works in her garage studio fusing glass. Lynne said, “Glass gets cranky when its cold, so summers are the perfect time of year.” In winter, she stays warm inside sewing and quilting. Lynne said, “ I like the juxtaposition of the hardness and heat of glass to the softness and cuddliness of textiles.”
Lynne visits Arrowmont every other year spending two weeks in Gatlinburg. She takes a one-week workshop at Arrowmont and uses the other week to explore the town with her two friends, Frances Fox and Mary Louise Hunt. Frances and Mary are working artists and long-time friends of Arrowmont living in Gatlinburg.
This September, Lynne made her 11th trip to Arrowmont with Janet by her side. They took a glass workshop, “The Upper Crust: Magnificent Surfaces and Compelling Layers for Kiln Formed glass,” with instructor Kari Minnick.
“I always feel like I’m coming home when I enter the National Park on 411. This is the place for me.”