Beyond the holidays it can be rather difficult to find the time to visit our loved ones. Once children leave the nest to start their own careers and families, carving out quality time together only gets harder.
And yet, it’s important to do so.
Meet Susan Stewart and her daughter Annie Pennington.
Annie is a metalsmith that has exhibited both nationally and internationally and is the associate editor of Art Jewelry magazine. Susan has had an extensive career in fiber arts which includes 15 years as primary designer for Sew Beautiful magazine, teaching various workshops, and multiple publications including Easy Elegance on the technique of heirloom sewing and patterns.
Susan and Annie are no strangers to our studios and chose to return to Arrowmont this past July to spend their summer vacation time together. The duo had previously taken enameling and glass-fusing together and Susan’s son David joined them for a woodworking class in 2007.
Susan let Annie choose the workshop this time around and Annie chose Jerry Kermode’s The Art of Non-Violent Woodturning.
“We try to take classes where we’re both at a similar skill level so that we can experience the fun of doing something new and different together.” – Annie
“I’m so happy that she wants to spend her limited vacation time with me! We both have always like to make things and we both respect and appreciate the other’s talents and accomplishments. It’s so much fun to come together as adults and equals, just to relax and be together.”
So, how was your woodturning experience?
Susan: I had fun, but will probably never do woodturning again. But for me, the reason to be there was not to learn a technique for future use, but to have a great time and create a memory with Annie.
Annie: I was already a bit smitten with woodturning. I had done a little bit of turning back in college, and recently took a pen-turning class at a local shop in Milwaukee which really got me hooked. I was mostly interested in the class as a way to expand upon my minimal turning skills and bring that knowledge back to my studio and see how it may be incorporated into my jewelry.
Will you be returning any time soon?
Susan: I would definitely return to Arrowmont. It is a lovely place to spend time learning new crafts. But for us, it has even more significance. I mentioned that I attended twice with my son, and one of those times was with both Annie and David. David died two-and-a-half years ago, so those memories of having good times at Arrowmont with both of my children are especially sweet.
Annie: As my mom revealed, my younger brother, David, died two years ago. The furniture making class the three of us took together years ago was the last family vacation we took, and we each made a table. David was the only one to complete his and after he died, that table was one of the few things in his apartment that was still in pristine condition. Now, I have his table in my living room and am constantly reminded of the good times we had at Arrowmont that year. More than anything, it’s a reminder of him when he was happy, and I’m so happy to see it and use it every day.
Thank you Susan and Annie for choosing to spend your quality time at Arrowmont. We hope to see you again soon.
To see more of Annie and Susan’s artwork visit their websites at:
Thank you for reading.