This fall I've started production on a documentary (with the help of photographer Joe Boris) about a woman who was way ahead of her time in many respects, especially as a homesteading entrepreneur. Mary Crovatt Hambidge, born in Brunswick, Ga., in 1885, went to New York to become a performing artist in her 20s and became part of a close-knit artists' circle in the 1920s led by art theorist and illustrator Jay Hambidge (whose name she took). In the 1930s and '40s she gained a national reputation as a designer/weaver/entrepreneur responsible for the Weavers of Rabun (Rabun County, Georgia) and Rabun Studios (New York). Towards the end of her life, she was a tireless proponent of a back-to-nature utopian artist community in the north Georgia mountains that would follow the principles of ancient Greece and dynamic symmetry. After her death in 1973, an artist residency program was born from her vision--and her 600 acres--that is now the excellent Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences.
During our last visit to Hambidge, we were fortunate to meet a contemporary weaver, Jessica Green, who's running her own weaving operation outside of Asheville. While doing a fellowship at Hambidge, Jessica put Mary's old loom back to work. It's amazing when things fall into place like that.
Check back for more details as things unfold.