Artisans United Gallery and Shop
4022 Hummer Road
Annandale, VA 22003
Monday - Saturday 10 am to 4 pm
(Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)
The photographs above are a very small sampling of Designer Baby Accessories by Peggy Taves. Peggy's work and that of other artisans can be seen and purchased at the Artisans United Gallery in Annandale.
Meet the Artisan:
The journey of my creative expressions began in the tropics of beautiful rural Guyana where I was raised. Surrounded by the abundance of flora and fauna, varieties of beads growing on trees and clay from the many rivers; my imagination would go wild about what to do with the things I could see, reach and touch. When indoors, my Mom who was the village seamstress taught me to make dolls and their clothing from left-over fabrics and she taught me to do hand-embroidery and smocking, to crochet, to weave and to make lovely paper flowers, as well. I totally enjoyed the opportunity to create gift items with the variety of my ‘country-girl’ skills I could share and bring some added happiness to people around me and also enabled me to save money.
In the midst of this, I took the opportunity to attend Teachers’ Training College where I majored in ‘The Principles and Methods of Teaching’ and the topic of my thesis was ‘The Benefits of Creativity in the Classroom’. After graduation I was assigned to a Pilot School for Vocational Studies where I was responsible for teaching Crafts with the use of local, sustainable materials only.
A few years later, I moved to Barbados and taught at an all-boys Catholic High School. Fine Crafts was then added to the school’s curriculum and those who opted to take the classes created wonderful, hand-built/free-form items of clay and fabulous 3D wall pictures of textiles and yarn with my guidance.
I volunteered on some afternoons after school to show women and girls how to utilize the island’s indigenous materials to weave mats and baskets as well as make native dolls—to be sold to tourists.
I managed two consecutive summer workshops organized by students of the Wharton MBA program. As part of this endeavor, the Christmas ornaments, I designed, were then made by persons with mixed developmental, social and health challenges. The ornaments were brought to the US, to be packaged and sold at Neiman Marcus; the proceeds from the sales was sent back to the school to help with the relevant needed services.
At the end of my 8-year stint in Barbados, I came to work in the US, on developmental projects at an International Organization (the OAS). I taught marketable skills to underprivileged women whom I organized in small groups and encouraged to draw anything they liked in their communities. Most of them were very shy in the beginning and didn’t want to show their drawings. I didn’t want to alter what they had expressed, so I named it “Folk Art” instead and the women seemed to find some comfort in that. Their drawings were transferred to fabric and they were taught how to decorate their drawings with simple embroidery stitches using brightly colored yarns. Selling the finished items (cushions and wall-pictures, etc.) were taken care of by the international organization I worked for. The women were very happy meeting with one another and working together in creative efforts, as they expanded their skills, confidence and developed new partnership/relationships. These were joyous moments for me as well!
Then arrived the time I felt the need to work for my-self and I joined the floral business network here in the Washington, DC area. I knew very little about operating a business or even putting together a floral arrangement but I loved the beauty of flowers and felt confident that with some added work I could make my ideas in design, become a reality. I found my previous adventures in the creative arts world proved to be rewarding assets in this new venture. I worked very hard, learned fast from lots of trials and errors and enjoyed the outcomes of the challenges. The years flew by and I’ve spent 21 years designing floral displays to decorate homes, offices, hotel-lobbies, weddings, anniversaries, funerals, memorial services and other special events. For me there is nothing more beautiful than the variety of flowers found in nature. They’ve inspired me to make some using different mediums which has been equally rewarding and enjoyable.
My work can be viewed and purchased at the Artisans United Gallery here in Annandale.
The Craft Gallery of Artisans United is a cooperative endeavor, staffed and run by the independent members of Artisans United, Inc. as well as those individuals belonging to the member Guilds. On a daily basis, visitors will find the Gallery artisans happy to explain crafting techniques and to share their knowledge of where craft materials may be obtained. And, too, visitors will often discover impromptu demos in progress as the artists complete their creations. We are always looking for new craftspeople to join our organization. If you are interested in joining us as a member artist, please ask at the front desk for a membership packet which explains what is expected of you as a member of Artisans United.
If you are looking for gifts, please visit the Gallery where you will find an exceptional range of items appropriate for baby, wedding, mother’s day, father’s day, graduation and housewarmings.
THE CRAFT GALLERY OF ARTISANS UNITED
4022 Hummer Road
Annandale, VA 22003
703.941.0202 . www.augallery.org
Monday through Saturday 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
Reproduction of this article or photographs requires the written permission of the author and The ENDEAVOR News Magazine. Photographs are courtesy of the author with all right of use reserved. (Copyright © 2012 Annandale Chamber of Commerce. All rights reserved. (Photographs & images, on this page, and on this website, are not available for use by other publications, blogs, individuals, websites, or social media sites.)