In a time of technology, fast food, and instant gratification, sometimes traditional craftsmanship is overlooked and underappreciated. If you’re one of those people who value the meticulous labor that goes into handmade crafts, then you are certain to enjoy a local establishment in Staunton, Virginia—Appalachian Piecework: Weaver of Textiles and Wood.
“Woven for function and form,” every item at Appalachian Piecework is handmade by owner Laurie Gundersen, who describes herself as a “utilitarian folk artist.” Since the 1980s, she has been dyeing, quilting, weaving, spinning, basket-making, and managing her textile studio, first in West Virginia and then in Staunton, Virginia.
Gundersen’s crafts are especially unique because of their origins in scraps and rags, the “leftover” bits, if you will. Instead of tossing the scraps aside, Gundersen uses every bit of them, piecing them alongside each other in a unified display of art.
Appalchian Piecework features “accessories and home furnishings in a variety of styles, from shibori dyed scarves to hickory bark cuffs, handwoven pillows, runners and custom made articles,” as well as vintage quilts. (Gundersen restores, displays, and sells these stunning quilts, which date all the way back to the 1800s.) The shop is located at The Train Station, a part of one of Staunton’s historic districts, at 38 Middlebrooke Avenue, and she invites anyone interested to come and visit her wares.
If you’re staying at the Iris Inn, we definitely recommend making a trip to Staunton and visiting this uniquely beautiful demonstration of craftsmanship!