HCC Fiber Student Awarded National Scholarship
For the second year in a row, a Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber student is the recipient of the Handweavers Guild of America’s Dendel Scholarship. Deanna Lynch is the recipient of this competitive scholarship with only one recipient awarded per year. Lynch was considered for the award along with students from four-year colleges with textiles and fiber arts programs.
The scholarship was established in 1995 through a gift from Gerald and the late Esther Dendel to support students in the study of handweaving and related fiber arts at an accredited institute in the United States or Canada.
Lynch came to HCC’s Professional Crafts Fiber program with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She still works part-time in bookkeeping and does custom drapery on the side. When she lost her job as a bookkeeper for an attorney, she decided the time was right to come to school to learn what she intended to study right out of high school.
But everything works out for a reason. “Studying fiber was not practical until I found this school,” Lynch says. “Any other school did not offer the technical education like HCC. Learning the business aspect is a way to help students be successful in the field. This program touches on things more specific and in a refined way so students learn things such as marketing concepts. You learn the first steps to take to reach smaller goals in order to reach bigger goals.”
“I am very proud of Deanna,” explains Amy Putansu, HCC Professional Crafts Fiber instructor. “She just learned to weave one year ago and has taken to it with an amazing natural ability. Deanna has a strong work ethic and particular design sensibility-these all are combining to create success for her. I am also grateful to the Handweaver’s Guild of America for this generous opportunity each year to honor and support outstanding young weavers.”
Lynch was introduced to weaving as a small child through her grandfather. “He was always so busy with his hands. He was intensely creative. I would have loved to share my experiences in fiber with him.”
Like her grandfather, Lynch likes to be busy with her hands. “I have never liked just sitting at a desk,” Lynch explains. “I like the idea of making something useful. Making my own fabric really appeals to me.”
Lynch is treasurer of HCC’s Haywood Studios, a student club that involves students with the installation, organization, and publicity of exhibits. “It is a good experience to work together as a club. It’s a safe environment where students don’t have as much to lose going into a show with others. The whole program is a great learning environment where a wide range of students of different age groups share information and learn from each other.”
After finishing the program at HCC, Lynch plans to continue bookkeeping while transitioning into weaving full-time. She lives near Asheville. She has two children and a big vegetable garden that keeps her busy. She also helps her husband with his greenhouse.
“Winning this scholarship is a really validating experience,” Lynch says. “It confirms things I was questioning, like can I really do this? Now I am ready to contribute to the heritage and tradition of weaving. I want to help people appreciate that handmade goods are quality goods.”
For more information about HCC’s Professional Crafts Fiber program, please call 627-4672.