HCC Fiber Student Awarded National Scholarship
Haywood Community College Professional Crafts Fiber student Rebecca Porche is the recipient of the Handweavers Guild of America’s Dendel Scholarship for 2012. According to the Fall 2012 issue of Shuttle Spindle & Dyepot, this 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.
While Porche already has a Bachelor’s degree in Interior Design and has studied at Penland School of Crafts and Arrowmont School of Art and Craft, she says fiber is the perfect fit for her for a satisfying career.
“I chose to come to HCC because the program is very focused in the craft as well as being business oriented,” she explains. “It is important for me to be able to make a living doing this. I heard great things about the program at HCC and about people succeeding in their fields after graduation.”
Porche says she is very pleased with the opportunities the HCC Fiber program offers. From participating in the graduate exhibit and gaining experience marketing and selling pieces, to the relationship the school has with the Southern Highlands Craft Guild, it is truly a complete education.
“This program is versatile. You can make utilitarian pieces such as scarves or show pieces. There are lots of possibilities,” Porche explains. “As a student having full access to looms and the dye room opens up new opportunities.”
After graduation in May, Porche plans to establish a business selling scarves, naturally dyed handbags, and showpieces in Western North Carolina.
Porche says her connection to fiber is nostalgic. “There is life where the fiber came from whether it is plant or animal. Weaving allows you to be a part of an old process. And it is magical to see a piece come together before your eyes.”
As the only student from HCC to ever win this scholarship, HCC Fiber instructor Amy Putansu is proud of Porche. “Just applying for this scholarship takes a fair amount of work. And this is above and beyond the intensive work this program requires. It really is a testament to her level of motivation.”