“The Weaving Room is a spiritual place,” says Crossnore weaver Lisa Banner. “The minute I walked in, I could feel a spirit of calmness and content.” Like many weavers before her, Lisa continues a tradition that has been passed down for generations in the river-rock building on the edge of the Crossnore School campus. Since 1996, Lisa has been an employee of the Crossnore Weaving Room, learning to weave the many patterns and items that continue to be produced on the treadle-operated looms.
Lisa grew up in Banner Elk in Avery County, and she used to join her sister-in-law Renee Banner as a volunteer when Renee was an employee of the Crossnore Weaving Room. When Renee decided to leave the position, Lisa became an official employee. “I just love it,” Lisa says. “It’s like an addiction.” Lisa learned to weave from spending time with her sister-in-law and the other Crossnore Weavers, particularly Shirley Gragg and Virginia Coffey. “They’re wonderful women,” Lisa says. “They have been guiding people in my life.”
Lisa weaves most of the patterns and items produced in the Weaving Room, including the traditional patterns in Bronson lace table runners, baby blankets, and her favorite item, Lee’s Surrender rugs. She also makes wall hangings, place mats, scarves, and napkins. Lisa especially enjoys the ongoing challenge of working with the old looms. “You never know everything,” she says. “It’s a continuous learning process.”
Lisa works regularly at the Crossnore Weaving Room, and visitors are welcome to stop by to see the gallery and observe the weavers at work. Lisa and the other Crossnore Weavers also serve as mentors for volunteers and student weavers from the Crossnore School. She hopes to be a part of the Weaving Room for many years to come. “Once you feel the special spirit of the Weaving Room, you can never leave,” she says.
Lisa Banner welcomes visitors to the Crossnore Weaving Room and Gallery to view and purchase items from the gallery and observe the weavers at work.