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The Patchwork Underground
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Alyssa Sacora had plenty of experience creating craft. She even made a quilt for her senior thesis. But it wasn’t until 2015, when she put her hands in wet pulp in a workshop at Penland School of Craft, that she said “Oh, this is my medium!” Since then, Alyssa’s work primarily starts with plants as raw materials, from which she makes paper, books, naturally dyed cloth, and woven vessels. She and her husband moved to their Fairview home in 2009. They now call their home, studio, and land The Patchwork Underground. The Patchwork Underground is home to many cultivated garden spaces that include art plants (materials for dyeing, weaving, and paper making), medicinal herbs, and fruit and vegetable crops. Local flora, fauna and insects are encouraged, allowing the native plants to grow throughout the season, thus enriching biodiversity and maintaining habitat.

Alyssa tries to spend as much time as possible amongst the plants that she collaborates with. She also teaches classes in the outdoors, under the shade of what she calls the “Tree of Transformation,” a mesmerizing box elder. Workshop themes include papermaking, bookbinding, basketry and natural dyeing.

Visitors are welcome to see Alyssa’s current inventory of finished work for purchase, visit the growing spaces, learn about the crafts she makes, and take a private workshop (if scheduled in advance). At any given time, visitors will witness pieces in progress. Plants may be fermenting for fiber extraction, flowers drying for future dye baths, books being glued or sewn. Work for sale may include plant-based paper, journals with naturally dyed fabric covers, paper quilts (wall pieces made of repurposed wood and pulp, paying homage to the line of quilters Alyssa is a descendant of), and woven vessels made from grasses, leaves and other readily available fibers.

Open by appointment

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