Balsams Grand Resort Hotel - Where Felting Happens

Post date: Sep 07, 2010 10:53:35 PM

This summer, Balsams Grand Resort Hotel invited various New England Artists to Dixville Notch, NH in order to enrich the experience of their guests as well for the artists themselves to enjoy staying at their exquisite location. I was fortunate enough to be one of the invited artists this year.

The hotel is rich in history. Opening shortly after the Civil War as the Dix House, it originally provided rustic and charming hospitality to travelers on the old Coös Trail. Over time, the hotel naturally evolved into a family-style resort. The hotel is now highly regarded for its tradition of culinary artistry, and has an air of elegance. A comfortable wraparound porch and the 8000-acre property provide a relaxing atmosphere that lends itself to adventures throughout your stay. The hotel is recognised by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as one the America's treasured historic hotel and has only had six owners since 1866. While I was there, I had great imaginings that this must have been a place that Mark Twain would have loved. I don't know if he ever made it to the Balsams, but it seemed like he belonged on a rocking chair, smoking his pipe on the veranda and looking out over the grounds with a mischevious twinkle in his eye.

Throughout my stay, I was able to explore some of the wonders that the Resort had to offer - and if you follow my blog, you already know that one of my true loves is hiking. The location of the hotel is fantastic and the notch is amazingly beauitful. Complete with lake, mountain and meadow trails, it seemed there were endless things to explore.

While I was not tramping around in the woods, listening to beautiful live music, or gorging myself on lobster, pheasant, and tortes, I spent much of my time in the main lobby of the hotel. Here I enjoyed another true love - felting and talking to people! Everyday, I was able to give two felting demonstrations and a workshop. I love sharing my craft with other people and I love to see the excitement of other people who fall in love with making their own felt. One young woman in particular blew my socks off - Hailey. During one of my workshops I introduced her to my favorite method of picture making with wool and she just took off. Truly a budding artist - I hope she continues to explore felt making. Below, she is holding her first piece ever, a beautiful fall tree with amazing detail. Her work just bursts with color!

And what was I working on when I wasn't sharing the tricks of the trade? Mostly I worked on pieces that were inspired by the New Hampshire that I have come to love so much. Flowers, leaves, birds, trees. I am grateful to be part of this beautiful world.