The Transylvania Times -

DAR Presents Women In The Arts Recognition Award


Last updated 6/8/2020 at 4:04pm

Barbara Miller sits at a loom with two of her beautiful weavings in the background.

Wearing masks made by Waightstill Avery Daughters of the American Revolution chapter members, Regent Dayna Pollett and Corresponding Secretary and Chair of the American Heritage Committee Nancy Davis made a visit to the home of Barbara Miller. The purpose of the visit was to present her the DAR Women in the Arts Recognition Award. Miller is the very first recipient to receive this award from the Waightstill Avery Chapter.

The Women in the Arts Recognition Award, a national DAR award comprised of a certificate and lapel pin, is given by the American Heritage Committee. The award is designed to recognize and honor worthy women at the community level for outstanding achievements in the non-performance arts which includes Miller's specialty fiber arts design.

As a native of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, Miller has made the preservation of her heritage the major portion of her work. She has produced creative and commissioned pieces since 1975 using weaving drafts, techniques and methods of the 17th and 18th centuries. She weaves a range of different articles, including placemats, towels, table runners, blankets, and wall hangings on looms that vary in complexity and size. Wall hangings created by Miller hang in the Unitarian Universalist church in Brevard.

One of Miller's historical interests is the weaving heritage of Southern Appalachia, and she has co-authored two books on weaving with Deborah Schillo: Frances L. Goodrich's "Brown Book of Weaving Drafts" and Frances K. Goodrich's "Coverlet and Counterpane Drafts." In 2002 Miller and Marjorie Warren were instrumental in creating "Tracing Our Threads: The Kilbarchan Weaving Project," an exhibit of handwoven textiles wrought from more than 100-year-old Scottish weaving patterns and designs. Miller is currently working on publishing a new book.

Schillo, a former librarian/archivist for the Southern Highland Craft Guild, writes, "With me as the archivist and Barbara as the weaver, we were able to translate weaving notations from the 1700s to the 1930s into a format that today's weavers can use to continue the traditions of Appalachian craft.

"When our first book was published, Barbara and I attended a book-signing for a group of about 60 fiber artists. As part of the introduction, the moderator asked who in the audience had been affected by Ms. Miller's teaching. Nearly every person in the room stood, and we applauded each other for having had such a good teacher!"

An active member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild since 1966, Miller became a life member in 1988. She served as Board of Trustees President. She has been a member of the Hand Weavers Guild of America and has been a consultant for the Smoky Mountains Arts Association. She is currently a member of the Transylvania County Handcrafters Guild and also exhibits at Number 7 Art Gallery in Brevard.

Miller has been a teacher at John C. Campbell Folk Art School in Brasstown, N.C., at Arrowmont School of Crafts, at River Farm, and at Blue Ridge Community College. She has demonstrated her weaving at the Cradle of Forestry Heritage Site in Pisgah National Forest and at Calloway Gardens in Georgia.

Pam Howard, the resident weaver of the John C. Campbell Folk School, said, "She (Barbara) is a wealth of knowledge on the Appalachian weavers', weave structures, coverlets and history of the region. Barbara has taught and demonstrated all over this country and in Europe. She has co-authored several books on her study of Scottish Tweeds. Her influence on myself and others is great."

Miller is a skilled weaver, educator, author, historian, and friend. A service organization, the DAR is dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and supporting education. The Waightstill Avery Chapter is honored to present her the national DAR Women in the Arts Recognition Award.

For more information, access the DAR national website at or call Marty Wainwright, registrar, at (828) 884-5798.)

(The Waightstill Avery Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution was established in 1921.

Membership in DAR is open to any woman age 18 years or older who can prove her direct lineal descent from a person who furthered the cause of American Independence during the years 1776-1783. )


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