• A Living Community of Artists and Craftsmen
    Amana Colonies

    A Living Community of Artists and Craftsmen

    By: The Amana Team | Nov 4, 2015
    Visitors to Amana often speak of having had a certain picture of Iowa in their minds: a flat, uniform landscape with endless rows of corn. But when they arrive, they are surprised to find rolling hills with luxurious textures that have inspired vibrant landscapes and portraits by Grant Wood and other artists. Above is a landscape by local resident, Gordon Kellenberger, an accomplished painter and founder of the Amana Arts Guild. As a community, Amana works hard to keep its fine arts and handcrafts alive. Currently, the Amana Arts Guild recruits and assists blacksmiths, coppersmiths,...
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  • Fitting First Recreation Found Hiding in Plain Site
    Furniture & Clock Shop

    Fitting First Recreation Found Hiding in Plain Site

    By: The Amana Team | Nov 4, 2015
    One afternoon, during a hunt for "treasure" in one of the lesser-used mill buildings, a group of employees unearthed a curious stepstool. Like many historical items that never had a chance to be archived, its individual history is lost and the only clue to its use is that it was found in a former machine shop. But, the beauty of its simple design was not lost. One textile designer adopted it and uses it every day at her design table, feeling that the single seat and step provide her with the perfect body position for a long day scrutinizing and designing weave patterns. As the...
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  • Beautiful Design Captured from Our Everyday Lives
    Woolen Mill

    Beautiful Design Captured from Our Everyday Lives

    By: The Amana Team | Nov 4, 2015
    When Amana's textile designers recently contemplated new blanket designs, they became inspired by the 160-year history of hand-loomed rugs that is meticulously preserved in the Colony's vast historical archives. Many residents continue to use hand looms to create rugs following the same techniques used by previous generations, so it was possible to study the designs first-hand. "Looking at those rugs led us to many a great design break-through," said one designer. The new blankets carry forward the familiar slub effect of the hand-woven rugs where sections of the weft threads appear...
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