My heart is breaking. My mentor and friend, Randall Darwall passed away this Friday, January 13th. Randy, hand-weaver extraordinaire, teacher and craft world advocate. He was, to the core, a genuinely kind and good man.
For over 30 years he has graciously and generously guided me through my career in the craft show world.
In the mid-80’s, in a workshop he was teaching, he encouraged me to enter and exhibit at a thing I didn’t know about, craft shows. I am ever grateful for his advice. There after, he’d always stop by my booth to say hi, drop words of wisdom, encourage, advise and joke around. One time, he came by to borrow a needle and thread to make a little repair. I grabbed a friend and insisted they take pictures. Randy dutifully trying to finish his project, me laughing.
I was over the moon when he suggested we collaborate. He handed me an armload of his hand-woven scarves and wished me well. Step one, I had to get over my reticence of cutting into them! After that hurdle, I was off. It was an amazing opportunity to use his beautiful fabrics in my jackets, coats and tops.
He and his life long partner, Brian Murphy, were the perfect pair. Brian funny, joking and teasing, Randy playing the straight man. Below, with Heidi Austreng, administrator of the Smithsonian and Craft2Wear shows.
They worked hard and relentlessly, but always with humor and delight.
He was a prince among men.
Randy, I can’t even begin to say how much I will miss you.