We had the pleasure of meeting Gar Wang and husband Ron Gee at a dinner party in the home of Agnes Devereaux of the Village Tea Room in New Palz. I was intrigued by the felted one-piece top worn by Gar, not only because it was so uniquely beautiful, but also because she had made it herself from sheep's wool which she stretched. She explained a little about the process and how it requires starting from an enormously long piece of wool and using her entire body to felt it and stretch it into shape. The next day I realized that I very much wanted to have one of Gar's tops, not just because it was so beautiful but because it represented a near lost art and was created by someone who struck me as very special and whom I wanted to know better. I corresponded with Gar who invited us to come to their home and look at her entire hand-felted collection. We were delighted to be invited for lunch. On arrival at their spectacular rural setting, Ron explained to us how they converted an 1800's barn into a beautiful home and enormous studio, leaving some of the original beams. From the dining room table, there was a view of a lake and the distant mountains. Seated around the dining room table, we enjoyed an extraordinary lunch, prepared with produce from their own garden.
As a house gift, we brought a "Rose MixerMate Bowl" which makes it possible to whip cream by hand with a whisk in record speed. This prevents over-beating which happens so easily with an electric mixer. We also made "The Renée Fleming Golden Chiffon" from The Baking Bible. I brought my special 'samurai' cake knife--a gift from Suvir Saran and Charlie Burd--with which to cut the cake to make it extra ceremonial. After lunch, while I tried on many felted garments with Gar, Ron gave Woody a tour of the farm and then did some T'ai Chi push hands together. I couldn't resist purchasing two felt tops which turned out to be four as they are reversible! As a departure gift, Gar gave us some of her rare hickory nuts collected from their own trees and laborious shelled, cracked, and picked. And Ron brought us two precious duck eggs, and a greeting card for each us, which he had created, inspired by their practice of Qigong and T'ai Chi.