"...For over 30 years, Akira Blount has been a pioneer and leader in the community of artists working in the tradition of cloth doll-making. Her first works were designed as toys for her small children, but she soon recognized that the form of the doll was an empty canvas of creative potential. The toys yielded to what was to become a lifelong pursuit of the possibilities within the expression of the human form.
Over the years Akira’s work has received many awards and been collected worldwide. Her works may be found in the Musée des Artes Décoratif, a part of the Louvre in Paris, and the Sekiguchi Doll Garden in Japan, the Tennessee State Museum, Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, Georgia and more. In 1993 her work was included in the White House Collection of American Craft, which has traveled to numerous museums around the United States.
In 1990, Larry Blount and Akira formed a partnership to expand the palette with Larry’s woodworking skills. The couple makes their home on 80 acres in east Tennessee where the environment heavily influences their work together. Most of the materials are gathered from their farm and the surrounding environs where you may see them walking daily, pulled by their pack of Papillion dogs and gathering materials along the way.
Akira graduated from University of Wisconsin, Madison with a degree in Art Education. Her work in cloth is self-taught. She has taught private classes around the United States and England and is on the regular faculty of John C. Campbell folk School and Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.
Larry was trained in architectural woodwork in Dayton, Ohio and Chicago, Illinois. Since moving to Tennessee, he has studied various forms of country furniture and woodturning through workshops at Country Workshops, John C. Campbell and Arrowmont Schools of Crafts..."