Natural Born Subversive
This article examines the life and craft practices of dyer Dede Styles. Styles's knowledge of place, advocacy for her community, and deep life of care add important context to the history of environmental defense and struggles in the Swannanoa region of Appalachia. This article is the result of a series of oral history interviews conducted in 2020-21 and is an effort to represent Styles in her own words and in the context of scholarship on the complex history of crafts in the region. A member of the Southern Highland Craft Guild like her grandmother, Styles demonstrates and sells through the guild, continuing the complex and dynamic tradition of hybridized and ever-evolving regional craft in Appalachia. A lifelong resident of Lytle Cove, Styles is also a fierce advocate for her community and bioregion, and this article demonstrates how her craft practice is both a vehicle for and expression of that relationship and advocacy.