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47 amazing classes and the best demonstration schedule we’ve ever had…classes are now open for registration! Won’t you join us at the beach and celebrate your wooly passions!
New for 2013…Gary, Bill and David will be hosting a spinning wheel clinic on Saturday and Sunday…broken part? question? spare parts? Bring your wheel and for a fair fee these wonderful men will try and cure what ails it!
Happy New Year Everyone! Emma’s been holding down the fort while Astrig’s been playing in Southern Spain and Morocco…but we’re all settled back in and we’ve just launched the call for instructors. If you’d like a copy of the application just go to http://www.regonline.com/fibercollegeteacher2013 If you’re headed to SPA in Freeport on February 3rd, join us at the Champagne party…we’ll be looking for you!
We’ve never done it before! We have a few opening for classes that have been paid for but a couple of attendees have had life get in their way…so we want to make lemonade out of lemons. Write a comment to the blog and tell us about your fiber passion and the classes you’d take if money is no object…on Wednesday we’ll contact you if we can give you a free class…and our fingers are crossed for everyone! Please spread the word to every fiber enthusiast that you know we’d love for everyone to attend.
We’re lucky to have Jackie living on the coast of Maine. She came by way of Western Massachusetts and is raising her family of three young children in the next town over from Searsport. Jackie understands dyeing with natural colors as a professional…she ought to, she’s the head of the color division of Swan’s Island Blankets (where hand woven, naturally dyed twin blankets sell for $600 ). When she’s spinning for fun her skeins are filled with color, texture and laughter…next year maybe she’ll teach us that too.
When I was 16 I thought about getting a Phish tattoo….and we’ll just leave it at that. Maybe I did, maybe I didn’t.
My favorite time of day is when I am lucky enough to be the first one up, drinking coffee on my porch with my spinning wheel. I also enjoy winter evenings when no one has to go anywhere and my family is home together.
Proudest career moment… I have been introduced as one of the most preeminent natural dyers in the country. I don’t know if this is true, but maybe it is….I love coaxing color out of nature. But before I became a full time fiber devotee, I was heavily involved in homebirth midwifery, which is the best thing in the world. The first baby I caught was born in a tub in a yurt on a late summer night, and was the baby of a dear longtime friend. Doesn’t get much better than that.
The song/book/movie that changed my life… So many books….I really can’t choose.
Guiltiest pleasure… I love Easter candy. That gleaming aisle in Rite Aid full of Jelly Beans…..
My favorite item of clothing… I received as a gift this past Christmas a hand knit hat from a beautiful old friend….my first knitted gift ever.
I still get nervous when… There are airplanes involved. I hate to fly.
My daily practice is spinning….I wish I could say I did tons of yoga of something.
The art tool I couldn’t live without… I couldn’t live without my drum carder.
Words I live by… Beware of all enterprises that require a new set of clothes. ~Henry David Thoreau
What makes me happy… Kids in Nature, Unlocking the potential of a raw greasy fleece, Coffee, Executing a perfect 300 gallon indigo vat, Eating good food that I didn’t have to cook, Spinning, Cello music, Being at Births.
The lesson that I keep learning (because I live with 3 kids) is that it doesn’t matter if my house is clean. I can create, cook, teach, listen, make music, be present and joyful or…….clean. no brainer.
You can never have too many… Fleeces. I’ve already bought 30 this season.
Favorite spot on the planet… I don’t know yet! So far it’s right at home.
Whole living means… slow food, honest textiles, local economies, nature, healthy babies.
Jackie’s going to be teaching a full day class on Thursday and an Indigo dye class on Friday.
We all know that artists have the ability to push the world into better directions. Crochet is an art that is coming back into vogue (did you see the great crocheted shawl designing classes offered this year at FC? But any way, I digress.
I couldn’t have written this post better myself…so with all due credit to a yet to be known friend in the marine biology field, I’d like to send you to her blog…click here: http://thepickledhedgehog.com/2012/07/17/crocheting-to-change-the-planet/
Now that you know about project, you should become familiar with Daina Taimina’s book and lectures on hyperbolic crochet. We’re excited to have her with us this fall…teaching and conversing with artists, mathematicians and those who fall in the middle of the spectrum.
The Campground has been so busy that although tons of things have been happening for Fiber College, we’ve only been able to post snippets on the Facebook page…if you haven’t already “liked” us please do and you’ll feel more in the loop…FB is like sending a text to friends and we seem to do it more often…besides, you’ll get notices every time we post an instructor interview (more about this later in the letter)
Just the other day Sharon Fischer dropped in to say hi…she’s been working on a host of embroidery projects and looks terrific. Life was crazy that day and we didn’t have a lot of time to chat so we’ve made tentative plans to have lunch in a few weeks when she heads back to her Bayside cottage from her Boston home.
Emma’s been up with Tom Cote carving all week with campers who are promising to come back to Fiber College this fall. We’ve also been talking about devoting the last week of June to wood workers of all sorts next year. Sitting around a table with fish & chips and cold beer the other day, we all agreed that a wood working spin-off (ha-ha) of Fiber College is logical and the time as come to bring the next chapter of our passions to life…we’ll work out the details later and I’ll have information by the beginning of the year. So far we’ve made connections with wood carvers, wood turners and maybe an iron forge to make tools for wood workers (maybe a wool worker too?)
In the meantime, class registrations for Fiber College are strong and spread across the board. The excitement has been contagious and we look every morning to see new names and familiar names on the student roster. I’m often asked which classes are the most popular. This year Cindy Kilgore’s shawl pins and Amy Felske’s soft sculpture classes were the front-runners for “must have” closely followed by Jackie Ottino Graf’s Natural Dyeing classes and anything associated with Katherine Cobey. The biggest surprise has been the lack of interest in crochet and quilting…any idea why? Is there someplace we should be spreading the word about these fantastic classes.
Had you heard about the two walking wheels that Gary Kitchen and Bill Forbes generously offered to build for us? One is to be kept here at the art studio to go with the Rio Grande floor loom (generously donated by Susy Perrine) and the other will go home with a Fiber College student (the one who wins the raffle). The first arrived the other day in Gary’s car. So far I’ve spun three spindles and I’m a total convert…I love spinning standing up and the long draw feels like magic.
If you’ve followed us in years’ past, you know that we ask each instructor to answer a series of interview questions so that we get to know him or her better…their art, their interests, their background and their smiles.
We’ve sent out a dozen questions and asked for pictures to illustrate the postings…starting tomorrow we’ll share their responses.
In the meantime, have a wonderful weekend…and thanks for all of the supportive comments we’ve been receiving…they mean more than you’ll ever know.
Don’t you just love taking a trip mid-week? We left Tuesday afternoon to speak at Pecha Kucha about the Campground and Fiber College thanks to an invitation from Five River Arts in Brunswick. One of our stops on our meandering ride home was the Maine Fiber Arts Gallery to see the “The Art of the Needle,” needlepoint tapestries by Maine artist Jill Vendituoli. The texture and the color blending that Jill achieves is incredibly inspirational. If you have the opportunity to see the show while it’s in Topsham, please make it a point to stop…the exhibit runs until April 28th. If you’d like to see more about our jaunt including great stops for non-fiber folks, check out our campground blog
Last week we all met at Emma’s and argued strongly for the classes we thought you’d love. It was a fantastic jury committee because everyone involved had a wide variety of fiber experiences…and we all had opinions of which class would be best.
It’s so much fun to be in a room with passionate people and generous people and this year’s class roster is proof that more chefs bring more creativity to the table. As I prepare to send out the thank you and the sorry letters, we thought you might like to see the slide show that we made our decisions from…which are your favorite pictures?
If you’re curious about the jury process, follow this link to last year’s posting that explains the entire procedure.