I met Josette when I stumbled into her booth at the Common Ground Fair. Her spinning batts where piled high in rich colors with sparkly streaks…different from any others at the fair. At the time I wasn’t a spinner but felting was an all consuming passion so before long my back pack was filled with fluffy clouds that I kept fondling like a ___ (you choose the word, I know you’ve all done it too).
Apparently I’m the only one who didn’t know about Josette…she’s farm-witch on Ravelry and her Group Enchanted Knoll Farm has over 300 talkative members…impressive! Her blog is another great spot to peek into the mind of a creative soul.
Josette will be teaching two classes at Fiber College this year: Going Batty on Saturday from 2-5 and Spinning Wild~ Making Unique Novelty Yarns on Sunday from 11:30-3:30
Recently she wrote:
1. The unauthorized biography of your life is titled: The Life and Crazy Times of a Fartist (Farmer+Artist=Fartist)
2. If forced to choose, would you be an eraser or a permanent magic marker? Definitely an eraser – I have based the security and confidence upon which I’ve allowed myself to try nearly anything on the belief that mistakes are, at worst, lessons – at best, the newest great idea. Starting over is an essential life skill.
3. Do you live with any animals? I think I live with mostly animals – ha ha! I share my home with three kids growing too quickly, a huscreature, two dogs and two cats. But, I share my life with sheep – Cotswolds, Merinos, Corriedales, and the stuff that happens when they combine – wool heaven!
4. What are you currently reading? The Mummies of Urumchi by Elizabeth Wayland Barber
5. What is the most surprising response to your art you have ever received? One summer at a fiber show, I had my Queen Mermaid batts out on the shelf. This is a special colorway for me and I like to talk about it – A LOT. So, while talking to a woman who wanted to spin it, I mentioned to her and her husband that there were over 13 shades of color in the batt. He pulled it out of her hand, ripped it open, and started pulling little plugs of color out and piling them on the table. We counted 14, actually, and he held the rest of the batt up with tears in his eyes and said, ‘this is art’. It was a most awesome day!
6. How do you know when your work is done? When I find myself bored with it. Art is a ‘work’ that requires a unique bond with your work…..for me, that means it has to have captured me heart and soul – otherwise it just feels like production.
7. What do you listen to while you create? Anything and Everything. Though, I find bluegrass music to be a challenge when spinning but it sure gets the bobbins full quickly. A good, juicy audio book is great when I’m spinning a jillion yards of lace yarn. And I love to put on something ambient when I’m just spinning for the surprise ending and not trying to achieve a certain type of yarn.
8. Why do you (knit, quilt, spin, carve, design…)? I always joke that spinning keeps me out of jail. Behind the joking, though, is the acknowledgement that becoming a spinner was an important choice in my life that I couldn’t have appreciated for its end impact at the time. What it has taught me as an artist, a human being, and a mother is phenomenal. Patience, calm in the midst of a storm, confidence, compassion, and, above all – love and joy…..very important tools to have in the tool kit for life. What is your purpose? To make smiles and warm hearts.
10. How does, or should, the word “passion” relate to an artist? Passion is the water that is essential for life as an artist, non?
11. Looking back, knowing what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently? This is dangerous territory so…..shhhhh!
12. A lot of artists want to be famous, and some just want to make a living doing what they love. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? Still following my bliss….and recovering some of the parts of it I’ve let go like writing, painting, and traveling.
13. If you could give advice to anyone aspiring to work with fibers, what would it be? Love what you do….do what you love.
14. When it’s time to “tap” your creativity…where do you go to get the juices flowing? A walk in the woods, a swim in the pool, a game with the kids – creativity for me is born of excitement – be that fun times or being enveloped in Nature’s beauty.
15. How many projects do you generally have going at one time? Too many to admit here!