Alice is the epitome of a fiber enthusiast. She simply loves string in every form and every color…and she’s studied ways to use it all over the world. Alice will be the A in R this year with her looms. She’s a professional weaver, a competent spinner and a natural colorist. She believes that anyone can learn anything and in her classes be ready to take your inner child by the hand because Alice encourages you to explore, play and relax. This year in addition to demonstrating throughout the weekend, Alice will be teaching Beginning 4 Harness Weaving on Thursday and Warping without Fear on Friday…during the rest of the weekend she’ll be demonstrating weaving on a variety of looms and answer questions in the Artist in Residence tent.
She took time out from schedule her busy summer schedule and told us:
1. If forced to choose, would you be an eraser or a permanent magic marker? Permanent Magic Marker! Everyone needs a little magic in their lives.
2. Do you live with any animals? Jasmine Moon (Jazzy) is our sweet baby. She’s our 10 month old, yellow Lab and only pet right now but at one point the house was filled with animals! I started my small flock of Columbia sheep with orphan lambs, living in a playpen in the kitchen and bottle feeding them every 2 hours until they were old enough to live outside. Soon after “Chocolate” an Alpine goat joined the tribe, (my son was allergic to cow’s milk) we also had several angora bunnies, dogs, cats, lizards and very smelly hermit crabs.
3. What do you listen to while you create?
Our local Radio Station WKZE keeps me company while I work. They have wonderful live DJ’s and live “Parlor Sessions” with area musicians and folks traveling through the Hudson Valley. Check them out online! http://www.wkze.com/
I also listen to NPR, and favorite CD’s Indigo Girls, Bonnie Raitt, Dar Williams and Tracy Grammer/Dave Carter.
4. Why do you (knit, quilt, spin, carve, design…)? What is your purpose? I have to. I don’t know what else to do.
5. How does, or should, the word “passion” relate to an artist? Without passion there is no art.Passion moves the artist to expression, passion lures and pushes the artist to reach into hidden places to discover gems of creativity. Passion dispels fear and mediocrity.
6. Looking back, knowing what you know now, is there anything that you would do differently? I would have spent much less time getting involved in other people’s DRAMA and more time dancing to my own creative tune.
7. 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? I’ve been teaching Children for the past 20 years. Now I’m too tired to keep bucking the establishment of public education so I want to share my passion with folks who want to learn what I have to teach. I don’t really want to be famous, I’ll settle for “well known”. I have a book or two I need to write and would love to be creating, and invited to teach in wonderfully far flung places on the planet.
8. If you could give advice to anyone aspiring to work with fibers, what would it be? Jump in, don’t hesitate! Learn from many, many teachers then mix it up and make it your own. Practice good craftsmanship but don’t expect to be “perfect”, striving for perfection can keep you from your Joy. Celebrate the wonderful friendships you accumulate along with your “Stash” of fiber. Don’t feel guilty about unfinished projects, you’ll either get back to it one day and finish it, or it was a “Learning Process” and let it go!
9. When it’s time to “tap” your creativity…where do you go to get the juices flowing? I go for a walk, do some gardening, take a bike ride, or spend the day sailing with Nick to shake out the cobwebs and get re-focused.
10 How many projects do you generally have going at one time? Usually 3 or 4, something on each loom, a knitting project and plans for the sewing machine when it comes home from San Francisco. They each take different kinds and amounts of time, energy, set-up etc. I have the Baby Wolf loom in the kitchen now so I can weave at odd moments like waiting for water to boil for coffee in the morning.