Jackie Ottino Graf…colors with twigs and leaves and flowers and such

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.

Indigo Skeins

 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.

One thought on “Jackie Ottino Graf…colors with twigs and leaves and flowers and such

  1. Pingback: Fiber College – Two More Days! — MaryJaneMucklestone

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