How wonderful to know someone who has found a way to incorporate her beloved fiber arts into her everyday life! Gabi Montoya-Eyerman is a fiber artist who keeps finding new ways to contribute faithfully to the fiber community. You’re sure to run into her annually at area fiber events throughout Maine.
Gabi has been spinning for seven years and won Best in Show at the Maine Fiber Frolic Skein Competition. She has her own tiny flock and three angora bunnies. When she’s not spinning, she’s busy as the Volunteer and Demo Coordinator for Maine Fiber Frolic and is Co-Coordinator of Fleece Tent at Common Ground Fair. On Sunday, September 10th, Gabi will teach One Fleece – Four Yarns from 9 AM to 1 PM. Whether you’re fairly new to spinning or have been spinning for a while, this is a class you won’t want to miss. Let’s meet Gabi and then you can sign up for her class here.
Fiber College chooses a new theme each year. For 2017, it’s Re-Use, Re-Design, Re-Create. How do you incorporate any part of this theme into an important part of your life?
Well, like many people, I recycle. Sometimes a project gets frogged and made into something new! I also like to change patterns and never have done the same thing twice when knitting.
I have a love for fabric too and love to use fabric in various projects; it seems to connect them together. I also have bags of jean scraps and sweater scraps for various sewing and felting projects; it’s part of the creative process. It’s playing and sometimes the projects don’t turn out exactly as we planned, but that’s O.K., too.
Aside from your class, what is your favorite thing about FC? What do you think new attendees just shouldn’t miss?
I love the whole campground and the beach. Don’t forget to enjoy the beautiful place around you while you spin, sew, and create.
What’s the best piece of advice a mentor has ever given to you?
The best advice I am trying to learn (and I’m not perfect at it yet) is to make sure to incorporate joy into my creative practice. Sometimes it’s hard, like when my sewing machine just jammed up or I can’t find the size knitting needles I need or I just had to rip back a few rows. I need to just breathe and remember, I’m doing this because I love it!
If you could re-design your life as a fiber artist, what would that look like?
I would be able to do it full time and travel the world teaching people that natural fibers are the best.
What or who has had the greatest impact on your work as an artist?
Nature and the beauty of the state we live in—an easy place for inspiration. The colors that nature gives us are an infinite source.
How does your art recreate YOU? What does that feel like?
My fiber arts are something that is now just a part of my daily life, I can’t imagine not doing what I do. It has helped me to heal sometimes and relax most of the time. It’s part of what keeps me happy and centered. I love it.
If you could go back in time, what might you change about your fiber journey?
I tell people all the time that I would have started doing all of this sooner. I greatly admire and envy those people who learned from their mother’s teaching. I have been knitting for a long time but spinning yarn, my true obsession, I only started seven wonderful years ago.
What’s the most important thing that you want potential students to know about you?
I’m passionate about getting as many people as possible making beautiful things with their hands. I’m convinced it will be a part of saving the world. 🙂
Hope you’ve enjoyed meeting Gabi! She’s someone you will definitely enjoy learning from–her gentleness and encouragement are heartwarming. You can go sign up for Gabi’s class One Fleece–Four Yarns here.