Sunday, September 8, 2013

Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival: Show That Handspun!

I learn so much from my students.

This weekend I spent a day teaching at the Wisconsin Sheep & Wool Festival, east of Madison at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds. This was the first time most of these students had ever tried tapestry and as the common thread among us seemed to be sheep,

I had them create a handspun landscape.

There was a bit of hand wringing by a few, but once they left their plans behind and let their materials show them the way, some amazing things began to happen. The group was asked to bring bits and pieces of handspun, roving and commercially spun yarn. I asked them to look and imagine their landscape.

Armed with very basic weaving tools and technique the land began to emerge; sand dunes, water, forests and sunrises. An intended tree trunk turned into night sky and a campfire appeared when a neighbor's fleece was borrowed.

Design driven by process.

Next time, flaunt your handspun if you've got it. If not, make friends with someone who spins.

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