Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Handspun Landscape at The Porkies

     If you want to get close to nature and be hypnotized by Lake Superior, take a trip to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. I guarantee you will have a completely unique experience.

     The Porcupine Mountains are located in the western part of the Peninsula east of Duluth, Minnesota. My daughter remarked I was getting into "Fargo Territory". Trees and water are plentiful in this landscape and the area also boasts several waterfalls, hiking and camping.

     I had the opportunity to teach 12 eager participants at the Porcupine Mountain Folk School located in a cozy log cabin in the Park and run by Friends of the Porkies. We came together to spend a day creating a tapestry of a landscape of their choice. Although a few participants had specific designs in mind, I encouraged students to create and adjust their landscape as we wove.

     I offered yarns with a variety of textures along with handspun roving and locks of wool.

     This style of free form, design-as-you-go tapestry weaving is full of serendipity. Students wrapped warps to create flowers, inserted locks of fleece and bits of yarn to show waves. Many of the places evoked our Lake Superior surroundings and there were discussions of the sunset the night before and the color of the water that morning.

     All in one day! When asked, "When is my landscape done?", I replied, "At four o'clock". Pieces were cut off the loom and celebrated, participants left wanting more.

     Could it be a few more tapestry weavers have begun to grow?