Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Fiber Arts Skill Share

Date and Time: Saturday, May 16th, 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Cost: $20 per person for the whole day
Space is limited! Please register by Wednesday, May 13th.

The Institute for Sustainable Living, Art, and Natural Design (ISLAND) and the Martha Wagbo Farm and Education Center are teaming up to bring you this exciting fiber arts field day! If you enjoy working with wool, if you've ever thought about raising your own sheep for wool, or if you’re just curious about how wool is taken off the sheep and transformed into textiles, then this event is for you. Experienced instructors will take you through the process from raw wool to finished product. Four approximately one-hour workshops/ demos will teach shearing; skirting, cleaning, and carding the wool; natural and chemical dyeing techniques; spinning yarn on a drop spindle; and felting. One price covers all workshops as well as snacks and refreshments. Everyone will go home with their own hand-made yarn and felted piece!

1:00 pm
Shearing, Skirting, and Cleaning: So you have the sheep... now how do you get the wool off of her? Zack Shaltz of Shaltz Farm will demonstrate how to accomplish that using both hand shears and electrical shears. The tags and vegetable matter will then be pulled off, and skirting will be demonstrated. We will also talk about different ways to clean the fleece once it's taken off.

2:10 pm
Dyeing Wool: Wagbo intern Maria Wesserle will show you how to take washed, undyed wool and transform it into a colorful work of art! She will demonstrate natural dyeing with madder root, and acid dyeing using food coloring. (Don't worry--the 'acid' mentioned here is only vinegar!) Learn everything you need to know to dye your own fiber at home. Also, carding will be demonstrated during this workshop, and we will have a couple hand carders available for folks to try out.

3:20 pm and 4:30 pm
Spinning Wool and Felting: At this point we will split into two groups to make teaching more manageable for the instructors. One group will start out with spinning at 3:20, the other will start felting, and then the groups will switch at 4:30 so that everyone gets a turn! The participants will get hands-on in these two workshops and go home with their own hand-made yarn and felted piece! Michelle Ferrarese will be teaching the felting workshop, in which students will choose from colorful merino roving to create their own felted article. Yarn, wool, and textile scraps will also be available to work into the piece. Maria Wesserle will teach spinning. Everyone will receive 2 ounces of wool to make their own yarn on a drop spindle. Spindles are often considered a 'primitive' device, but they have gained popularity due to their simple design, portable nature, and ability to create fantastic yarn in a surprisingly timely manner.

The event will be held at the Martha Wagbo Farm and Education Center, 5745 North M-66—at the intersection with Kidder Rd. just three miles south of East Jordan! For more information or to register, please go to http://www.artmeetsearth.org/fiber; email brad@artmeetsearth.org; or call ISLAND at 231-480-4515. You can contact Wagbo at 231-536-0333 or wagbo@torchlake.com.

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