Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Summer Fiber Retreat 2012

Twice a year I head to the artsy town of Asheville to teach fiber art at a retreat hosted by the Friends & Fiberworks yarn shop at Biltmore Square Mall. I always feel like I'm going on a vacation instead of working, we have such a great time networking with other fiber-lovers! It's getting to be like family as we see lots of folks coming back every year to learn more skills and have fun in the mountains too. There are lots of class choices, knittting, crochet, spinning, weaving, drum-carding, and of course my fave felting! This year I taught classes in nuno-felting, where we start with a hand-dyed silk chiffon scarf and add wool fibers and other goodies to make a one-of-a-kind wearable art scarf; dimensional wet-felted wooly flower brooches; and my needle-felt cloak with a majestic swirling tree needle-felted onto the back of a wool coat, jacket, cape or wrap.

We have our classes in some of the shops that are in between renters, and I am so blessed as to have a room for my classes the entire weekend! This year though, my room happened to be in a former Spencer's shop. Now, I don't know if you're familiar with Spencer's, but they have lots of neat stuff, black lights and such, but not a lot of lighting, and that enhances their look. However, not great for creative uses! So I was able to move my actual classes out into the center of the mall right underneath the skylights, it was wonderful! We had so much space and lots of natural light, and also got to visit with folks walking around the mall, too. One of the neatest things were the trees; they have real small trees growing in the middle of the mall, and at Christmas, they decorate them with lights. So there are electrical outlets near the trees. When we had our needle-felt cloak class, we set up my felting machine near one of these outlets...first time I've ever had a class needle-felting under a tree! All my students made such amazing felted art, and I am so proud of each and every one, I know they're enjoying showing off their treasured work!

And Saturday night worked out to be Girls' Night Out! Here I am at a restaurant across the street from the retreat hangin' out with (l-r) my awesome roomie Suzanne ( who is a fabulous felter and dyer), Lisa the owner of Friends & Fiberworks, Pat who makes beautiful hats, earrings, scarves and you name it she does it, me of course, Kim a creative soul who has a passion for our feathered friends, and Angie who teaches and also raises alpacas. I always look forward to seeing my friends at these gatherings, and to making new ones too.

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