Update 2017 We’ve moved. We now reside in Devon, Alberta. I am getting around to posting about our cross country trip on my blog. I invite you to check in there from time to time.
Welcome to my journey.
As a child I was always good with my hands. I eventually studied commercial art at the Canadian Art Academy in Montreal, QC, but commercial art was not my path.
I loved to draw, knit and crochet. At the age of 10 I visited Upper Canada village (an 1866 post civil war village). I was fascinated by the spinning wheels and the ladies spinning wool into yarn in the McDiarmid House. Secretly I wished to be involved in what they were doing. Who knew the dream would come true and that one day I would work in McDiarmid. Spinning, dyeing and weaving many years later. In my world only the ladies at UCV knew how to spin. I had never seen anyone else spin in modern day life. It wasn’t until I was an adult that a master spinner course was offered in Ottawa at Algonquin College. The next 3 years of my life was dedicated to beautiful fibre of all types, not just wool. My world changed. I could lose myself in meditation at the spinning wheel. I spun everything from silk, ramie, flax, almost all the rare breeds of sheep, dog hair, and milkweed fluff to pill bottle cotton (when I ran out of the nicer things to spin). But then what do you do with all the yarn? It was all too much to knit by hand. This is when weaving entered my life.
I studied with a Master Weaver through St. Lawrence College. I learned how to warp a loom and plan a project. Now I was dangerous! There was no stopping me. Weaving used up lots of yarn and quickly too. For many years I used up my hand-spun in combination with commercial yarns. I was finally reaching the end of my stash. I made wool and kid mohair shawls scarves, rugs, bags, blankets and throws. The craft show circuit was my venue for sales.
Now I am in love with cotton. I have made thousands of dish towels now and still haven’t exhausted colour combinations or textures. I have also collected may looms over the years. 7 functional looms that live in my converted studio and 2 Quebec looms that need some parts made for them. I currently have dish towels on one loom, the other loom projects are place mats, a lace table cloth, a coverlet, and scarves. I do very little commission work any more. My journey has taught me that I prefer to create on my own time schedule and sell a finished product rather that try to visualize someone else’s dream.