Thursday, June 2, 2016

Thank You, St. Jacobs!

The unique atmosphere created by exhibiting in a former silo.
What an amazing time I had last week at the Quilt and Fibre Art Festival Waterloo Region and Beyond! As an artist, I spend a lot of time alone in my studio, which is actually pretty great. But I also love to venture out into the world to meet fellow fibre enthusiasts and share ideas. There were masses of inspiring people at the festival this year and I had so many touching, educational conversations that I came home both happily exhausted and charged up to jump back into creating.

My week began with leading a Yarn Painting workshop on Tuesday.  Each of the participants received a pre-waxed canvas board, a 'poking tool', and a choice of coloured wools.

Colour theory meets workshop wool.
We talked about colour theory, inspiration, and techniques and then everyone jumped in and started their first 'yarn painting.' It was wonderful to watch the diverse visions emerge on canvas.

Workshop friends with their creations started.
Special thanks to Judy Martin and Koren Bell from Quilter's Nine Patch for organizing the workshop and the ladies from the St. Jacobs Mennonite Church for making us at home in your lovely library.

For the rest of the week, I was at the silos as the Silo Weavers' guest contemporary fibre artist for the festival. Elsa Brigden Elliott, owner of the Silo Weavers, demonstrated her expert eye for colour, design and ingenuity as she helped to hang my work for a solo exhibition in a former grain silo.

Sales were fantastic and we had to do some quick rearranging as the week progressed to keep the exhibition stocked.

View through the silo doors.
It is a powerful experience to watch people react to my work and discuss the process with them. I am always, always touched by the kindness and encouragement that floods my way and I hope that learning about what I do sparks an idea for someone else too.

Me in the silo with my demonstration piece and new product - cards.
Thank you, Elsa and Pat, for all of your help and enthusiasm. What a great experience!

Finally, the very biggest thank you to my husband, Doug, whose support as an art hanger, workshop participant, bathroom break manager, emotional counsellor, lunch maker, beer tester, sales manager and official photographer made him a festival legend in his own right.

Doug's brilliant workshop piece.
I met rug hookers, quilters, weavers, sewers, knitters, crocheters, embroiderers, painters, actors, enthusiasts, organizers, journalists and so much more. Every conversation was a gift and chance meetings can have unexpected results. Many thanks to Diana B. who was inspired to donate her wools to me after seeing my work.

Thanks to everyone who stopped by the exhibition and one last big special thank you to those who purchased my work. It means a lot when they find homes where they will be cherished.