Sheep to Shawl
July 27, 2014 • Leave a Comment
Sheep to Shawl
The Heritage Weavers and Fiber Artists are a group of fiber artists in Hendersonville North Carolina dedicated to preserving and sharing the fiber arts traditions. Currently they are meeting in the renovated boarding house at Historic Johnson Farm.
The farm is located in Hendersonville North Carolina at the Historic Johnson Farm and is a heritage education center owned by Henderson County Public Schools and is managed by volunteers and Friends of the Farm through the Henderson County Education Foundation, Inc.
The HWFA is dedicated to preserving the Appalachian fiber crafts. They have classes in Rug Hooking, Inkle Weaving, Spinning, Rug Hooking, Knitting, Bobbin Lace and hold summer camps for 9-12 year old.
Many artists and persons with traditional craft skills participate in the farm’s annual festival the last Saturday each spring. One of the most popular events is the “Sheep to Shawl” demonstration. The HWFA educates the guests on shearing, carding and spinning of the wool into projects.
They will shear three to four sheep of different colors (I didn’t even know sheep came in different colors other than white and black.). This produces a natural color project. They are currently establishing a dye garden and explain the process of garden to wool color.
Carding the wool is the process of getting the wool fibers going in the same direction for the spinners. If the weather permits the spinners are outside on the porch of the Fine Arts Center for their demonstration.
It can take up to six spinners to keep up with the weaver who then produces a project that is as functional as it is beautiful.
Learning this process has given me a new perspective on Artisans of all kinds. If you are like me you see something at an art and craft fair and say to yourself “I could have done that, if only I would have thought of it had the time to do it or maybe the skill to do it.”
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