Saturday, September 8, 2012

Back to Maine!

Tonight, I write to you from Fiber College in Searsport, Maine.  If you are a lover of fiber, textile, or other related crafts, you should check this out!  My friend Sarah Kuhn, who has a wonderful blog called Thinking with Things, introduced me to Fiber College.  
I will be forever grateful!

So, what is it?

Well, in the past two days I've been in workshops with extraordinary artists exploring indigo dying, spinning with a Navajo spindle, and sculptural knitting.  I have this hovering sense of an emerging synthesis -- as though all my creative urges that will no longer be denied might come together in some holy explosion of creation that I have yet to understand.  Sounds a bit extravagant?  That's okay -- remember, I'm back in Maine: the closest I get to a creative home.  

So, here are a few pictures to give you a peek into what Fiber College looks like:

The meditation hut.
I arrived at the Searsport Shores Ocean Campground where Fiber College is held every year and walked through the enchanted woods to a meditation hut that sits by the bay overlooking Belfast, Maine.  I sat by the water and knitted for awhile.  Then I strolled down to the beach.

I was taken with the rocks and shapes on the shore -- it seems that most of my visual inspiration comes from natural forms -- whether I am conscious of it or not!!

Friday began with an indigo dying workshop taught by the talented Jackie Ottino Graf, who dyes the luscious textiles and yarns produced by Swans Island Blankets.  Jackie also spins exquisite art yarns and knits!  Here's Jackie and the fabulous indigo brew:

Friday afternoon and Saturday morning I was in workshops with the master knitter and artist Katherine Cobey.  In addition to writing the book on diagonal knitting, Katherine has created powerful sculptures using her knitting and other objects to offer social critique and evocative commentary on our world.  Below is a poor quality shot of one of her anti-war pieces -- you really must visit her website to see this work!

Tomorrow I have have another workshop with Katherine Cobey -- this time she's teaching with Daina Taimina, inventor of hyperbolic crochet and author of Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes.  The workshop is called "Two Divas with Sticks" -- I know it will be the perfect finish to this creative weekend!

So, tonight, as I sat down in my little vacation cottage to compose this post, I assembled a few of tokens that will continue to remind me of my time here.  (I included a necklace that I made recently with one of the glass bottles I found in Eastport during my retreat last summer!)

I hope to be able to post more in the coming months -- I know it was a pretty thin gruel I provided this summer!

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