One of the long range plans of the festival committee was to have the festival highlight a specific technique or aspect of the fiber industry, or to invite in some other formal group or individual within the fiber arts community to educate us about their focus. In 2016, we put the plan into action by focusing on Any & All Types of Weaving. In 2017, we are focusing on the fiber art of Spinning.
We are excited to announce we have selected our featured artists/experts to give presentations related to Spinning Fiber. We already have 20 vendors scattered thoughout the festival grounds who will be happy to share information about something they have that is connected with the wonderful world of spinning. Look for the "Ask Me About My Spinning" signs. Make sure that you visit with each of them to get their perspective about this interesting and variable fiber art.
Since central New York has always had a rich background in the textile arts, the art of spinning fiber was a core discipline we expected to easily research. Finding qualified potential speakers on this subject was not a problem; limiting the number to just one or two people was. The best we could do was to limit ourselves to THREE special featured guest experts. Ok, so it’s really 2 individuals and a team making for 4 people but we know you’ll like who we have coming!
On Saturday June 10th, Garry Aney from Mohawk, NY will present two different talks; one at 11:00 am and one at 1:00 pm. One will be a Historical Timeline of Spinning Equipment. The other will be on Fiber Preparation Systems which will include all sorts of cards and combs. Within those two talks, we also believe he'll be speaking about the importance of flax to the central NY area. Garry starting with knot tying in Boy Scouts, learned to crochet from his mother in high school and taught himself to knit in college. After a program at a local Historical Society meeting on raising sheep & spinning yarn, he purchased a couple sheep and a spinning wheel. That was 1974 with a loom coming two years later. He became a member of the Farmer's Museum to garner help and information from the staff. Along the way he met other spinners from historic sites and organized the Leatherstocking Spinners Guild in the Little Falls area. In 1986 he started working at the Museum at the Lippitt Farmstead, shifting to Textiles a few years later. Garry is also a proficient dyer, tatter, felter, rope maker, and bobbin lacer. Questions will be encouraged.
On Sunday June 11th, two of our very own long-term vendors will leave their booth for a short time at 1:00 pm to share their thoughts on Spinning Equipment Over the Years. The team of Barb & Clint Fudge, from Walking Wheel Farm in Erin, NY, will concentrate on just spinning rather than fiber preparation. At Walking Wheel Farm, there is a collection of antique as well as contemporary spinning wheels, looms, and other home textile production tools. The Fudge’s are active in living history events and at museum demonstrations and bring a collective wealth of both practical and enlightening information to their audiences.
Both Saturday and Sunday at 2:30 pm, Pamella Wood from Port Crane, NY will be presenting her talk on All Things Flax. In 1983, her life long dream journey began into the world of spinning and weaving. By 1985, she started to grow and process Flax - that wonderful source of linen cloth. Since then, she has researched, spoken, demonstrated, and taught many classes for public, private, and home school students, textile guilds, historical societies, churches, and museums. In May 1994, she met Bill Ralph at Wool Day in Montrose, PA searching for a way to repair her Great Grandmother's Great Wheel. When Pamella became his apprentice in antique spinning wheel restoration, his wife Vicky taught her more about spinning Flax. Since then, she's taken many workshops from well known teachers like Patricia Hilts.
Pamella has written many articles on flax, spinning, weaving, and natural dyeing at the Home Textile Museum that have been published in The Spinning Wheel Sleuth, Spin-Off, several newspapers, and Happenings Magazine (PA). Last year she was busy researching the flax plants of Biblical times, speaking and demonstrating in South Carolina. We expect you'll enjoy her presentation as she takes you thru the various stages of linen production. She is bringing flax processing tools plus flax and linen samples so you can see the whole spectrum from seed to braking, scutching, hackling, and spinning/weaving. Some hands-on with the audience and a question/answer session is planned.
A Big Round of Applause goes to Denise Tarbox and Pam Haendle for handling the talk details with the speakers for us. You could find them at their own booths in Tent C - Fat Yellow Dog Farm and Tent A - Hermit Pond Farm, respectively. On behalf of the Festival Committee - Thanks!