A place to come to see what's new at Heritage Spinning & Weaving – Lake Orion, MI

The Wild, Wooly West

The Conference of Northern Californian Handweavers (CNCH) was held last weekend and I was honored to be a teacher there. Their conference is held every year, with this being the retreat year (no vendors). It was in Sonoma – the heart of wine country. My class was called Spinning for Weaving: An Introduction to the Rigid Heddle Loom. Since all participants were weaving on their own looms, we were able to maintain a more laid-back pace and really enjoyed the time. Picture above from L to R: Becky, Connie, Joan, Debbie (my Michigan helper!), Edie, Sandra, Kay.

Following the conference, we headed for the coast. At her invitation, we stopped by Sandra’s studio. Sandra is a retired PR executive who has taken up painting in a big way. She has set a goal of learning to spin and weave to work these arts into a multi-media piece she has in mind. Sandra’s studio snuggles up to a small creek in the shade of three “sister” redwoods. Check out her artwork at www.croneclown.com.

I’ve always wanted to drive down Highway 1 – the Pacific Coast Highway, so we did. My brother informed me that it is one of the most dangerous stretches of road in America. It was not as white-knuckle driving as the road west from Jerome, AZ, tho! We had to stop and get our feet wet in the ocean. It was brisk, brisk, brisk. The wind made it hard to walk and talk and turned the sand into a sand blasting machine. Pretty, tho:

The next day we visited Dharma Trading and found out why it has been a favorite for textile folks for 40 years. So much great stuff for dyeing! After lunch at a delightful Caribbean/Californian fusion restaurant, we headed for

Stephanie welcomes us to the farm

Stephanie welcomes us to the farm

gold country to visit Stephanie Gaustaad and Alden Amos and the birthplace of my custom spinning wheel. It was a great visit. We drank tea, scoured their incredible library, watched Linda Ligon’s interview of Alden from YouTube, went to a great used book store, hit a thrift shop and panned for gold at the river. Fun stuff. Here are some photos from that stop.

 

Stephanie shows us how to pan for gold (no, we didnt find any!)
Stephanie shows us how to pan for gold (no, we didn’t find any!)
I just loved the canopy of this tree.

I just loved the canopy of this tree.

The views from the river were captivating.

The views from the river were captivating.

We drove back from Jackson through lots and lots of farm country. Think cows, windmills (old- and new-fashioned), strawberries (yum), and lots and lots of grapes.
As we drove around northern California, it was fun to drive past the vineyards of Korbel, Clois du Bois and many others that we recognized from the grocery store shelves back home.
As we drove around northern California, it was fun to drive past the vineyards of Korbel, Clois du Bois and many others that we recognized from the grocery store shelves back home.
We ended up in the suburbs and spent yesterday visiting a vendor and a future vendor. Our first stop was at Maia’s home and dye studio. She does only natural dyeing and does it beautifully. Her company’s name is Tactile Fiber Arts and as soon as I get back, I’ll be placing an order for her natural-dyed sock yarns and roving. She has a wonderful sense of color and is a delightful young lady. I should mention that this visit was coordinated through a friend of a friend. One of our spinners, Sybil, is good friends with Linda. We’ve heard Sybil talk about Linda for years and now we got to meet her. That was a treat in itself!
Maia with adopted Boston Terrier and her current selection of natural dyed yarn and roving.
Maia with adopted Boston Terrier and her current selection of natural dyed yarn and roving.
Linda also met up with us at our next stop: Lacis - the lace museum and store. Lacis is known for their hard to find textile tools and books. They had both old and new things available for purchase and it was good to see the books in a leisurely atmosphere (rather than hurriedly at a trade show).
Street view of Lacis in Berkley.
Street view of Lacis in Berkley.
The fiber folks by Ayala Talpai were on display at Lacis. They captured my imagination (tho they are not very lacy!)
The fiber folks by Ayala Talpai were on display at Lacis. They captured my imagination (tho they are not very lacy!). We have several of her books available in our shop.
Today we are off to the tapestry studio of Jean Pierre Larochette and Yael Lurie – who taught in the room adjacent to me at CNCH. Their work is
exquisite! Hopefully, I’ll be able to post photos at a later date.

Comments on: "The Wild, Wooly West" (2)

  1. Having driven 101 several times, I can’t imagine why it would be considered dangerous unless it’s because you spend too much time rubber-necking at the incredible scenery and not watching the road, I’m so envious of your trip! Glad to have you back though – the shop has missed you ;o)

  2. What a great trip!

    Thanks again for a very lovely workshop. I finished and washed my cloth, but have not made the bag yet. I did warp the loom again — direct warp is awesome!

    I finally wrote about the workshop on my blog. Slow? Me?

    Hope all is going well for you and you are enjoying the Michigan summer.

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