Good Fibrations

Fibrations 2013 turns St. Ann’s Academy into a blaze of colour

The wool truth - Knotty by Nature proprietor Ryan Davis, left, and stepchildren Elizabeth, 12, and Nathan Sibbeston, 14, demonstrate some of the colour and crafting activities that will make up this weekend’s Fibrations fibre arts festival in the orchard at St. Ann’s Academy.

Fibrations 2013 turns St. Ann’s Academy into a blaze of colour

Handmade scarves, sweaters and other woolen garments or items can offer a wonderful experience, either through wearing them or giving them as gifts.

Intricate designs, often tribal or traditional in nature; and various colours, alone or in combination, produce a feeling that the item is something special.

But few people outside this specific and creative aspect of crafting likely think much about the process that went into making it.

“The time that gets put into these things, the hours and hours of work, people sometimes aren’t aware of that,” says Tierre Joline Taylor, a local milliner, or hatmaker. “It’s usually done with so much love.”

Taylor is among 50 or so vendors, and members of craft guilds dedicated to knitting, quilting, embroidering and weaving, who will turn St. Ann’s Academy grounds into a sea of colour on Sunday (Aug. 18) for the third annual Fibrations, a celebration of fibre arts.

As part of the day’s events, Taylor will demonstrate her unique trade, giving visitors – and crafters unfamiliar with her speciality – a sense of how people work with fabric to create those special garments.

“It’s really quite a lovely afternoon to wander through an orchard and view these crafts that have been done for many, many years,” she says.

“It’s such a fundamental thing, but this is a very real look at that – what does it look like to spin yarn? There’s something that’s very primal about it, but there’s also something so functional.”

Fibrations organizer Ryan Davis, with his partner Stephanie Papik, runs Knotty by Nature, a gathering place for people looking to become more immersed in fibre arts. Sunday’s event, which has attracted people from Vancouver and Seattle, offers a look back in time as well as examples of modern methods of working with natural fibres, he says.

“The history of weaving goes back almost to the dawn of time,” he says by example. “We’re going to have a really cool demo of backstrap weaving, which is a more

traditional style. People will also see some brand new types of weaving, with computerized programs to create their weaves.”

The Jacquard loom, Davis points out, was considered pretty much the first computer, given that it used punched cards, like the first actual computers, to determine the pattern of weave.

Fibrations includes a variety of demonstrations including one on needle felting by Heather Thurston, a toonie raffle with locally crafted prizes and the availability of numerous handcrafted items. It runs from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at St. Ann’s Academy, 835 Humboldt St.

For a list of demos or more information visit fibrationsvic.wordpress.com or call 250-412-0198.

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