“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
– Albert Einstein
”Those who dedicate themselves to practice without science are like sailors going to sea without a compass or a rudder who never can say for sure where they are going.
Practice must always be based on sound theory.”
– Leonardo da Vinci
I find no day to be complete without having carved out a bit of time at the wheel, the dye pot or the loom. Curiosity and colour propel my fibre journey. When questions arise in my mind, I research and experiment until I uncover the answers and develop a deeper understanding. I have found that every decision I make, including choice of fibre/yarn, breed, fibre preparation method, draft twist, ply twist and yarn finishing affects the characteristics of the finished cloth. As I work, I am ever present, mindful and attentive. It is the melding of my observations as to how the fibre, yarn or the dye pot is behaving and of my intuition that reveal what the fibre, yarn or dye method is capable.
I also enjoy sharing what I learn. My teaching approach is to help students of all levels understand spinning and/or dyeing on an intimate level. This provides them with a solid foundation to help them build upon and improve their skillset. This approach of understanding the whys, also helps students to problem solve and, in turn, frees up their creativity. I have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Integrated Sciences from Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada. This education combined with my own research and experience in the arts of spinning, weaving and dyeing provides me with a thorough understanding of the sciences involved.
I have been published in:
- Spin Off magazine 2005 and 2007 issues; sharing spinning and dyeing techniques respectively, as well as their ebook edition “Spin-Off Presents: All About Silk” and in
- PLY magazine’s Summer 2016 and Winter 20I6 issues on bulky singles and plying, respectively.
- Spin Off magazine. Fall 2020 issue. “Woolcombing and the Importance of Planking”. https://spinoffmagazine.com/diz-tips-the-finer-points-of-wool-combing/ Check out this link for a great video on dizzing presented by Kate Larson.
- Spin Off magazine. Upcoming Winter 2021 issue on rejuvenating loft and crimp in commercial fibre preparations.
I have taught workshops and lectured on dyeing and spinning for ANWG Conferences, Arts Festivals, Art Centres, Coniagas Textile Studio, Fibre Festivals, Fibres West, Guilds, Jansen Art Centre, Knit City Vancouver, Museums, Olds College (Fibre Week), Penelope Fibre Arts, Sanjo Silk, Schools, and Retreats.
In addition, I was instrumental in the development of Treenway’s Salt Spring Island Series, a line of hand-painted tussah silk roving. In 2013/14 I was the faculty member in charge the Spinning and Dyeing Program at Place des Arts in Coquitlam.
In 2018 Diana Sanderson invited me to join The Silk Weaving Studio on Granville Island (Vancouver, Canada). It is an honour and pleasure to work along side this creative, skilled and sharing group of weavers.
I believe our hands are an extension of our hearts. Although I find teaching and collaborative projects challenging and rewarding, they are no more satisfying or special than those everyday, ordinary, well-used items that we are able to turn by hand to grace our homes or the lives of a loved one.