Our class list for 2019 is comprehensive.
Most classes will be held at the Senator’s House on Main Street in Sparta
Transportation between the fairgrounds and classes will be provided on
Friday, June 7, 2019 and Saturday June 8, 2019
Classes will also be offered on Thursday, June 6, 2019 (transportation on your own)
Questions? send an email and we’ll try to better explain!
Note: some classes require an additional materials fee, paid to the instructor at the beginning of the class.
This is in addition to the class fee. Materials fees are noted either in the class description or in your confirmation notice.
A little about our instructors…
REBECCA ARRINGTON became enchanted with basket weaving when given a wine basket filled with local wines at her wedding in 2003. She began studying under Helen Springer in Holland, Michigan, and has been hooked on the craft ever since. In recent years, she has added gourd work and sewing to her repertoire.
ROIANA BUCKMASTER currently lives in Mount Pleasant, Tennessee, where she is working with her husband Mike and youngest son Nick to build a flock of Icelandic sheep (along with chickens, guinea fowl, ponies, puppies and whatever else she can smuggle into the barn when Mike isn’t looking). Roiana was given knitting needles at the age of 6 (to keep her out from underfoot), embroidery at the age of 10 (to encourage sitting still) and plunged headlong into the shadowy worlds of spinning, weaving, tatting and various other fiber arts from there. It’s a slippery slope, but what a ride!
GINGER CLARK brings 40 years of spinning experience to the classroom. Her background in teaching spinning and experimenting with different fibers has given her a strong understanding of the unique qualities and properties of fibers from different animals. Ginger was a production spinner for 10 years and became proficient at producing yarns for a variety of end uses. Today she has a specific interest in controlling colors during spinning for beautiful lace gradient colors yarns.
BETH COLLIER has been spinning for almost 15 years. She and her husband Steve own Three Creeks Farm, a small family farm in Charlotte, Tennessee where they have sheep, goats and a variety of other animals. They also sell their fleeces, roving and spinning related products. Beth has done numerous spinning demonstrations often dressed in 18th century or civil war era clothing and enjoys sharing her love of spinning with anyone who will listen. She also needle felts and does various types of dyeing including natural, food coloring and chemical dyes. When not spinning or felting, Beth enjoys her grandchildren.
SUE DUNCAN is a retired National Park Ranger who learned about dyes through historical demonstrations that she did at parks. This is how she gained her knowledge of indigo, one of the oldest dyes used by cultures worldwide. She has also been a handspinner for over 30 years and has a variety of fiber art interests including weaving and felting. Besides natural dying, she has worked with acid dyes. She raises angora rabbits, angora goats and has a few sheep and alpacas on her farm.
JOLIE ELDER has explored a wide range of needle arts after learning to cross stitch at age four. She designs, teaches, spins, and stunt knits in the Atlanta area where she demystifies the obscure. She has served on the boards of Atlanta Knitting Guild, North Georgia Knitting Guild, Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance, and Center for Knit and Crochet. She has published in PLY, Spin-Off, and Cast On. Her cleverest unvention is a method for working stockinette-based laces reversibly. You can view her experiments at jolieaelder.blogspot.com and YouTube channel “Jolie knits.”
CHELSEA FEHSKINS and her family have a small sheep farm in southwest Virginia raising Finn sheep and three kids. With a background in teaching, and a love for fiber, bringing new students to the fiber crafting world was a perfect match. Making sure that everyone can join in the joy of creating is a main goal of any class.
LAURA FRAZIER’S first effort at making art as a child was drawing animals. Later, she studied clay sculpting in Tennessee, California, and Winston Salem, North Carolina. She excelled at clay but after seeing a needle felting demonstration and imagining what she could create by using the wool, Laura clearly saw her path. Laura has focused on sculpting with wool since 2008. Her wool sculptures and process have been covered numerous times in local newspapers and magazines and in 2017 one of her horse sculptures won an international award. Her wool sculptures, clay sculptures and mixed media art have been exhibited from the East to West Coasts. She is an Exhibiting Member of Piedmont Craftsmen, Inc.
NANCY GAINES has an interest in ancient textile skills that still have relevance for fiber artisans today. She will be teaching two classes using implements that spinners and weavers have used for thousands of years: the drop spindle and the backstop loom. Her first attempt a spinning was using a drop spindle bought in the gift shop at Williamsburg with some written instructions. It was a frustrating failure. Over the years, she has enhanced her skills and now seeks to make things easier for new artisans. As she has said, “it shouldn’t be this hard to learn something that has been used daily for thousands of years.”
SUE GAZELL attended natural dye classes for many years. She became interested in mushroom dyes, but turned to lichen dyes when she discovered that the lichens she needed for orchil dyes were right in her own yard, and the mushrooms were not. Numerous vats later, she is hooked on lichen dyeing. She became the first to meet a group challenge to achieve a strong purple dye using the traditional method of using urine rather than ammonia. (No fear, you won’t be doing that in her class!)
IRENE HECKEL-VOLPE discovered the art of needle felting in 2002, and she soon began to explore the creative possibilities of sculpting with wool. She developed techniques that pushed her to continue designing and developing her unique style. Most of her work makes use of mixed media. Since needle felting is a relatively new craft, Irene has been called on to demonstrate and educate at many shows. Her work has been exhibited and awarded both locally, nationally and internationally.
MARY HENCK is a McGown Certified rug hooking instructor. She has been hooking for over 20 years and teaching for over 15 years. She is the owner of Mary’s Wool garden, President of the Shockoe Slip Rug Hookers and Chair of the Virginia Rugfest Hookin in Richmond, VA. She has exhibited her work at the Visual Art Center (Richmond, VA) and at the Virginia Rugfest. Her specialty is dyed wool for rug hooking, braiding, and quilt applique. Mary lives in Richmond.
DAWN HUMMER has taught artistic creativity across mediums to students, groups and individuals with varying degrees of ability. A recent transplant to Chapel Hill, NC from Austin, Texas, Dawn balances personal artistic exploration while continuing to carry forward a passion for facilitating creative expression and joy within the larger community through artful and sculptural weaving. AT her studio in Chapel Hill, NC, she holds workshops and weekly teaching sessions for persons of all abilities. She travels to guilds, arts centers and other groups both as a teacher and presenter.
RUTH HUTTON began her path into Fiber Arts from her talented mother, starting at an early age with knitting and embroidery. She graduated from college with a Textile Design degree in 1981 from Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now known as Philadelphia University). Ruth worked as a Jacquard fabric designer for 26 years producing upholstery fabrics. In 2007 to 2015 she operated a yarn shop in Elkin, NC. During these years, she extended her fiber art experiences to weaving, spinning, dyeing, needle-felting, and kumihimo braiding. She now enjoys practicing her craft from her home and introducing others to the pleasure and satisfaction of engaging in fiber crafts.
LIBBY KAHN is a retired classroom teacher with a developing passion for fiber. She began her felt-making journey in 2007 after taking a class at the John C. Campbell Folk School and is now an expert felt maker. She combines her love of working with fiber and her love of teaching by giving workshops here in the Blue Ridge and in Florida where she winters.
PAT PAWLOWICZ is a fiber artisan from Tennessee, but she teaches classes and workshops all over the US and in Europe. She can be found teaching at shows, shops, guilds, and for private groups. Her goal is always to present fun and informative classes. She gets her greatest satisfaction from her students' accomplishments.
MARY BETH TEMPLE is now a full time author/designer of knitting & crochet patterns, sewing, and crafts projects. After successful careers as a costumer in the entertainment arena and as an antiques dealer specializing in textiles and decoratives. Her work appears frequently in magazines including Knit Simple, Vogue Knitting, Interweave Crochet, The Knitter (UK) and Craft Ideas. She is the owner and lead designer for the popular knit and crochet pattern line Hooked for Life, which is available both online and in independent yarn stores. She is a popular teacher both online and at live events. Check out her YouTube channel: http://bit.ly/1CMZtRP - or her website at www.HookedforLifePublishing.com.
ANGELA TURNER designs apparel, home decor and gifts from 100% fiber, mostly sheep wool. Her love of the fiber arts began about 16 years ago while living in Washington State where she began learning to spin her own wool into yarn. From there the passion has grown into various forms of fiber art including knitting, crocheting, felting and weaving, although her passion has become felting-wet felting and needle felting.
MELODY WEED has been knitting for fifty years (she started young) and particularly enjoys teaching beginners. She has introduced beginners to knitting at Michaels for five years.
RENÉ E.WELLS has been knitting since was a child taught by her beloved Grandma Kay. She has enjoyed all aspects of knitting and sharing them with others. “Teaching brings me joy. I enjoy seeing how fiber and skill inspire others to further explore the art of knitting.” She teaches at retreats, festivals, yarn shops and of course in her home with a pot of tea.
LAURA WILLIAMS is a native Tennessean with a love for all things fibery. She is an avid crocheter, knitter, spinner, and weaver with over 25 years of combined experience as a fiber artist. On top of it all, she makes buttons and shawl pins to adorn her own and others’ hand-made creations. She is also committed to Ravelry and will be teaching a class in how to get the most out of this resource.
JULIE WILSON and her family own a farm in Fines Creek, NC. In 1990, two sheep came to the Wilson family. Since then, Jehovah Raah Farm, has grown to raise Shetland sheep, Alpacas, Llamas, Angora Goats, Rabbits, and Scottish Highland Cattle. They even have a cottage, called ‘The Shepherd’s Croft, available for folks to experience ‘real’ farm life. Julie has been spinning since 1990, and has retired from 30 years teaching high school Special Education. Julie will drop everything and meet anyone anywhere to teach them to spin! Julie is a Lendrum Spinning Wheel dealer.
RITA DENISE YOST has been working with alpaca fiber since 2011 when her and her husband started Rita Dee Farms and began concentrating on breeding the perfect therapy alpaca with spectacular fiber. They now have an entire herd that participates in therapeutic and educational visitation and a whole line of fashion using their luxurious fiber! Rita Dee focuses on designing fashion that exhibits the fine qualities of alpaca fiber that allows it to be lightly felted for the southern ladies making it a wearable art item for all seasons. Rita Dee Fashions has been showcased at the Winston-Salem Fashion Week for 2016 and 2017 and is exhibited in art shows such as “Whimsical Women” in Winston-Salem, NC.