Spinning & Wool Research Project

This semester I received two grant awards to do a creative research project on spinning yarn and wool processing. I've spun since I was 16 and always wanted to go even further back along the production line, but never had the courage, resources, funding, and contacts I needed until now! 

My project included washing raw alpaca and llama fleece I had receive long ago from a relative with a farm in the Northwest, researching spinning techniques and methods, a little history of spinning and wool, sheep breeds, experimenting with spinning different kinds of wool (including multiple sheep breeds, llama, alpaca, yak, and angora rabbit), spinning both raw wool and commercially processed, analyzing wool textiles from the Spencer Museum of Art collection, taking lots of notes, and talking to lots of fabulous people with lots of knowledge! Here's some photos from my semester of wool!

Shearing and Washing Fleeces at Pinwheel Farm:

One element of my project included working with a local farmer, Natalya, on Pinwheel Farm in Lawrence, KS. There, I helped her skirt, scour, and wash fleeces. I was also able to watch and help on shearing day! Natalya was a huge help in learning the process, how she would process wool for commercial sale, sheep care, the science of wool, and supplying raw wool!

Research on Textiles from the Spencer Museum of Art:

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My project concluded with a solo exhibition in the Kansas Union Gallery. The show, titled HOME, included my work from my years as a Textile/Fiber Arts major as well as all the yarn I spun this semester, my tools from processing, my spinning wheel, examples of wool at each stage in the process, photos from the farm and process, different kinds of wool to feel (like angora rabbit and yak!), and my research note book full of everything from breeds, steps from sheep to skein, notes from the Spencer Museum of Art, different wheels, plying methods, and descriptions of the science behind spinning. The show was open May 1 - May 17, 2017.

HOME: textile art & research exhibit

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HOME was my senior year in BFA Textile/Fiber Arts solo exhibit and research presentation

May 1st - May 17th, 2017 in the Kansas Union Gallery, Lawrence KS.

The show included the best pieces from the 4 years in the Visual Art: Textile/Fibers department at the University of Kansas, along with a display of my semester research project on wool processing and spinning. This included lots of yarn, displays of all my tools, photos from my work on a local sheep farm, my research notebook, my spinning wheel, examples of different kinds of wool (like llama, alpaca, yak, angora rabbit, and sheep), and examples of multiple wools from each stage of the process. More on this project will be coming soon!

Thank you to all who helped me with my project, my work, and putting together a solo show! I couldn't have done it without such wonderful professors, community, and family and friends.

"Transformed" Spencer Museum of Art ReOpening

I am incredibly grateful to have been apart of the textiles team that created the "ribbon" for the opening ceremony of the Spencer Museum of Art remodel. The "ribbon" consisted of 160 silk scarves, hand dyed and screen printed. The new space is beautifully transformed and I'm so glad to have been a part of the ceremony.

photo by Luke Jordan, Spencer Museum photography specialist

photo by Luke Jordan, Spencer Museum photography specialist

Summer Abroad in Scotland

just a few samples of Scottish clan tartans from Lochcarron Mill, Selkirk

just a few samples of Scottish clan tartans from Lochcarron Mill, Selkirk

This past summer, I attended a Fashion Construction workshop at Heriot Watt University in Galashiels, in the Scottish Boarders.

I spent 3 weeks in a Fashion Construction course, learning more than ever about pattern drafting and sewing industry-quality garments. I also took a few day mini-courses in the other subjects offered, like knitting (on knit machines), screen printing, and weaving. We then spent a week visiting weaving mills, knitting mills, and museums in the Scottish Borders, Edinburgh, and London, England. There were also lots and lots of hikes, castles, roaming around Scotland, lots of scotch, cider, haggis, and fish n chips, tea towels from every gift shop, and dancing at a ceilidh (traditional Scottish dance that is basically flinging each other around in circles - which explains why drinking a shot of scotch is more popular than a pint of Guinness). I met some amazing people from Scotland, both teachers, students, and locals, along with my fellow international textile students. All of them are producing such amazing work!