Monday, June 15, 2009

Roving Art

This past April Taos Sunflower offered their roving art selection. This was a three month project that would send each month for three months 4 0z. of fiber that would be dyed using colors from paintings. What a great idea! A chance to add fiber to the stash and learn about artists and their work. How could anyone pass up this? Taos Sunflower was only offering this to the first 20 people who signed up. Immediately the hands typed in the web address and checked off fiber selection of blue face leicester sheep.
(The Bluefaced Leicester is of the English Longwool type and originated near Hexham in the county of Northumberland, England during the early 1900's. The breed was originally developed to use in the production of high quality crossbred ewes which were pastures in the neighboring hills of the region. They originated from individuals selected for the blue face (white hairs on black skin) and finer fleeces. They are found primarily in Northern England, Scotland and Wales. )http://www.ansi.okstate.edu/breeds/sheep/bluefacedleicester/index.htm
Upon our arrival at Colorado summer home, there were two packages waiting from Taos Sunflower: one for April and one for May. What anticipation! Get the car unpacked and get to those packages to see what lovely fiber was sent.
Let's open April first.Mother and Child (1908) by Mary Cassatt, born in Pittsburgh in 1844; attended art school before arriving in Paris in 1866. This painting was done during artist's 64th year. http://www.marycassatt.org/
What wonderful colors and so representative of the painting!
Taking several moments to relish the April Roving Art painting and fiber, it was onto the May package
Orchids #64 by Martin Johnson Heade, born in 1819 in Pennsylvania. He was a student of folk artist Edward Hicks. His earliest works were potraits but later years he began painting still life. http://www.artchive.com/artchive/H/heade.html
There are subtle colors in the painting but some artistic license was taken by the dyer to deepen the dyes so the pastels would not spin out. Lovely colors and lovely fiber!
When can this fiber be spun? Or as my dear friend in Baton Rouge says "fiber needs to age"--is it necessary for these goregous fibers to wait in the wings while 'older' rovings are spun? No indeed--it's off to sit up the spinning wheel and begin. But, what should be spun first--April or May? Soon June's Roving Art fiber will be arriving and then there will be real decisions to be made.
Happy treadling to all you spinners!!




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