Allison Brown became a farmer to raise animals mainly for fibre instead of meat. Her first Angora goats arrived at the farm in 1987 in the height of the export market boom. A friend lent her a spinning wheel for the winter, and she taught herself how to spin using her own mohair (it’s not recommended.)
The next year, an exceptional flock of imported purebred registered Rambouillet sheep were purchased. However, there were (and still are not) fibre mills locally that could handle the really fine wool. Undeterred, Allison began a breeding program crossing three purebred sheep – the result is the Norbouillet. (The third sheep breed is a farm secret!) Allison has breeding records dating back to 1988.
Allison’s highly sought after yarns and roving are processed at Wellington Fibres and are available by appointment at her form in Norwood Ontario, mail order, or if you’re lucky enough to be in the area, at a few local shows: Spin in October, in Cambellford and The Gathering in Port Hope in April. You can follow her on Facebook at Norbouillet Wool.
HOW TO MAKE FELTED FLOWERS AND BEADS
In this workshop you will learn how to design and make unique felted flowers and beads using the wet felting technique.
Learning this technique allows you to create not only flowers but has unlimited possibilities.
Alpaca fibre will be used since I am an alpaca farmer and accents supplied may be wool or silk.
Workshop includes all materials, no experience required, but bring your own towel.
Presenter: Gail Franklin-Hawes of Gn’R Alpaca Farm. A weaving and textile graduate and fibre artist who loves raising her own alpacas.
Date: Sunday June 4, 2017
Time: 10 – 12pm and offered again 1 – 3pm
At: Gn’R Alpaca Farm, 8561 Main St. Lisle, ON. 416-526-0503 to register
Christopher Walker is a Fibre Artist, Knitwear Designer, and founder of the label CabinBoyKnits.
Outside of the corporate world Christopher splits his time between Toronto and his log cabin in the arboreous Oak Hills of Stirling, Ontario. His unconventional work is influenced by the environment around him, whether it be from the rugged Canadian landscape, to the vivid colours and graphic designs in Toronto’s tattoo parlors…more
Share with us a bit of your story. How did you get started in your art form?
I went to art school at ACAD and NSCAD for drawing and loved every minute of it. I
had learned knitting and sewing skills as a child, but it wasn’t until I got out of school
and found it difficult to maintain a messy drawing practice that I got seriously into textile
arts. These art forms are more portable and less messy than large scale ink drawings…more
Gail is a mother to 7 male alpacas: Carter, Pirelli, Durango, Voodoo, Paxton, Ekelon and Hanley, a farm owner, and fibre artist.
Gail was an Arts and Crafts Instructor with Aurora Parks and Recreation for several years through the 70’s, graduated with a 3 year Material Arts – Weaving and Textiles Diploma from Georgian Collage in 1980.
Gail has always been involved in crafts of some form or other. As a children’s craft instructor, Girl Guide leader, craft presenter at her children’s school she has always had a special interest in the fibre arts. Now she has a farm, Gn’R Alpaca Farm, where she raises alpacas so she can have her own fleece to play and design with. She mostly hand processes the fleece from sheering, picking, washing, carding, felting and or spinning…more