Nicole Aschenbrener is a trained and registered Occupational Therapist who recently opened a yarn shop, The Naked Sheep Yarn and Fibre Emporium Inc. in Regina where she aims to create an inclusive environment for all fibre artists to learn, create, and grow in their skills and as a community. Nicole is inspired by her aunt Wendy, who taught and challenged her to try new fibre arts. Nicole has personal experience of chronic pain, and has applied her education to creating an ergonomically correct environment in her own studio and workspace. Her Crafting Ergonomically class is essential for serious crafters.
Sarah Elizabeth was born in Ontario, Canada and has been a practicing artist for over 15 years. After graduating from a specialized high-school art program at Eastwood Collegiate in Kitchener, she continued her artistic pursuits at the University of Guelph. In 2008 she graduated with an Honours Baccalaureate of Art. Her majors included painting and drawing with a minor in Sculpture. During a cross Canada road trip she was introduced to fibre art and learned about fibre farming, spinning, weaving and felting. In 2013 Sarah moved to Rossland BC, she established her Fibre Art business Sarah Elizabeth Fibre Works during the summer of 2015.
Lori Frejek of Matlock, Manitoba, has a passion for all spindles and spinning wheels, especially antique and vintage wheels. She repairs and restores wheels and finds them loving homes with other spinners. Lori and her husband run Home Spun Tools. Look for their display of wool combs, swifts, niddy noddys and other tools in the Festival market.
Caitlin french is a textile artist living on the west coast of Canada. She wildcrafts natural dyes, designs knitting patterns, and paints with her handmade watercolours and inks.
Mandy Furney (Mandyz; the zed is silent) teaches about religion in the evening, but during the days while she is keeping kids out of trouble she likes to knit, crochet, and spin. She also enjoys designing knit items with a focus on designs for hand-spun yarns.
Sharon Gowryluk of Winnipeg has been producing beautiful fibre art for many years. She has taught workshops in the USA and Canada and is known world wide through her Etsy shop for her needlefelted animals, fairies, gnomes and fantasy creatures.
Susie Gourlay is a fibre artist and wool judge from Regina, Saskatchewan. She is a professional craftsperson, handspinner and designer with a focus on natural fibre. She is a member of the Regina Weavers and Spinners Guild, the Saskatchewan Weaver and Spinners Guild, and a Team Leader for Etsy SK. Susie is a big supporter of the wool industry striving to promote the value of wool. Her work has been seen on the runway at Sask Fashion Week, in galleries and shops throughout the prairies and in magazines as far away as the UK.
Carol James has been exploring low-tech textile methods for 30 years and is of the opinion that anywhere is a good place to weave. She has examined items in collections across North American and Europe, and has made replicas of some of these items for clients such as the Manitoba Museum, Parks Canada, George Washington’s Mount Vernon, and the Norwegian Army Museum. A very patient instructor, she has taught in Canada, the US, New Zealand, and Europe. She is the author of numerous articles and three books: ‘Fingerweaving Untangled,’ ‘Sprang Unsprung’, and ‘Sprang Lace Patterns’, and now a DVD.
Tamara Klassen is a textile artist from Southern Manitoba. Learning to sew from her grandmother at a young age, she developed a love for textiles early on. Her work reflects skills learned in her research around the world including countries such as Mexico, Peru, Vietnam and India, where she studies natural dyeing and dye-resist techniques as well as other traditional artisan textile practices. Tamara shares these techniques by teaching workshops around Manitoba and applies them to her own work creating one-of-a-kind art pieces and home goods using natural dyes sourced both locally in Manitoba and from abroad.
Janet Kroeker from Shepherd’s Dream shares her sewing skills, and her love of wool, in the class Pillow Making 101. “Using wool and organic cotton to build a healthy, breathable bed from the mattress up has been my main occupation since 2001. The love affair with wool often starts with a comforter or pillow. If even a percentage of our Manitoba population slept on a wool bed the Manitoba sheep fibre industry would experience a huge shot in the arm.”
Teyana Neufeld is a fibre artist who focuses on weaving and garment construction. Neufeld has found that one of the richest educators is exploring textiles in the context of countries and cultures other than her own. To this end, she has attended workshops and residencies in Iceland, Italy and southern Africa, where she has also begun teaching weaving workshops and classes in addition to acting as a weaving and design consultant. Through her work with women’s weaving companies and co-operatives, Neufeld is working towards making the art of weaving accessible and pertinent to a new generation of entrepreneurs and craftspeople in Lesotho. She currently splits her time between Canada and Lesotho.
Rosalind Sims “I am influenced by nature, colour and cultures. I work with both ancient and modern techniques. The creation of non-woven fabric from raw fibre or using fibre and expanding that with limitless textile potential and artist mediums is a magical process for me. My lifetime experience in arts & crafts definitely influences all my work.”
Susan Sydor is one of our long time supporters and vendors, from Brandon Manitoba. She says “My love for raw fleece turned into a complete addiction when I discovered what I could do with dyed fleece and top to create amazing batts that would produce such beautiful yarn.” Susan shares her skills in the Art Batts on Friday afternoon. Look for her Wild Wind Naturals booth in the Festival market.