Monday, October 27, 2008

The First Annual Southwest Fiber Festival in Amado, Arizona

A few weeks ago I announced my intention to attend the Southwest Fiber Festival. This past Saturday, I did just that! At 8:00 in the morning, my family and I climbed into the car for the two hour drive south to Amado. It's not a bad drive except for the fact that they are widening the highway through Tucson. When that work is completed, it'll be sweet. For me a good trip is when we get where we are going with only one or two, "How much longer?" inquiries from the back of the car.
So here's what it looked like walking into the event on a beautiful Arizona day. It was feeling more like summer than fall. I hoped that the sun would rise just a little faster for the vendors so that their tents would provide more shade. At 10:00 in the morning, when the festival opened, many were already feeling the heat.

The warm day had no effect on the happy mood of the festival. Everyone seemed energized. I didn't realize until I was there that this was the first Southwest Fiber Festival. They are already making plans to extend it to 3 days next year. For a first show, there was quite a large group of vendors and a nice variety. A few of the shops were offering classes. There were raffles and yarn competitions and even some young Alpacas and Cormo sheep. They had it all!

The thing that really struck me was the feeling of community, among the people I mean. (time to stop looking at the Cute Cormo) A lot of the vendors seemed to know each other or had even taken classes from one another. Over and over, while I was chatting with one artist, they would direct my attention to another tent and sing the praises of another artist. For this group, it truly was all about the love of fiber!

I didn't do a lot of shopping, but it wasn't because there weren't tons of fabulous creations. It's more because being at a fiber festival makes me realize how much I already have up in my studio. I did however treat myself to a few new pieces. Over the next couple days I'll be sharing pictures of those and the artists who created them. I also was delighted to experience some amazing Nuno Felt work. I will be sharing pictures of that as well.

Now I know I'm being a bit of a tease, but I also want to let you know that there are some terrific Nuno Felters at Etsy who have graciously agreed to allow me to blog about their work . That's also coming up by the end of this week. I've only just recently become aware of this particular form of felting and I'm very excited about it. I already have a book on order and some silk chiffon so that I too can give Nuno Felting a try. If this is an art form that interests you, please come back and visit, because I'll not only be sharing the work of felt artists, but I'll also share my own exploration into Nuno Felting. See you soon!



I really would like to see something done with the alpca just like the felting made with the wool, because I am allergic to wool, but I love the look of it!! :-)

Jenn said...

Hi dainty, that's a really good idea. I'm sure you're not alone. I carry Alpaca roving in my shop so when I get going with some felting of my own, I'll try it out!