Fibrations 2016, Sunday August 21, 10am-4pm celebrated six successful years
at Robert J Porter Park at Fairfield Gonzales Community Place, 1330 Fairfield Road
Fibrations 2016 featured the skills and talents of over 60 fibre artists in an outdoor marketplace. Visitors to this free family event delight in the abundance of original creations, demonstrations and workshops. On August 21, the event unfolded in Porter Park, a spacious green area behind Sir James Douglas School. On August 20, the day before Fibrations, workshops happened at the Garry Oak Room, 1335 Thurlow, and Knotty by Nature, 1704 Lillian Road. Visit bottom of webpage for weekend schedule.
Fibrations is organized and sponsored by Knotty by Nature Fibre Arts. Other sponsors include Thrifty Foods and all the vendors. Stephanie Papik and Ryan Davis founded Knotty by Nature in 2008. Their award-winning business sells fibre supplies at 1704 Lillian road in Fairfield. Knotty’s inspirational workshops have introduced many people to the joys of knitting, weaving, needle felting, wet felting and spinning. “Connecting people and creating community through the fibre arts is our ongoing mission,” says Stephanie.
Ryan and Stephanie are proud of the volunteer-run festival which celebrates shared leadership. “Everyone pitches in and the work gets done,” says Ryan. At Fibrations there is pooling of knowledge through workshops and chatting. This empowers people. Fibre artists come from all walks of life: engineering, computer science, government, bankers and bakers. “Fibre arts connect people to the earth offering balance and grounding,” says Stephanie.
Stephanie Papik is of Inuit, Inupiat and Australian descent. In her travels around northern Canada and British Columbia she hears messaging from Elders: “Follow your heart’s desire for self-expression and in the creation contribute to community.” Recently, Stephanie has joined with around 50 other Inuit women. They aim to reclaim identity and reaffirm connections to ancestors through traditional practices. She now wears tattoos like those of her great great grandmother. Tattoos were worn by all Inuit women before European contact. The designs mark life passages, tell stories and offer teachings on the value of traits like forgiveness and generosity.
Below: Larry New and Catherine Mick are members of the Victoria Weavers and Spinners Guild.
Members of the guild are active at Fibrations, sharing tips and techniques with visitors. In this photo, they check over Larry’s latest knitting project, a stylish maroon sweater.
Below: Aki and Akiko Otsu have operated Salt Spring Wool Arts since 2009
Aki and Akiko are inspired by the abundance of wildlife on Salt Spring and are keen observers of the natural world. They look forward to meeting both customers and other vendors at Fibrations. “I do felting because of the joy it brings me and other people, Aki says. I really love to see people smile.” The couple’s three children get involved by making their own creations and felting with friends.
Below: Aki was inspired to create the barred owl sculpture from a close encounter with the bird. It landed on their side porch and posed for three hours while the family took photos. “I now call this bird my lucky charm,” says Aki, “every time I see one something special happens.” (Owl sculpture on display at Kizmit galeria/cafe Salt Spring Island)
Below: Tanya Schley and Sue Doutre are excited about being first time vendors at Fibrations.
They took nuno scarf-making classes in spring 2016 from Ryan and became enamoured with the process. Both are busy women with family and careers, and find the creative outlet inspiring and relaxing. Tanya and Sue enjoy the variety of materials and techniques and find working with the warm soapy water restorative and calming. “Within a short time, we can make something beautiful, simply from fibres, says Tanya. It’s completely up to me what I create, and it’s so satisfying.” Sue delights in blending the colours and the limitless design options of nuno felting.
The entrepreneurial women encourage others to try a class or workshop at Knotty by Nature. “Ryan and Stephanie have created a remarkable community around their shop, says Sue. Everyone associated with Knotty by Nature is enthusiastic and willing to help with lots of patience.” The inviting atmosphere caters to a wide range of people from children to seniors.
Schedule of Events:
Friday August 19th, Harvest: A picnic evening of food and fibre Saanichton, BC, 6 PM, $50
Saturday August 20th (Gary Oak Room), 12-4 $52 Nan. C Designs, Mr Fox felting workshop
Saturday August 20th (Knotty by Nature) Two workshops with Caitlin ffrench: Stovetop Natural Dyeing & Solar Dyeing.
Saturday 8PM, A Film Screening: 8pm Tunniit: retracing the lines of Inuit tattoos
Fibrations Demo Schedule: Needle Felted Fruit With Claudia Lorenz: Caitlin ffrench’s recent trip to Iceland; Crochet Lab with Del and Dela; The History of Fibre with Brenda Nicolson.
Fibrations 2016 was a great success! Events and workshops were well-attended. Sunday August 21 was a perfect summer day, allowing vendors, guests and participants to enjoy the beautiful grounds and festivities. Some photos of the Sunday festival and Saturday workshops follow.
Saturday workshops hosted by Nancy Wesley George and Caitlin ffrench.
Web Design, content and selected photos:
Kate Cino previewed arts events for 18 years at Boulevard magazine.
Kate has a History in Art degree and
Public Relations certificate from the
University of Victoria.
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