A self created craftsman who has evolved mostly to fiber art
after raising sheep for about40 years
and having llamas for over 20.
I grew up in the era of ‘make do’. we created our own entertainment … I was intrigued and loved needlework, sewing and all the little tools… I really don’t know when I started bead work, but I remember pieces I’d done from childhood... We had very little money so if I saw something I liked I’d try to figure how to make it myself,
Most of my experience is self taught or eventually from some classes and workshops and having friends with the same interests...we‘ve learned from each other... Probably one of the greatest sources of learning for me has been teaching and giving workshops.
Beadwork and basketry both seem to have the same tactical pull on my Spirit as working with the natural fibers....
My spinning wheels and looms are old, well worn and used, many with bumps and bruises of a working life but still perform faithfully, together we spin and weave yarns and recycle fabric into something new.
In the late 60’s we moved to a country home
nestled in the Spoon River Valley area in
western Illinois to raise our children … Family
friends gave us some bottle lambs which set us
off on our 40+ year odyssey of raising sheep.
There was a lovely old apple tree on the hill
behind our barn, when it died our daughter
Andrea came up with the name Applewood for
our little farm. She was the first to begin
spinning using a Navajo spindle and wool from
one of her brother's sheep then weaving it into
a picture which I still have and treasure.
In the 70’s after both children left home I added
natural colored sheep and a few angora goats
and began spinning the fiber myself. In the late
80's along came llama and alpaca. I had the
world of fiber at my finger tips to play and
create with …
I no longer have the farm but Applewood
represents the link combining the animals, the
fiber and creative opportunities the little farm
nurtured. The best of my special ladies went to
my good friend Eileen in Indiana, their offspring
and beautiful fleeces continue on in her flock.