FEATURE ARTICLE

SALIDA FIBER FESTIVAL

| September 6, 2017

Event features artists, vendors from four states

A pop-up fashion show, a demonstration tent and a film screening are all new components of this year’s 6th Annual Salida Fiber Festival on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 9 and 10, in Riverside Park.

Sheryl Campbell, president of the festival’s organizing committee, said in years past classes were offered during the two-day festival, but they weren’t always well attended. This year, the committee decided to have a tent dedicated to hosting a rotation of fiber artists for 30- to 45-minute time slots. For example, Keith Krebs from Trout Unlimited will demonstrate fly-tying and Jen Naylor will demonstrate bead making. Carol Garnand will demonstrate Shibori painting, a Japanese resist method of painting to create patterns on silk or silk blends.

Campbell, who owns Serendipity in Buena Vista, said she will demonstrate Navajo plying, a spinning technique also called chain plying, that creates three-ply yarn from a single strand. Campbell will also demonstrate a 100-year-old sock-knitting machine.

Campbell said knitting is her go-to, but her new hobby is patting, or making lace. “Victorian-period women during the Civil War would wear lace collars on their dresses. So I’ve been working with the First Colorado Civil War Reenactors (to make their costumes). It’s just tying a bunch of knots.”

Vendors also will showcase different fiber skills at their individual booths throughout the weekend. An activity tent will have a variety of quick, fiber-based crafts to entertain children and adults.

In years past, a fashion show on the Rotary Amphitheater stage was part of the weekend festivities, but this year Jane Templeton, festival board member, said, “We’re taking the fashion show to the visitors instead of having them come to us.” The pop-up show will feature models walking around the park explaining who made their outfits and how.

“It is meant to highlight the work of the vendors. A lot of times people see things they like, but don’t want to try them on or the garment doesn’t look its best on a hanger. We thought if we put the garment on a human form, it would help highlight the vendors, too.”

A silent auction featuring donated items from vendors and Chaffee County businesses will help fund future festivals. Templeton said this year’s Saturday morning auction will feature a special Shop Salida section that will highlight the Salida-specific donors.

Templeton refers to herself as “multicraftual” because she spins, weaves, knits, sews and dyes. She joked that she occasionally attempts to create products and art using all her crafts, which has varying degrees of success. She is also the lead organizer of the second annual grand opening reception for the Fiber Art Exhibition. It will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, in the Paquette Gallery at the Salida SteamPlant Event Center. The event is meant to highlight the more artistic side of the Fiber Festival.

The goal of the exhibit is to show fiber as an art, instead of only a craft. “People still think of fiber as a craft, but we’re trying to get people to think outside the box. It can be art as well,” Templeton said.

Templeton credited Sellars Project Space owners Jimmy Sellars and Mark Monroe for coming up with the art exhibit idea last year.

The exhibit will feature artists within 50 miles of Salida as well as all the vendors participating in the festival. Twenty artists will display their work, including Templeton, who will provide a woven vest for the exhibit.

“I’ve been telling people it’s the most beautiful festival you’ll ever see. It’s so colorful and beautiful, even if you’re not a fiber person.”

Visitors who attend the reception may vote for first-, second- and third-place People’s Choice award winners. While the exhibit will be up through the month of September, voting is only allowed during the hour of the reception. The winners will be announced at 6:30 p.m., in the SteamPlant theater. Following the award ceremony, the 2017 documentary Yarn will be shown.

The film explores three modern fiber artists working on a large-scale project. According to the Yarn website, the artists are “redefining the tradition of knit and crochet, bringing yarn out of the house and into the world.” According to Campbell and Templeton, that is also one of the goals of the Fiber Festival.

Campbell said, “My yarn reps tell me that there are a lot more groups in colleges starting knitting and weaving groups. They were looking for a quiet, relaxing, social activity. Younger students are falling back on what our grandparents did.”

Alpaca fiber has grown in popularity considerably in recent years, and examples of other exotic fibers such as camel, yak and Angora rabbits have also been brought to the festival.

In collaboration with the Salida Fiber Festival, Sellars Project Space will have a contemporary fiber art exhibit featuring fiber artists Jude Silva, Esperanza Kane and Donovan Hannis. Silva centers his work on fishing nets, Kane works with felt, and Hannis creates male portraits in lace. The opening reception will be 4-6 p.m. Sept. 9.

Plan on attending the Salida Fiber Festival this year, and see more than 50 vendors from Colorado, Texas, Utah and New Mexico who will be selling fiber goods, tools and finished products. The event is free to attend and runs 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 9 and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 10.

FIBER ARTS DEMONSTRATIONS

Demonstration Tent: Saturday

10 a.m. Fly-Tying with Keith Krebs of Trout Unlimited

11 a.m. The Ancient Art of Tatting with Sandee Jaastad

Noon Dimensional and Textured Felting with Deb Tewell of Milkwood Designs

1 p.m. Pattern & Yarn: What’s the perfect match? With Kristi Ketchum

2 p.m. Knitting Needles: A Forest of Choices with Kristi Ketchum

3 p.m. Shibori Painting with Carol Garnand of Carol Silks

4 p.m. Navajo Plying with Sheryl Campbell and Sue Lathrop

Sunday

10 a.m. Spinning Slubs with Peggy Doney

11 a.m. Circular Sock Knitting Machine with Sheryl Campbell

Noon Navajo Plying with Sheryl Campbell and Sue Lathrop

1 p.m. Making Beads with Jen Naylor

2 p.m. Navajo Weaving and Spinning with Frank Campbell

Vendor Booths: Saturday

10 a.m. Triangle Loom Weaving with Jill Knuckles of Rocky Mtn. Llama and Alpaca Association

10:30 a.m. Drum Carding with Bonnie and Dale Naumann

11 a.m. Rigid Heddle Loom with Karen Dearing of Dancing Hooves Farm and Studio

Noon 3-Dimensional Needle Felting with Diane Del Duca of Samson and Friends

12:30 p.m. Warping a Four-Harness Loom with Sheryl Campbell

1 p.m. Knitting Locks with Linda Smith of DeGoatsnsheep Ranch

2 p.m. Cute Critter Needle Felting with Elena Miller-ter Kuile of Cactus Hill Farm

Sunday

10 a.m. Triangle Loom with Jill Knuckles of Rocky Mtn. Llama and Alpaca Assocation

10:30 a.m. Drum Carding with Bonnie and Dale Naumann

11 a.m. Needle Felting with Monique Mullis of The Felted Dog