Wednesday, September 3, 2014
Twist Fibre Festival
For a couple of years now I have intended to visit the Twist Fibre Festival, held annually in the tiny town (pop. 3200) of Saint-André-Avellin, in the Montebello area of Quebec. This year's event was held on August 21 - 24, and it was impressive, filling the neighbourhood hockey arena. As my husband noted, "I've never seen so much wool in one place!"
The first two days of the festival were devoted to workshops. In all, there were 23 choices, including "Madder Root Dyeing", "Indigo Dyeing", "Felted Wool Collage", "Lace Felting", "Crafting Your Brand" and "From Proposal to Print".
Areas were set aside for children's activities, and for demos of carding, spinning and weaving. Outside, visitors could spend time with alpacas and Shetland sheep, and even observe sheep being sheared.
The organizers boasted 100 vendors and exhibitors. Booths included lace-making, silk painting, naturally-dyed scarves, and beautiful fine knits.
Maggie Glossop of Ottawa was there with her unique landscapes of felted wool. Also from Ottawa, Wabi-Sabi had perhaps the largest space. They were one of many vendors offering gorgeous rainbows of hand-dyed yarn. Another vendor specialized in vegan yarn: hemp, linen, cotton and bamboo.
The space was divided between artisans offering finished work and vendors selling supplies like tools, hand-dyed yarns and hand-crafted buttons, as well as kits.
The Twist Festival provides a glimpse into the fibre culture of this agricultural region. It offers those working with spun fibres an opportunity to learn new techniques and to stock up on supplies. And for the general public, it's a chance to do some early holiday shopping.
It has been suggested to me that this would be a good venue for showing and selling my work, but having visited, I have to say that I don't think Twist would be a good fit for me. It's oriented more to craft than to art, and my prices would be high relative to most of what is on offer.