All posts by acappa

Alice Cappa is an experienced creator and educator working with private and public schools, special needs organizations, and personal studio arts, including fiber arts, photography, bookarts, and writing. As a fiber artist and writer, she enjoys mixing media and words, such as word collages on hand-made, illustrated paper. Or combining book-making with stories. And creating characters to process weaving, spinning, dyeing, or paper-making. With weaving, her natural fiber wearables include a variety of styles. Color and texture are most important, including lots of nubbies, gradient colors, and some lace imagery, too. Presentations take her to schools and festivals, sometimes with a lamb in tow. With writing, she creates stories to express these same concepts, full of color and texture and ambiance. Two ongoing series have been developing since the '80's. In one, to interest young people in the fiberarts, YarnTalk is an illustrated story “by my lambs”, dramatizing the process from the sheep’s point of view. On her small "farmette", four Shetland sheep provide wool and an inspiring muse for spinning yarns, both fibrous and verbal. In the other, Tales From The Summer Hills, an enchanted land is expressed in folktales for adults. Narratives were inspired by hand-marblings, where swirls of colors and shapes became characters and spoke of their lives. They were magical. A quote by Samuel Johnson has long inspired: "Babies do not want to hear about babies; they like to be told of giants and castles, and of somewhat which can stretch and stimulate their little minds." Alice creates and writes to express, to inspire, to celebrate, and hopefully her work will strike a chord within one's own imaginative and personal themes. A few of the Summer Hills tales have been printed onto long scrolls of handmade papers and exhibited in galleries. One was chosen by WFSU's former Stories In The Air. Another has won a 1st prize, short story, in the Seven Hills Review. YarnTalk's story of SnoBelle, a lamb's quest for a handwoven shawl, is being processed into an illustrated chapter book. Alice Cappa ~ acappa@alicecappa.com BS, Art Education; MS, Art Education; AS, Graphic Design & Multimedia http://www.alicecappa.com

Shearing

The shearing this year went smoothly, at least for me. However,  the girls had to be moved to another farm a day early, since I couldn’t be with them during shearing, I heard later they were not so easy to deal with. Having had the pleasure of a large grassy yard overnight, they did not want to be herded in for their haircuts the next day. Apparently they scattered every which way and drew out the procedure much longer than it should have been. Sheep do not like being sheared, but they do like having been sheared. Dropping several pounds of wool on a hot day makes them zip and gambol around like lambs. When I got them back, they were clean and cool, and much happier. Below are some of my favorite pics from years past.
Wool like cotton candy
Swee’Pea, as “cotton candy”.
The sheep are Shetland crosses, which means they have the long fine texture of Shetlands, but I think are not as fuzzy. Because of the crosses through the years, their wool is much softer.

 

Shearing Missy

MissyMoon has a mix of black and white wool. Most is white, long and luscious fibers.

 

Several years ago the shearer arrived late and in the dark, he spooked a new lamb that was only a few weeks old. During the shearing of his mom, the totally freaked-out lamb ran in circles, baa’ing loudly for his mom, wondering what in the world was going on. The photo below is totally different. Ivy is very independent, curious, and got right in their under the shearer to watch her mom’s shearing. I think she liked it.

Ivy watches the shearingIvy watches the shearing

 

In the end, lustrous fibers are gathered into bundles for processing. Wool needs washed, combed or carded, spun, dyed, and used as many textured yarns in so many things. This pic shows length of the raw wool staples, color, and softness of the finished yarn.wool - raw and spun

Renaissance Crafts

 

The Renaissance Festival is going on this weekend in Cascades Park. This included medieval craft demos, medieval foods, a fountain “fest” for the kids, lots of people in costume, and the full play of Romeo & Juliet. I was demonstrating on Saturday, always a chance to introduce the loom and spinning wheel to the kids.Renaissance Festival Demos