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home : arts & entertainment : arts & entertainment July 22, 2017

7/3/2017 1:24:00 PM
Sisters celebrates the fiber arts
By Jim Cornelius
News Editor

"Gahndi recommended that everybody spin for an hour a day," Teresa Simons said as her feet rhythmically worked a treadle on a small spinning wheel set up in MacKenzie Creek Mercantile on Sunday. "Not just for wool production, but for meditation."

Simons, who hails from Mountain Shadow Ranch in Cottage Grove, was spinning wool from a Cotswold Sheep. Simply watching the process had a calming effect on spectators.

"It's relaxing, she said. "You can fall asleep doing it. I'm serious. I have."

Simons dyes some of her wool and leaves some of it natural. She used to raise sheep, but as they succumbed to old age, she let that end of her work go so that she would be free to travel. And this weekend she traveled to Sisters at the invitation of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, which was launching Quilt Week in Sisters with the annual Fiber Arts Stroll.

The stroll features a wide range of artists and media, all associated in one way or another with the endless variety of crafts that can be associated with fiber arts - from knitting to felting.

Sarah Peery, originally from Hong Kong and now a resident of Bend, held forth at a table on Cascade Avenue where she demonstrated her felting work.

Her silk garments are her canvas, where she creates using a process called nuno felting, from the Japanese word meaning cloth. The technique bonds wool fiber and silk, creating an extremely lightweight (two to four ounces) garment that is exceptionally warm - and colorful.

Peery uses a variety of different types of wool, which she dyes herself.

Peery has pursued a variety of fiber arts, starting with crotchet.

"I find that every craft is cross-training," she said. "They all intersect with each other. My paint is my wool."

Peery also creates very popular blocks of felted soap. She uses them to experiment with colors (she calls it doodling) and they provide a beautiful decorative item for a bathroom.

Her philosophy might serve as a manifesto for any artist: "I'm always experimenting," she said. "You're never going to reach the final destination. No such thing."

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