Fibre Arts Festival promises lots of creative fun

Some of the produce from the last Pumpkin Festival.

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Jody Pilon, coordinator of the Espanola Fibre Arts Festival, might reside now in Sudbury but she is still very much in charge of the event. This is the eighth year for this festival, the only one of its kind, showcasing fibre artists and their work. Every year Pilon brings in different artists and their creations as well as finding new and exciting people to demonstrate wonderful ways to make useful items out of all-natural materials.

The festival which runs from October 17 to 21 includes workshops, lectures and hands-on activities. There are two workshops booked for Susan Lenz’ HOT! Exploration in Contemporary Fibre Arts workshop. The first one takes place over two days on Thursday, Oct. 17 and Friday, Oct. 18. The second one is booked for Sunday, Oct. 20 and Monday, Oct. 21. Both workshops are from 9 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. at the Espanola Golf and Country Club.

Lenz, a textile artist, will be demonstrating the heat-activated process using painted adhesives, metallic foiling, household irons, soldering irons and various fibres. Those undertaking the workshop will be introduced to hand stitching and/or free-motion machine embroidery. She will also show how to mount a finished fibre creation.

The opening celebration and keynote address will be delivered by artist David Melynchuk, on Friday, Oct. 18 at the Espanola United Church from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. He will be speaking about the importance of art and craft in a healthy society, and how they have always played important roles in developing and sustaining traditional civilizations.

Melynchuk a Canadian artist of Ukrainian descent, residing in Toronto, will also showcase some of the traditional arts and crafts of his ancestors for his Trunk Show on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 11:15 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. at the Espanola High School. For his talk, he will be pulling items from the trunk, including embroidery, applique, sewing, paper-cutting, wood carving, wooden puppets, furniture making, knotting/braiding, beading, and leather crafts.

Other workshops include from Forest to Fibre, taking place at Boogie Mountain on Sunday, Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. – noon, which shows how to eco print on silk, cotton and paper. Host Chandra Rice will be demonstrating different ways to draw the dyestuff out of local leaves, as well as two different approaches to eco printing. Those attending can go back home with a collection of printed material to use in quilting, scrapbooking, or textile art or they can join Rice for her afternoon workshop. From 1 p.m. – 4 p.m., at Boogie Mountain, she will be holding a Book Cloth and Button Hole Binding workshop, showing how to turn any fabric into book cloth.

Finding Inspiration Among The Trees is a workshop with artist Gillian Schultze, taking place at Boogie Mountain on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. This is an artistic endeavour with participants walking through nature, letting it inspire their imagination, and transferring those experiences onto paper.

There are other workshops planned, such as the Rug Hooked Poncho Workshop, on Saturday, Oct. 19 at 12:30 – 4:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 20 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. with Trudy Bolduc and the Fabricated Forests Workshop, with Amy Bagshaw, on Oct. 19 from 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Both workshops will take place at the Espanola High School, depending on enough public interest.

All information on these workshops can be found by going to Registration for many of these events is limited.