Connectivity between fibre and food
my abode, summer 2017

my abode, summer 2017

These last few years I have removed myself from the bustle of urban living and integrated myself onto small island in both the san juans in America and a gulf island in BC. I lived on a permaculture farm and learned how to tend to the land, growing food, maintaining fruit trees, installing water systems, growing mushrooms, harvesting, preserving- the whole process. It changed me. I’ve lived rurally most of my life, however not off grid. The connectivity to everything when you work the land and tend to your food is an extremely humbling process.

This provoked the spiral of thoughts to connecting everything, caring about where everything comes from, which inherently made me rethink my art and the materials I use. Previous to weaving I was working with metals and crystals and making jewellery, which I loved. However when I started considering the process in which we mine crystals and where these small pieces of metal come from I realized most of the processing is not considering sustainability and environmental impact nor the lives affected negatively during the process, so I stopped.

This new journey with weaving has me deeply connected to the process, using only a loom and yarn. After a year at the loom I am still humbled by how much I am learning every time I sit down, while at the same time grateful for how much I have learnt and how much fabric I have created with my own two hands. As the dust settles from this new art form, I have started diving into the journey of yarn and where it all comes from. I am learning once again that this art form has its negative impacts as well, such as scarcely supporting our local economy of wool, harsh chemicals used in turning plant to fibre, and harsh chemical dyes used to create vibrant colours. So here I am, once again refining my process and willing to admit naivety and willing to grow and change habits.

Thankfully there are many amazing choices to make around wool and yarns and this is the next evolution of La Loba. I am slowly facing out cotton that is not organic as well as chemically dyed yarns, while also sourcing vintage and locally shorn wool, botanical dyes, linen and many more beautiful natural fibres.

I recently received a beautiful lot of yarn dyed and spun in Winlaw by a wonderful human, Amanda. She uses dogbane, hibisicus and nettle to dye these wools from sheep in the valley. It is incredible and I’m thrilled to be weaving with it very soon.

I believe that we do need to care and question everything, to make educated choices for ourselves and trust that we can be a ripple, even with small actions.

fig harvest, 2017 the most amazing fruit fresh, dripping off the tree

fig harvest, 2017 the most amazing fruit fresh, dripping off the tree

my boyfriend’s luscious garden

my boyfriend’s luscious garden

from the farm, botanical beverages by Shannon, 2017

from the farm, botanical beverages by Shannon, 2017

The Art of Weaving
LaLoba - Bronwyn- loom in field-12.jpg

Throughout my life, I have been drawn to how things work, craving the knowledge of the steps, beyond what the eyes see. This curiosity has brought me to the art that I do. Every form these days takes many hours to create a piece, if not days. The art of weaving is one that requires multiple steps taken before I even begin weaving. This allows me to connect with the yarn and its quality and really get to know the intimacy of fabric. In today’s fast moving world and especially fast fashion, our disconnect to the fiber can be lost in our desire to stay current. I however believe that timeless art and pieces is the key to our future. Saving our pennies for few, well made items that we can build a relationship with over time is something I believe in and my art represents. Whatever we consume, we are using our money with each purchase as a vote. Whether you choose organic food or not, you are making a vote. Whether you invest in a local artists’ clothing or shop at h & m you are making a vote. I feel more now than ever we need to view our purchases as such and choose the sustainable, community focused choices.

LaLoba - Bronwyn- loom in field-3.jpg
Tiny Lights Weaving Workshop

I had the pleasure of teaching my first weaving workshop at Tiny Lights Festival a few weeks ago in Ymir, BC.  This festival is dear to my heart. Nestled in the west Kootenay mountains, in a small & vibrant town, people of all ages gather to listen to music in the schoolhouse, the church the ymir hotel, and many other beautiful and unique venues, creating a living room performance energy.  Having lived in the Nelson a few years ago, this festival is such a treat to be apart of, seeing familiar faces and dear pals, the supportive energy of these people is nourishing.  

I taught my workshop in the cabin, where about 20 people showed up to learn how to weave on a hand loom, which basically is a picture frame, a piece of dowel, and yarn, quite simple, yet it creates a warp (the yarn loaded on the frame) and the weft (the yarn added onto the frame) which is the same set up as any other loom.  It was inspiring to see everyones' group creations come together, and watch their creative process.  It especially inspired me to watch a young girl create her piece exclaiming "I'm a master weaver!" 

To share what I've learnt over this past winter felt right, to pass on the knowledge and the passion of such an ancient art form, creating textile.  

Thank you to the Tiny Lights community for welcoming me in this new expression of my art. Until next time. xo