Connectivity between fibre and food
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.