Page 1





Fiber Festival celebrates 10 years of texture and creativity By KRISTINE MORRIS Contributing Writer


he 10th Annual Fiber Festival, exhibiting original work in paper, wearable art, tapestry, art quilts, weaving, textile bags, fiber sculpture, knits, and yarns will be held at the Old Art Building in Leland, beginning with an opening reception on Friday, Oct. 8, from 5 to 8 p.m., and continuing on Saturday, Oct. 9, from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The exhibit is sponsored by the Leelanau Community Cultural Center (LCCC), and admission is free. This year, the popular and colorful festival’s featured artist is Chris Roosien, owner of Briar Rose Fibers, in Caledonia (near Grand Rapids). Roosien is

known for her “hand painted” yarns in wool and wool blends including Merino, Wensleydale, blends of Merino and Tencel, and wool and flax blends. She started out, as many fiber artists do, by learning to knit, but couldn’t find the deep, saturated colors she wanted to work with – at least, not in quantities large enough to make a whole sweater – so she decided to learn to dye yarn herself. “I’ve dyed thousands of hanks of yarn, and still wake up excited to go out to my dye shop!” said Roosien. “I love, love, love dyeing yarn and roving, which is for spinning on a spinning wheel, and still get excited to see what comes out of my shop. “At the end of the day, I stand and look at my racks of yarn drying, or a large batch of rov-

ing drying on the screen, and feel happy!” Roosien considers herself mainly self-taught, though she said she did take a class about seven years ago. “I do everything differently from what I learned in the class,” she said. “Through the years I’ve learned so much about different wools and silks, and about animals including sheep, alpaca, and llamas; I’m always trying to discover more about different processes and techniques.”

Secret process While the hand painting of yarn has a long history, Roosien said that her methods – which she chooses to keep secret – are different from those used by others. Her business, Briar Rose Fibers, is family-owned, and Roosien said that her husband is her biggest supporter. “He drives to most of our events so I can knit as we travel, and helps set up once we arrive; he also handles the receipt of money and helps tear down the booth. My daughter Amy is my graphic design person and advertising manager, and she also does pattern production. My son Nate is both my web guy and my general advisor


The Old Art Building is located at 111 S. Main St., in Leland. For more information, call 231-256-2131 or visit

Show to feature local exhibitors Well-known area fiber artists participating in the 10th Annual Fiber Festival include Sarah Bearup-Neal (art quilts), Char Bickel (silk collage shadow boxes), Martha Bishop (recycled woolen items), Sue Egelus (hand-knit mittens), Bonnie Greenwald (art dolls), Elizabeth Hill (felted items and woven scarves), Cynthia Hilliard (natural yarns and gourd art), Linda Kustra (hand-knit wearables), Ann Loveless (landscape art quilts), Krystal Ann Miller (tapestry bags), Majel Obata (handmade paper boxes), Becky Ross and Julie Funk (felted and recycled wool items), Carol Salerno (hand-woven scarves), Christie and Mary Jane Trout (coiled pine needle baskets), Barbara Waddell (mixed media fiber), and Jean Wolter (felted hats and knits). The “Barns of the Leland Report” quilt is on loan from the winner of the “Quilt for the Cure” raffle and will be on display along with an art quilt by Desiree Vaughn. on the business end, and my daughter-in-law Christy designs some of our patterns and helps out at some of our events. “I am so grateful to have them in my life,” she said. “Besides my family, I have also had a lot of encouragement from several different people in my life who told me, ‘You can do this!’ I’ve been in business for six years, and still love every minute of it.” Besides dyeing yarn, Roosien is also an enthusiastic knitter. “I love to knit! Love it,” she said. “I like to make sweaters, hats, and mittens.”

Photo by Courtney Lanting

Chris Roosien will be the featured artist at the 10th Annual Fiber Festival sponsored by the Leelanau Community Cultural Center in Leland. The Festival’s opening reception is set for Friday, Oct. 8, from 5-8 p.m., and the show continues on Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. It’s a good thing that Roosien derives as much satisfaction from dyeing yarn as she does from making things with it herself, because her business keeps her so busy that she doesn’t have much time to devote to knitting. This year, she will travel to 17 different events, including the LCCC’s Fiber Festival. “I usually do about 12 events a year, so this year is not typical,” she said.

“We have events in Indiana, Wisconsin, Ohio, Illinois, New York, Massachusetts, Maine, Minnesota, and, of course, Michigan. At every event, people come and show off what they have made, and I really like to see the things others have done with my yarn. I feel blessed to have this business and am grateful for all of my customers.” Learn more about Roosien at


Awakening to the Wonder The colorful art of Duncan Sprattmoran By KRISTINE MORRIS Contributing Writer


life-threatening illness and a dream brought James Duncan Sprattmoran (Duncan) to painting when he was just 22 years old. “As I was recovering, I had a dream that I was sitting at the top of an apple tree, painting watercolors,” he said. “It inspired me with the sense that, by painting, I had to attend to the world around me – to focus, to react – and that every painting is a dialog with the world. The next morning, I

went into town also teaches and bought a painting FYI little watercolor through the For information on the set and began to Glen Arbor Art workshop, please call paint.” Association 231-334-6112, or visit Sprattmoran (GAAA) and was moved the Leelanau Visit Sprattmoran’s webto paint landCommunity site at www.duncansprattscapes, and conCultural Center tinues to capture (LCCC), and the beauty and will be holding a vibrant colors of nature, and workshop, “Exploring Color,” the way light illuminates it all, at the GAAA on Oct. 16 and 17. in his current work. The playful workshop will The artist has a degree in introduce painters to new pigcreative writing and teaches ments and explore how brushLanguage Arts and Social work and composition can Studies at The Pathfinder PLEASE SEE ART/7A School in Traverse City. He

Grand Traverse Insider page design  

Grand Traverse Insider, feature story, design

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you