Fiber Artist Feature – Nicole Frost Frostyarn

http://www.strauchfiber.com/wordpress/?p=1017

This artist entered into the fiber arts field due to a friend giving her some yarn and advising that she utilize that since meditation was not likely to hold her interest.

She has been doing so for nine years, since she became sober and moved home.

Her inspiration is space themed items, though the batts in the article seem to be more victorian inspired.  She is of the opinion that ‘More is More’.

This is a great article, it really makes me think about other peoples creative journeys.

The Pressure to Publish in Journals Drives too Much Cookie Cutter Research

https://www.theguardian.com/higher-education-network/2017/jun/30/pressure-to-publish-in-journals-drives-too-much-cookie-cutter-research

This seems to be a very interesting article.  The first few paragraphs outline how real life research questions become academic topics mainly aimed toward publication rather than information gathering.

This is a particularly telling paragraph:

“Steadily the report was shorn of the information needed to make it useful. And thus the government could pay many tens of thousands of taxpayers’ pounds, yet end up with a bland, deliberately incommunicative report, crafted to be hard for academic referees to criticise.”

Academic research is a very competitive field.  I enjoyed reading this article and it does bring up an ethical issue as well.  Is your responsibility to your own career and being published in a big journal or to the investor who is funding your research?  While it can be argued that the two are not mutually exclusive, there is a conflict there.    Certainly food for thought when directing my students toward research, also something to consider when telling the students during the analysis process using CRAAP; “To test for accuracy see if this agrees with what you know about the topic then decide if it is new and innovative or inaccurate.”

Fixing ‘Failed’ Fiber

http://www.strauchfiber.com/wordpress/?p=1008

This is a fantastic article that explores how fiber ‘mistakes’ can be easily fixed with a drum carder.  Everything from a splotch of too bright color to a bit of felting in the dye pot can be fixed with a drum carder.  The too bright color can be mellowed out with a few passes through the drum carder and carding the fiber can fix some of the felting by reintroducing air.  Admittedly if the fiber is too felted all you will be doing is breaking apart the fibers and introducing ‘nepps’ into your batt.  But really those can also be called ‘texture’ and creating an ‘art batt’.  This is also a great reminder for me that dimension can be added at other points in the creation process other than the dye bath.  *Don’t forget the sparkle*

Three Tips for Dyeing Dimensional yarn

How to dye yarn so full of color and life that it glows
Three tips to dyeing yarn with depth and dimension
By Brenda Lavell

This is written by the creator of Phydeaux Designs & Fiber; she is releasing a course on fiber dyeing that I recommend.

The first tip involves mixing colors of the same family or layering them imperfectly to create dimension to the project you are working on.

Shadows create dimension, and so using a gray can do the same for your yarn/fiber. (remember you can add but taking away is much harder).

*The entire article is fascinating and has a lot more tips and tricks than I put here.  These are just my notes*

https://shop.phydeauxdesigns.com/

The Slow Death of Vintage Skills

http://imperfectlyhappy.com/the-slow-death-of-vintage-skills/

This author begins by exploring why a particular scene in a show has remained on her mind for an entire day, the scene is a woman being told that her bobbin lace in antiquated.

“Skills like knitting, sewing, cooking from scratch, canning, gardening and, yes, making bobbin lace seems to belong to a bygone era”

From there this author begins to explore how education began, at the mother’s knee with the children involved in all aspects of everyday life to one extent or another.  Food preparation has fallen by the wayside, including canning, baking bread from scratch, etc.  Sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidery, etc. this author laments not learning these skills when she was younger at her grandmother’s knee.  Gardening gets a mention also.

“BUT!  I see a revival!!!  Homeschoolers.  Backyard Farmers.  Crafters.  Survivalists.
Homesteaders.  These movements are growing and beginning to cross paths.  They are cool, hipsters, conservatives and hippies.  This “vintage revivalism” is gaining momentum.”

As people get more involved in understanding the health impact, and economic impact, of their choices in life they begin to go back to what was old.  I am really hoping that these skills are seen as valuable since Olean Public Library will be holding classes on them over the summer!

The Monk Who Saves Manuscripts from ISIS

https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2017/02/the-monk-who-saves-manuscripts-from-isis/517611/

A 59 year old Benedictine monk is roaming around the middle east trying to save Christian and Islamic writings.  He is working on training teams of locals to photograph the pages of manuscripts before they are destroyed, or lost, or stolen.  Many locals are reluctant to let in outsiders and are afraid that their cultural treasures will be stolen.  The monk never touches the manuscript but pays locals to do the digitization work, this keeps the locals employed, active in the preservation, and from being overly wary.

Restoration is extremely costly, if something is destroyed without being photographed then it is truly lost.  Often these methods are seen as the only way to preserve their heritage.

  • This is a good post, detailing some of the preservation efforts being done in war torn countries.  It is good to see that people are trying to maintain access to cultures of the past*