Photo by Charity Maness/Fall River County Herald Star
Local artists Terry Slagel, Karen Meston, Cheryl Schwarz, Barbara Miller, Elaine Anderson and Judy Cox were all on hand to greet visitors to the fiber show.
By Charity Maness
HOT SPRINGS – The Fall River Fibers Fiber Friends Mixed Media Fiber Show opened in Hot Springs at Fall River Fibers September 1st with an open house to meet the artists from 11 am to 1 pm.
“I think it’s wonderful,” said Carol Hemigan, visiting the show from Breckenridge, Colorado. “It it inspires me.”
The show, organized by local artist and fiber lover Barb Sharp, will showcase local artists and the expansive variety of arts that can be created with fibers through October 20.
Encompassing two rooms the art display includes quilts, felt ‘paintings’ and lifelike creations, pine needle basket weaving, rope coil baskets, various loom woven arts, knitted and crocheted works as well as handspun items and so much more.
“I think this is beautiful,” said Terry Slagel, owner Fall River Fibers and Fiber Friends group organizer. “This show is so inspiring; to see all this local talent.”
Many of the artists highlighted in the show can trace their love of fiber to their youth.
Cheryl Schwarz picked up crocheting in the 1980s at her grandmother’s knee, yet her world now includes extensive weaving along with knitting and spinning. “I would say I still crochet, but it would be in fourth place,” she laughed.
Barb Miller, a best of show winner at the Fall River County Fair, also learned the love of fiber arts from her grandmother.
“My grandmother was an avid knitter and spinner,” said Miller. “That really influenced me as a child.” Much like Schwarz this was simply the opening to a new world of fiber arts for her.
“I learned to knit and began testing patterns for designers as well as translating English patterns to German,” said Miller. Yet after knitting everything from socks to sweaters Miller began seeking more fiber challenges and began felting. Now skilled at felting creating lifelike birds, award winning wall art and more she recently added spinning to her repertoire.
“I began spinning this year,” said Miller, “it is so calming for me.”
While Miller enjoys creating, the favorite part of all her work is gifting her pieces of art. “That is definitely the most fun,” she said with a smile.
Show organizer Barb Sharp fell in love with fiber a bit differently as she had seen a sign in the lobby of her work in 1976 advertising free quilting lessons.
“I went to see and was enthralled,” recalled Sharp, “the rest is history.”
Since then Sharp has added rug hooking, coiled fabric basket weaving, pine needle basket weaving, wool appliqué and counted cross stitch to her vast array of fiber talents.
Quilter Elaine Anderson was drawn to the art by it geometric patterning.
“I have been quilting for more than 20 years,” said Elaine Anderson, “I like the geometric patterns that can be made by combining fabrics, shades and colors to create different effects.”
There is no cost to enjoy the show and it will be open for viewing during store hours, Tuesday through Saturday 10-5 pm, located at 631 N. River Street.
The Fiber Friends group, which began in 2009, is held at Fall River Fibers every Friday from 10 am to noon with all welcome.
“Bring your favorite hand work and join fellow fiber friends for support, inspiration and conversation around the arts,” said Slagel.