Friday, March 26, 2010

Friday's Fiber Artist - Cactus Bloom Fibers exciting and luscious! This week's featured artist is Cactus Bloom Fibers.

CoreSpun Recycled Silk Yarn by Cactus Bloom Fibers 

As exemplified by the above silk yarn spun from a recycled silk, Patricia of Cactus Bloom Fibers has given a modern twist to the ancient art of fiber spinning. It is also a wonderful example of her versatility; dyeing and spinning traditional fibers AND transferring this process to non-traditional spinning materials from the world around her. Just take a look at this scarf!

Handspun Wool and Recycled Silk Tie Scarf by Cactus Bloom Fibers
The spinning of fibers into yarn is a fiber art form that dates back to prehistoric times. It evolved from rolling tufts of fiber along the leg, to attaching fiber to a stone and twirling, to a spindle and distaff, and the "revolutionary" spinning wheel. Modern industrial spinning techniques make use of high-speed rotary and open-ended spinning.

Hand-dyed Fiber by Cactus Bloom Fibers
 Though there are many varieties of spun fiber at the big name craft stores, it is artists like Patricia that keep the medium alive and fresh. It is the individual artistic whim that gives handdyed roving and handspun yarns the perfect touch for yarn and needle crafts. The ability to create unique items from the yarn and fiber at Cactus Bloom Fibers is abundant!

Handspun Thick and Thin Worsted Merino Wool Yarn by Cactus Boom Fibers

Plumberry Handspun Art Yarn by Cactus Bloom Fibers
Let's hear from Patricia about how her love of color and interest in spinning came to be:
"Cactus Bloom Fibers is a name I chose for my business because I consider myself a desert transplant.  I currently live in Springfield, Missouri but grew up in Arizona.  When I was coming up with ideas for a name, I kept coming back to cactus blooms.  In Arizona, my brother and I used to explore the desert and mountains around us.  My family used to take us on hiking trips around the state, as well.  To me, the desert is beautiful - and one of the most beautiful things you can see are cactus in bloom with bright luscious yellows, pinks or reds.  Those seem to be the colors I use most in my dyeing, including large amounts of green.
I have a passion for color, but texture is wonderful, too.  I love working with natural fibers such as wool and silk. I enjoy dying & blending my own fibers and spinning them into interesting & beautiful yarn.
I've dabbled in a lot of creative fields, such as silversmithing & jewelry making, quilting, sewing, knitting and needlework.  Lately, I've been designing felt brooches/baubles to coordinate with my handspun yarn.  I've noticed that my best creative moments come when there is no pressure to create - and I'm just living in the moment, enjoying the process.

A few years ago, I became intensely interested in the process of dyeing yarn and fiber. I did quite a bit of online research, read online tutorials (there's tons of them online), checked out books at the library, bought books and also watched any program on TV that had anything to do with spinning or dyeing fiber that I could find. The only thing I didn't do was take a class. I'm just not a class-taker. I like learning independently and and some classes can move at a pace that puts me to sleep!

If someone were to ask me why I love spinning colorful fibers into yarn, I would say that it's the tactile quality that is so appealing. I bet that is why most women who spin yarn like it, too. What's really wonderful to me about dyeing fibers and spinning them into yarn is that I get to use my creativity to make fiber art, but in turn, that fiber art is something that can be made into something useful and beautiful.  It's a 2-in-1 process that I just find amazing.  I would also say that wool is my all-time favorite fiber (as is probably for many spinners). When someone asks me why I love wool so much, I usually say "There's just something about wool..." because I don't want to lecture them on all the wonderful attributes it has - and some people get the glassy-eyed look that tells me I'm being too educational.

I stay busy working full-time at an office job during the day, winning bread, etc. for my family...The most positive thing I can say about the office job is it gets any need for structure and orginazation out of my system.  When I am home working on the fiber arts, I can just let go and let the creativity kick in.  Of course, there's kids to deal with, pets to feed, dinner to be fixed and hopefully (if I'm being really good - 20 minutes of exercise to fit in somewhere).  The weekends are my big creative-outlet time.  
I would love to work as a full-time fiber artist some day and maybe fill any needs for structure or organization in other ways."

Thank you Patricia for sharing a little bit about yourself and Cactus Bloom Fibers. By the way, my daughter has suggested that the roving below would be a perfect choice for me to buy her for her next needle felting project!

Garden Flow Falkland Wool Roving by Cactus Bloom Fibers

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