A “Clearing” of the Mind

It’s time to update the blog…there is so much to talk about when it comes to fibers! And I have a story to tell about a magical place that I visited recently during one of my trips to teach a spinning class. It seems that everything happens as it should and this is no exception.

The place?  The Clearing in Ellison Bay, Wisconsin (in beautiful Door County). The Clearing is a residential folk school offering week-long classes throughout the summer as well as shorter workshops and winter classes. How fortunate I am to have friends of the Fiber Garden who promote my teaching. Last summer, one of those friends visited The Clearing to take a class. The director found out that she was a spinner. It turns out that The Clearing has wanted to offer spinning but didn’t know of a teacher. She recommended me and…the rest is history!

Jens Jensen, founder of The Clearing, “believed that environments have a profound effect on people and that an understanding of one’s own regional ecology and culture is fundamental to all ‘clear’ thinking”. The Clearing campus has no internet, we are asked to limit cell phones use to important calls only, and phones must have their rings muted. All of this to help us escape from our hectic day to day lives and allow for “a clearing of the mind.” The Clearing provides renewal!

What was so magical?? Everything! Where to begin…

Perhaps it was the tranquility as I walked up the path to my living quarters for the week…old stone buildings that have been impeccably maintained with flagstone paths throughout.

Lodging at The Clearing

Or when I took my first peek inside my own private abode where handmade quilts were on the bed and three windows kept me connected with the outdoor surroundings.

Inside The Clearing cabin

Or could it have been my daily “commute” through the woods to the studio?

Path to workshop

Or maybe it was the Workshop where we spent our days spinning and dyeing…


Perhaps it was the camaraderie among this wonderful group of beginning spinners. They’re showing off their very first skeins around their necks!

beginning spinning group

It could have been the dragon in the tree along the path to the Workshop!

dragon in tree

The evening walks of the labyrinth?


I know! It was the dining room tables beautifully set with blue willow china…each meal a culinary delight! (Honestly, the food was amazing!)

breakfast table with blue willow china

The light shining through the lodge window signals the end of another day and a wish for a restful night.

light shining through window

It was, indeed, a magical week! My thanks to Faye for recommending me, Mike (Executive Director) for inviting me to be a part of your teaching staff, and most of all THANKS to the five amazing women who were part of this Clearing “first”! I look forward to returning again to help build the spinning program at the school.

beginning spinning students

To see all of the photos from Beginning Spinning at The Clearing, please visit my facebook page. And please be sure and subscribe to my blog posts (in the right column) to receive them via email.

Next stop?? Fargo North Dakota for the Fargo Fiber Arts Festival!

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