It is rare in these days of too much stress, packed schedules, increasing workloads and pushing to do more, faster, with less, that we take the time to retreat. To slow down, breathe deeply, really “see” the amazing world that surrounds us. To reflect, refresh, and renew our minds and our hearts. To spend the time doing the things that we love. The Clearing Folk School in Door County, Wisconsin, is one place that allows us this space to “be”. I have just returned from my annual trip to The Clearing to spend a week teaching, immersed in fibers and spinning, surrounded by the spirit of Jens Jensen and his “school of the soil”.
For spinners in the Fiber Garden community, spring and fall are times when we escape the daily grind for more peaceful and creative time. We pack up our fibers, load our spinning wheels, and hit the road to Baraboo, Wisconsin and “The Glen”. Durward’s Glen Retreat Center! For four days our spinning wheels turn a quiet rhythm and through the artists’ hands, amazing yarns are created! We recently returned from our spring retreat where we celebrated our spinning community and the breakthrough of spring!
Inspiring, energizing, uplifting are just a few of the words that I would use to describe our recent spinner’s retreat. Spinners unleashing their creativity, bonding as a community of fiber artists and enjoying a hearty dose of laughter. What could be better?
Until we gather again in the spring, may your spinning wheels always be in motion! Thank you for the honor of sharing these days with you!
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.
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.
Or could it have been my daily “commute” through the woods to the studio?
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!
It could have been the dragon in the tree along the path to the Workshop!
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!)
The light shining through the lodge window signals the end of another day and a wish for a restful night.
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.
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!
New England in the fall…what could be more inspiring to spinners and fiber artists? You, your family and friends, and your spinning community are invited to join the Fiber Garden for a nine night New England/Canada cruise in October 2015. It sounds so far away and yet planning early is key in order to get space reserved on board the cruise ship for this popular itinerary. The Liberty of the Seas is one of the ships in the fabulous Freedom Class of ships in the Royal Caribbean International fleet. You can ice skate, rock climb, or surf on board! If you prefer activity on the milder side, you can stroll the shops along the Royal Promenade, attend a program, enjoy a movie, or find a lounge chair and watch the ocean roll by. And did I mention spinning?? There will be plenty of time for spinning including three full days of workshops at sea. Complete details and reservation forms can be found at https://www.fibergarden.com/travel/spinners-cruise-october-2015/. Although we’re more than a year away from the sail date, deposits are due by December 15, 2014. Please start planning and saving your pennies so you can be part of this grand fiber adventure at sea!