Gallery 'N' Gifts Features Fiber Frogs for May
Gallery 'n' Gifts will feature the Tehachapi Fiber Frogs for the month of May, with a reception in their honor being held, First Friday, May 2 from 5-8 p.m. What is a Fiber Frog, one might ask? Affectionately known as Tehachapi's Fiber Frogs, a group formed a couple of years ago as an exploration project. Spinners, knitters and other fiber related related artists came together to share ideas and information. Fiber Art consists of natural or synthetic fibers and other components The focus is on the materials and manual labor of the artist as part of the works' significance and prioritizes aesthetic value over utility.
Alpaca rancher, Amy Stewart said "as an alpaca rancher I believe in the whole process from growing the alpaca fiber to end product, I wanted to have a place where people who are fiber enthusiasts could share their knowledge as well as gain knowledge and expand their interests in fiber arts. The artists began to explore carding, spinning and dying and experiencing how their projects began. Learning how the yarns, etc. make it the market, prior to the knitting needles, crochet hooks, weavings, felting, quilting and embroidery, is a favorite among many of the members."
The Fiber Frogs also enjoy sharing their knowledge and experience with school groups and visitors to the Field of Dreams, Alpaca ranch.
Fiber enthusiasts, Marge Colby shared some of her experiences over the years in her quest to learn more and enjoy the fiber art process. She began in Seventh grade, making a 12 inch square with the standard, knit one, purl one and had pot holder making down to a science. The process got put on hold for several years until....she was given a knitting machine. Once again, knitting was put on hold as she learned the machine needed servicing On hold for several years, again, Colby then found an out of date knitting machine at a thrift store for $25. "Seeing its state of disassembly, called "challenge" loud and clear," she said. She managed to get the machine functional and was ready to move on.
With a good deal of practice and help from a friend, Colby eventually found knitting to be fun, once again but the 12 inch knit one, purl one, square was a far cry from her new endeavors.
Fiber enthusiasts will appreciate the phrase "stash", it's what they do. Colors, blends and textures call out to fiber artists and many could open a shop of their own, with the amount of yarns, etc. they have in their "stash". But fear not, local shops, there is no way the artists would open a shop and let go of their stash. It is theirs to enjoy and share with others, but to sell. Don't even think about it.
Colby was later given a spinning wheel. Yes, a new challenge and as always, she rose to that challenge and conquered.
Upon joining the Fiber Frogs, she learned to spin fibers from both animal and plant derivations.
Then she was given the opportunity to have on the job training at a couple of the alpaca ranches, in sorting and grading the variations in the fleece of each animal.
Colby said" No, I do not plan on owning a fiber producing animal!" Well, that's what she says today, guess we will see.
For more information regarding the Tehachapi Fiber Frogs, call Field of Dreams Alpacas at 557-5737.
Plan an evening out at Gallery 'n' Gifts, Friday, May 2 and talk with the variety of fiber artists while enjoying the always scrumptious goodies. Gallery 'n' Gifts is located at 100 W. Tehachapi Blvd. and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.