Public invited to tour fiber arts studios, farms

Posted July 19, 2010, at 6:19 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:54 p.m.

More than 50 studios and farms throughout Maine will be open to the public for the Fiber Arts Tour Weekend, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, Aug. 6-8. The three-day event, sponsored by statewide nonprofit Maine Fiberarts, is a chance to visit working studios and farms, and to take part in demonstrations, workshops, studio tours, children’s crafts and farm living.

Weekend activities are free and open to the public and include, an antique spinning mill in Harmony, a Pygora goat farm in Limerick, a feltmaker’s studio in Garland, natural dye demonstrations in New Gloucester, and tours of gardens and sheep flocks in Brownfield. Spinning wheel collections, handspun yarns, art quilts, collectible crafts and freshly shorn fleeces can be discovered during the three-day event.

Other destinations are Argyle, Bangor, Bath, Belfast, Bowdoin, Bremen, Bristol, Brunswick, Cape Elizabeth, Cushing, Damariscotta, Dresden, Eastbrook, Freeport,

Garland, Harpswell, Hope, Kittery Point, Limerick, Lovell, Minot, Monmouth, New Gloucester, Orono, Portland, Richmond, Round Pond, Solon, St. George, Stockton Springs, Sullivan, Sumner, Thorndike, Topsham, Waldo, Waldoboro, Washington, Waterville, West Gardiner and West Newfield.

An interactive tour map has been posted at www.mainefiberarts.org, with driving directions, map markers, Web links and contact information for each site. A list of craft demonstrations offered during the Fiber Arts Tour Weekend also has been posted. Printed 2010 weekend brochures listing all participants may be obtained at Maine Fiberarts in Topsham, Halcyon Yarn in Bath or at participating sites.

“Our Fiber Arts Tour Weekend is a wonderful way to step inside a working studio or farm and see how craft is made. Thousands of people toured studios in 2009, and we are pleased to host this event annually — always the first weekend in August,” said Christine Macchi, executive director of Maine Fiberarts. “Last time, participants sold artwork, took commissions for hooked rugs, introduced community members to farm animals and products, talked shop and made some long-lasting contacts. This is a great way to get to know Maine artists and farmers.”

While the Fiber Arts Tour Weekend is the time when visitors know participating sites will be open 10 a.m.-5 p.m., a map listing 134 Maine studios and farms is available for visits all year long on a “best-to-call-ahead” basis.

The Maine Fiberarts Tour Map can be picked up at Maine State Visitor Information Centers, participating tour sites, Portland’s Convention and Visitors Bureau, Amtrak Bus Terminals, Portland Jetport and at Maine Fiberarts, 13 Main St., Topsham. Maps also can be mailed for a small fee by calling 721-0678.

Macchi said the fiber scene is hot in Maine and includes artists working with fabric, collage, thread, paint or paper. These artists paint quilts, stitch books, coil baskets, felt masks and knit sculpture. Small farms producing mohair, alpaca, llama and wool are also a part of this scene. Curious travelers can find wool sweaters, handspun yarns, and other handmade collectibles or experience craft demonstrations, working studios, or farm chores firsthand.

The Fiber Arts Tour Weekend is made possible by funding from the Betterment Fund, the Maine Office of Tourism, the National Endowment for the Arts and SARE Northeast Region.

On view at the Maine Fiberarts gallery through Aug. 31 is “Encounters: Paintings on Handmade Paper,” by Arlene Morris. A Meet the Artist reception will take place 5-8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 6. The public is invited to attend and to help kick off our big weekend.

For information, call 721-0678, e-mail fiberarts@gwi.net or visit www.mainefiberarts.org.

Snippets

Morris Farm, 156 Gardiner Rd., in Wiscasset announced it will feature work by Patricia Rogers, a tapestry and fiber artist from Brooklyn, N.Y., in its store-front on Open Farm Day, Sunday, July 25.

Rogers has come to the Morris Farm to create art with the Morris Farm’s weaving loom. She brought a new series of Navajo Wedge Weave Tapestries to display.

The exhibit is open seven days a week and will be on display through August. An artist’s reception is set for 1-4 p.m. Sunday, July 25.

For information, visit www.morrisfarm.org or call 882-4080.

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