National fiber arts convention full of color and texture

July 23, 2010 at 5:36 am Leave a comment

wall of soft colorI had the opportunity to attend Convergence Albuquerque 2010, a national conference for fiber artists. It was filled with candy for the senses. There were booths on weaving, dying, quilting, spinning, felting, beading and lots of interesting modern machines that fold computer technology into the tactile world of fiber arts. There’s a fascinating wearable art display featuring hundreds of delightful pieces (including a fabulous jacket of hand dyed, hand woven, hand painted silk by my Big Sister Victoria Rabinowe). I left with some adorable crocheted finger puppets for the kiddies. I wanted to dive in to the piles of lush, brightly colored, freshly carded mounds of wool. I enjoyed learning about the latest fibers made from bamboo or other sustainable sources.

I’ve been looking for a source where I could find naturally colored local spun wool so I could try my hand at colcha (Spanish embroidery). I think it would be a fun challenge to create an image from shades of natural white to brown.

wall of colorful skeins

One booth featured intensely colored lumpy ribbon-like yarns spun from recycled Sari fabrics from India. I was very tempted to buy some, but couldn’t think of what to do with it, and I already have plenty of boxes of those kinds of materials! But, I was most excited seeing felting demonstrations. It is such a simple, fun, fast craft. I liked watching all these (100% female, BTW) gentle crafters furiously and repeatedly piercing their little projects like you might torture the voodoo doll of an ex. But, I’m not sure whether I think the results are ugly or groovy. I would like to find a felting project that actually looks cool and not frumpy when completed. Does anyone have any suggestions? I’ve been squirreling away some moth-eaten cashmere sweaters for felting potential in the aforementioned “crafting materials that I don’t know what to make into” box.

The convention is not just for fiber artists. Anyone who enjoys crafting is sure to find some inspiration here!

Unfortunately, they do not allow photos anywhere, but V knew a lot of the booth vendors and gained me permission to snap a few pics.  The beautiful shots here are from family run “Weaving Southwest” (Taos NM),a wonderful weaver’s gallery and local supplier of wool yarns.  It is well-respected in the local weaving community for encouraging many local weavers to pursue their work professionally by creating a dedicated gallery.

The convention runs through the weekend (July 18-25). For more info on the convention go to:

Sean Wells via iPhone


Entry filed under: Inspiration. Tags: , , .

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