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50 Cove St
Portland, ME, 04101
United States

(207) 780-1345

Located in the East Bayside area of Portland, Maine, we strive to provide an encouraging community for fellow fiber-lovers by offering classes and carrying supplies for weavers, spinners, wet felters, needle felters, and dyers.  Stop in and let us help you on your merry fiber way!  


PortFiber Blogginess

Casey and Julie's ramblings on spinning, weaving, felting, dyeing, and of life in Portland, Maine.


Casey Ryder

Howdy all!

Though sometimes it's hard for me to remember, I did create before fiber came into my life.  I've always had a difficult time with art for art's sake in my practice- always insisting that there be a deeper meaning or intent behind a work.  I was taught in the quasi-paradox of art school that process was more important than product and separated the true artist from the craftsman (please don't think I care about such designations, I'm just saying my professors felt this way).  So when I first noticed those little sparks of passion at the start of a new artistic journey, I started looking for a way to incorporate my drawing into the process (goodness knows I couldn't just draw for drawing's sake!)

My favorite way to draw is in pen on prepped paper.  I really enjoy that pen, in its permanence,  shows my process and the way I see something differently over time.  The prepping I usually do with paints in a semi-random application (this is directly inspired by John Cage's works on paper, but that's a whole other topic).  I usually draw people or objects isolated in these randomized worlds, as I've always enjoyed the out-of-place and isolated feelings these works create. While I've been doing this for awhile, the next steps helped me bring it into my current interests.

I began to further isolate my figures by cutting them (sometimes choosing to show just a small section of a body) and their spaces after a work was complete.  Specifically I cut them into yarn skeins (or at least what I think look like bumpy yarn skeins) and made them into tags!  Now that I'm selling my yarn, I feel like I'm giving a truer, fuller sense of myself when someone buys a skein of my spindle-spun with a tiny piece of my art on it.

I feel good about this!  I have enough interest to continue exploring these free-form figure studies in abstract settings for a long time (ask me about my artistic intent sometime and we can talk philosophy), and the same goes for spinning.  For now, the two work well together.  Plus, I have an "excuse" to keep drawing in an increasingly fiber dominant set of hobbies.         -Julie


Thanks for reading and please tell us about your crafting!