Spinning, knitting, embroidery and felting. Old-fashioned and fuddy-duddy?
Not at all, according to Amélie Blanchard, founder and president of Twist, the brand-new fiber festival being held in Outaouais this weekend.
The event hosts 65 exhibitors, including several young fiber artists ready to step in for the old guard.
“There’s still some prejudice,” Blanchard acknowledges “But there are some artists whose work is very contemporary, quirky and fun, like Rousskine’s yarn dolls, or Feltfactory’s hunting trophies with felted wool farm animals.”
Blanchard, who is in her thirties, has been working on the project for a year and a half. In 2008, she left Montreal and bought a farm in the Petite-Nation region to raise goats. “I wanted to make cheese, but with the listeriosis outbreak, that wasn’t a good idea.
Then I discovered cashmere goats and the world of spinning,” says the television producer. After learning to spin and participating in many conferences about textile fibers, she wanted to organize an event in Quebec.
“Spinning is very common in the United States and Anglophone Canada, but in Quebec, it’s almost non-existent,” she explains.
Blanchard is also vice president of the Canadian Cashmere Producers Association.