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The history of Carr Park Artisans

Posted by Christine Schneider on

I was at the post office today.  I live in a very tiny town so we know each other and talk about all sorts of stuff at the post office because it is the only meeting place in town.  No stores, no gas, no amenities of any sort!  The post office is frequently where we get caught up on the goings on in the area.  

So the post office lady asked me what was in the packages I was mailing.... more warps to great people I said.  Then she asked me where the business name came from.  

We live in the old brick school house which was built on the original park block that had been planned way back in 1857 but never used or built on until the old school was built in 1900.  The name of the town is Carr, the building is on the park block and I am an artisan.  Hence, Carr Park Artisans.  

My personal history goes back to about 5th grade with fiber.  I won't go into how many years ago that was!  I remember going on a car trip which my father was famous for.  As kids it was boring.  They kept saying look out the window.  But that just meant that we had nothing to do.  So for that trip I talked my mom into getting me some yarn, a book and needles.  I spent the entire trip teaching myself to knit out of the book.  I was hooked.

Weaving came along serendipitously in 8th grade when I was at camp.  We had a chance to go to the "Weaving Shed".  The cutest little old cabin you can imagine with 4 big floor looms inside.  They were already warped and we could sit and weave a very simple towel in tabby with a patterned border.  I still have that towel and wouldn't give it up for the world.  Again I was hooked.

In high school there was a terrific art program (wish they still had them for the kids!).  The teacher was from Sweden, Serena Johnston, a fantastic teacher and fiber artist herself.  This is where spinning came in to my life.  Before the end of 10th grade I had my first wheel, an Ashford Traditional.  I remember over Christmas vacation spreading it out on a big tarp in the basement and finishing all of the pieces and then putting it together all by myself.  That wheel is long gone but I currently have 5 in the stable.  That is for a different day.

Now I was really in trouble.  That brought in the fleece from the local farmer.  The messiest thing you can imagine, not skirted, poopy tags, filthy dirty with lots of VM.  I didn't know anything about working with raw fleece.  But I learned.  You have to start somewhere.  I don't think I ever used that fleece... it was just too messy.  

Ok, that is a little bit about me and my history for now.  I'm sure there will be more things to share at a later time.