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Fiberarts - Spring 2011
Spring 2011

Fiberarts - Spring 2011
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More Yarn-as-Art Creations by:
Karen Barnaby
Laura Mayotte
Linda Scharf
Janis Thompson
The making of the fiber-optic tapestry 50 Different Minds by Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese
Fiber-friendly craft schools list
More work from our Emerging Artists Showcase
Updated exhibition and competition listings
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Mushroom Hunt

[Janis Thompson is the author of “Charmed by Art Yarn Journals,” featured on page 22 in our Spring 2011 issue. A fiber artist and the owner of DYELOTS! Fiber Art Studio in Eugene, Oregon, she loves to spin, knit, dye, felt, sew and garden. She also teaches fiber classes at the Eugene Textile Center, Black Sheep Gathering, Oregon Flock & Fiber, and privately.]

Over the past few years, I have spent lots of time researching mushrooms of all kinds. I return from walks with mushrooms, lichen and other odd things. I am particularly interested in mushrooms for dyeing. On a spinning retreat last fall, three of us decided to go mushroom hunting at Cape Perpetua on the Oregon coast. Right there in parking lot was this fluorescent thing—an amanita muscaria mushroom. I knew it by sight but was surprised by how incredibly robust it was.

Above: The other-worldly amanita muscaria mushroom commonly found along the Oregon coast.

The vibrant colors and strange textures of this mushroom inspired one of my recent art-yarn creations. I used a variety of greens for the mossy ground covering, brown wool for leaf litter, and intense red/orange wool for the mushroom cap. White beads and pearls were chosen to represent the “universal veil” on top that is part of the egg sac the fungus breaks out of. The intensity of the red/orange also has a gelatinous quality to it, while the white scales are dull and oddly shaped; it looks like the brain of an alien just popped out.

Above: Inspirational materials gathered and ready to assemble.

I used a plying technique known as “pig tailing” to create that pointy and twisted look, then built up the red/orange into bumps to set the veil scales on.


Above: Janis Thompson in her studio spinning the art yarn Mushroom with a detail of her hands drafting the drum-carded batt of wool into yarn.
Above: Bobbin full of spun yarn.

It was a really fun challenge and as I look at the finished yarn next to the photo, I am satisfied with the fantastic result!

Above: The finished art yarn Mushroom (with detail).

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