Explore Fiber is a collaborative website showcasing and exploring fiber as a fine art material.
A friend of mine sent me this article about Voices of Industry, a weaving studio founded by Adele Stafford. She is a 1999 graduate of RISD and the visionary for a business model that is grounded in community and collaboration. Adele handweaves textiles from organic naturally colored cotton called Foxfibre grown by Sally Fox.
Here is the mission of Voices of Industry:
Voices of Industry creates hand woven garments and textiles from 100% domestic fiber, farmed and spun in the U.S.
We consider the farmers who grow our cotton and wool as co-conspirators and friends.We invest in the independent grower, the biodynamic alchemist and the punk rock shepherdess. Our work is an extension of agriculture and we care deeply about that origin.
We strive to make exceptional cloth, hand weaving each piece on a mechanical loom before being finished by an expert pattern maker and tailor. Our process is intensely time-consuming and choreographic and we believe that this shows up in the meticulous construction of our french seams and foot-treadled twills.
We foster collaboration as a way to build industry, firm in the belief that our best work comes from shared expertise and process.
I love the interview with Adele from One Kings Lane where she states that she learned how to weave in middle school, and that experience led her to explore weaving as an adult and create her own business centered around weaving.
Adele’s story is at the heart of what Explore Fiber is all about – giving young people an opportunity to see what working with fibers and textiles is all about. Creating with fibers may be a single learning experience for them, or it may lead to a lifetime exploration. It did for me. I learned to weave at a continuing education class at the University of Texas at Austin in 1973, and I’ve been weaving for the next 42 years, both professionally and for the love of it. Adele’s story is close to my heart.
How can YOU contribute to the Explore Fiber community? Do you have a lesson to share? Is there an artist you would like to see featured? Are their organizations, workshops or schools we don’t have listed on our site that we should? Reach out to us and help us build an amazing community and resource for fiber art education.