TOPSHAMÂ – Over 50 studios and farms located across the State will be open to the public for a Fiber Arts Tour Weekend from 10am to 5pm,Â August 6, 7, and 8th. This special three-day Weekend, sponsored by statewide nonprofit Maine Fiberarts, is a chance to visit working studios and farms and to take part in demonstrations, workshops, studio tours, childrenâ€™s crafts, and farm living.
Weekend activities are free and open to the public and include: an antique spinning mill in Harmony, a Pygora goat farm in Limerick, a feltmakerâ€™s studio in Garland, natural dye demonstrations in New Gloucester, and tours of gardens and sheep flocks in Brownfield. Spinning wheel collections, handspun yarns, art quilts, collectible crafts, and freshly-shorn fleeces can all be discovered during the three-day event.
An interactive Tour Map has been posted at www.mainefiberarts.org, with driving directions, map markers, web links, and contact info for each site. A listing of craft demonstrations offered during the Fiber Arts Tour Weekend has also been posted to help people plan their own itineraries. Printed 2010 Weekend Brochures listing all participants can be obtained at Maine Fiberarts in Topsham, Halcyon Yarn in Bath, or at participating sites.
â€śOur Fiber Arts Tour Weekend is a wonderful way to step inside a working studio or farm and see how craft is made. Thousands of people toured studios in 2009, and we are pleased to host this event annuallyâ€”always the first weekend in August,â€ť says Christine Macchi, Executive Director of Maine Fiberarts. â€śLast time, Weekend participants sold artwork, took commissions for hooked rugs, introduced community members to farm animals and products, talked shopped, and made some long-lasting contacts. This is a great way to get to know Maine artists and farmers.â€ť
While the Fiber Arts Tour Weekend is the time when visitors know participating sites will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., a map listing 134 Maine studios and farms is available for visits all year long on a â€śbest-to-call-aheadâ€ť basis. The Maine Fiberarts Tour Map can be picked up at Maine State Visitor Information Centers, participating tour sites, Portlandâ€™s Convention and Visitors Bureau, Amtrak Bus Terminals, Portland Jetport, and at Maine Fiberarts at 13 Main Street, Topsham 04086. Maps can also be mailed for a small fee by calling 207-721-0678.
The fiber scene is hot in Maine and includes artists working with fabric, collage, thread, paint or paper. These artists paint quilts, stitch books, coil baskets, felt masks and knit sculpture. Small farms producing mohair, alpaca, llama and wool are also a part of this scene. Curious travelers can find wool sweaters, handspun yarns, and other handmade collectibles or experience craft demonstrations, working studios, or farm chores firsthand. The Fiber Arts Tour Weekend presents both the makers and the producers with a chance to open their doors and be discovered.
The Fiber Arts Tour Weekend is made possible by generous funding from the Betterment Fund, the Maine Office of Tourism, the National Endowment for the Arts, and SARE Northeast Region.
Visitors can learn more about Maineâ€™s thriving fiber scene by visiting Maine Fiberarts in Topsham. A statewide nonprofit organization formed in the year 2000, the Center/Gallery houses revolving exhibitions, photo libraries, informative newsletters and other visuals to introduce the public to Maine fiber art and farms. On view at the gallery through August 31 is â€śEncounters: Paintings on Handmade Paper,â€ť by Arlene Morris. A Meet the Artist reception takes place Friday, August 6, from 5-8 p.m. and the public is invited to attend and to help kick off our big Weekend.
Contact Name: Maine Fiber Arts 207-721-0678; or participating farms directly between 10am - 4pm.
Telephone Number: (207)721-0678