Thursday, March 31, 2011

Woolapalooza! The intersection of nature and art.

This past weekend we took the little one to our first Woolapalooza. It was also our first visit to a farm this season and an amazing experience. We learned about the path wool follows, "from shearing to sweater." It was an interdisciplinary lesson in science, social studies and art.

The city crowds surrounded this man and sheep, as he laboriously sheared lane by lane, with strength, skill and patience.

We admired the initial product, digging our hands into the soft and unaltered wool.

The girls observed carefully as a woman with seamless effort spun the wool into yarn. She explained it takes years to master that skill.

We learned that wool could be dyed naturally, by using plants, vegetables, seeds and even mushrooms. Some of their samples had been dyed with black walnut, goldenrod and beets!

The little one got to pick and spin two colors into this beautiful bracelet. She also kept some in her pocket to later leave in the woods for a bird to use to build its nest.

We even witnessed with amazement how this border collie herded the sheep, in an incredible dance between human, dog and sheep.

The visit ended with colorful displays of yarn and the work of many artisans and their beautiful works of art to buy or just dream of.

Today, the little one took a trip to the Arburetum to leave the yarn for the birds. They picked a tree to leave it by and went for a walk. When they returned the yarn was gone!

Many farms are opening their doors to visitors. You may get to see some of the newer additions to the animals' families or maybe some sheep shearing. On May 1st, Codman Farm, in Lincoln MA will have its own Sheep Shearing Day.

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