We went over to The Coast last weekend for 4 nights, for a variety of reasons. One of my reasons was to spend a couple of days down at the Madrona Fiberarts Winter Retreat in Tacoma, WA. It started off small in Gig Harbor many years ago, and I used to go every year. Learned a lot there (classes were mostly knitting-oriented). It got big enough to move to the Hotel Murano in Tacoma at least 5 years ago. I haven’t been for a while, because I have chosen to go up to Orcas Island for a spinning week with Judith Mackenzie immediately following Madrona – can’t do both! But this year I didn’t go to “camp” so I thought it would be fun to head down to Madrona, not to take classes, but to see my friends and go to the market.
I was totally lame and took no pictures. But I did have lunch with friends and go to the market on Thursday and Friday. Mostly behaved myself, although I did buy Sarah Anderson’s new book, The Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs. Sarah was in the demonstration area outside the market on Friday, and I spoke to her at length. Lovely woman with boundless energy and lots of good ideas. She showed me several pieces of woven cloth which she is doing with over-twisted yarns that got my creative juices flowing!
There were many great vendors there – independent, small dyers (Sincere Sheep was a favorite, Dicentra Designs, Chameleon Colorworks, also The Artful Ewe), yarns sourced from local, small flocks and/or rare breeds by Jorstad Creek and Toots LeBlanc & Co. I almost bought some Gotland/Finn Sheep cross yarn from Jorstad Creek – it had the most amazing luster and hand. But they are in Olympia, WA and I see them at knitting retreat, so there will be another chance in the future. Some of the “big players” were there, and some of my favorite local yarn shops (Acorn Street Shop, Churchmouse Yarns and Teas from Bainbridge Island, who were sharing a booth with the designer Jared Flood of Brooklyn Tweed). It was great fun.
While I was down in Tacoma, Rick spent some time with his mom and sister, and got together with some of his woodworking buddies from the Seattle area. On Saturday evening, there was a special event at Northwest Woodworkers’ Gallery in downtown Seattle, to honor Evert Sodergren. Rick was one of the founding members of this gallery back in the day (late 1970′s). They moved from Pioneer Square to a new location in Belltown last year, next door to Urban Hardwoods. It is a much better location for them, we think.
Evert Sodergren is a 4th-generation studio furniture-maker, now in his early 90′s and (finally!) retired. In the late 1990′s he was profiled in one of the Living Treasures videos produced by Northwest Designer Craftsmen. They showed the video at the gallery on Saturday, to an appreciative audience of at least 150 people who had turned out to greet and honor Evert.
And here is a scan of a postcard from the early days of the gallery in 1983. Can you tell which of these people are me and Rick (we are not standing next to each other), and Evert?