2023 in Review!

We spend so long writing about upcoming events, and rarely take a moment to share on our website some of our highlights that you might have missed- So here is a brief overview of just a few or our gatherings this past year.

Flax to Linen– over 30 individuals signed up to participate in our BC Flax Network – we have been meeting online once a month, sharing stories and expertise, asking and answering questions and moving through all the steps of growing flax and processing it to linen. Our group is a wonderfully diverse group of folks from who have never grown before to those with vast experience, some in urban small plots or using planters, some are farmers with much larger flax crops planted. Though many didn’t make it online with us through the full season, a wonderfully supportive group formed that plans to stay in touch and keep sharing resources.

Our harvest event in Richmond was a beautiful, hot summer night and gave us reason to pull together the fibre samples from what Kathy Dunster has been growing in seed trials in her work with Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Our seed stalk has grown again thanks to the plot we were able to grow at the Kwantlen Richmond farm- and expect future weaving research using unbroken flax and other fibre work to come from this straw! If you are looking for your own BC seed source- we recommend reaching out the Carole Hyland at Alderley Grange Farm on Vancouver Island

Blue Nettles and the 2023 Artist in residence Program

Anna Heywood Jones has likely got indigo running in her veins as well as staining her nails at this point with all the work she has done on various pigment extraction and dye methods!

Sharon declared it has been a pure delight to spend a second year with Anna as the artists in residence with EartHand, and having the Blue Nettle research group become our monthly focus point and group to share the work and exploration with has been a format worth returning to in the future!

So many other lovely community events for gathering took place, either as a part of a larger community partnership, or as a solo event.

Here are a few favourite images from various events

There are many behind the scenes conversations that take place; investigating ways we can collaborate and build our local skill and fibre network. One of the exciting conversations going on has been working with Sam Alder from Salder Design, looking at how the invasive Himalayan blackberry they are are harvesting as a part of ongoing removal efforts can be further honoured through repurposing into drop spindles!

Below shows an early prototype- follow Sam on instagram (at)salderdesign to follow the process.