Spinnertainment: The Evolution of Revolution
It’s no secret that humans have been adding twist to fiber for thousands of years. Each time we spin on a bead-whorl spindle or plug in an electric spinner, we participate in a craft that has been handed down for generations.
Port Townsend, Washington, where HansenCrafts builds the well-known miniSpinner, is also home to stop-motion animator Andrea Love. It was just a matter of time before their paths intersected. Kevin Hansen recalls, “A year or so ago, I received an email from our hardwood supplier promoting a book on design by local author Jim Tolpin. The email pointed to an animated video called Design by Hand and Eye.” Enchanted by the video, Kevin and his wife, Beth, reached out to Andrea, its creator. Kevin explains, “Beth and I had seen a scholarly presentation last year that traced the history of handspinning back thirty thousand years, and we thought that would be a great subject for the video.” Thus, the idea for Revolution was born.
An avid knitter and needlefelter, Andrea was familiar with the fiber world, yet she had no experience with handspinning. The Hansens loaned Andrea a miniSpinner and taught her to spin. With wisdom from such volumes as Respect the Spindle by Abby Franquemont and The Alden Amos Big Book of Handspinning close at hand, Andrea did extensive research to flesh out the evolution of handspinning through the ages. She recalls, “I approached it like a moving piece of fiber art and dove deep into my passion for needlefelting. Animating with wool was an amazing experience and something I hope to continue exploring.” Eric Andrew Kuhn’s score provided further inspiration.
When asked what their favorite scenes are, Kevin exclaims, “All of it!” Andrea favors the finale depicting a shepherdess in a breezy field watching lightning strike a distaff. She says, “It epitomizes the magical nature of this project for me.”