Ohio's annual Focus on Fiber Arts event
|Anna's Spinning Shop at Sauder Village. Photos courtesy of Kim Krieger.|
|Visitors enjoying a carding lesson in the Spinning Shop.|
|New residents in the village—Merinos!|
Ohio's largest living-history museum, Sauder Village, is located in the state's northwest corner. Erie Sauder established the site in 1976 as a way to preserve the area's history and began collecting artifacts, homes, and farm buildings. The region is known as the Great Black Swamp and due to its unique geology and natural history was one of the last areas settled in Ohio.
In keeping with Erie Sauder's vision, the village aims to educate future generations about rural life during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the Black Swamp region. Costumed craftspeople demonstrate a wide variety of rural skills ranging from blacksmithing to basketmaking, with quite a number of textile skills also represented. Flocks of Merino and Southdown sheep call the village home and provide the wool that is used for carding, spinning, dyeing, and weaving demonstrations. Textile workers staff the village spinning shop, and the handspun yarns they produce are sold on-site.
In 2003, Sauder Village held its first sheep-to-shawl event, which has continued to grow each year. The Focus on Fiber Arts event now includes many vendors and demonstrators and several workshops. This year's Focus on Fiber Arts event will be held on June 28—mark your calendars! More information will be available on the Sauder Village website in coming weeks. What a wonderful way to spend a summer day—historic gardens, village bakery, happy sheep, and plenty of wool!