Sunday, September 03, 2006

Flashback: June 2006 - Textile Fair in the Burgundy Region

Flavigny-sur-Ozerain -- you may not think you know this place, but if you've seen the Johnny Depp movie, Chocolat, you do know it. You may also have sucked those tiny anis-flavored dragees in lavander tins that is the other claim to fame of this, otherwise, quiet town.

Last June, Flavigny-sur-Ozerain saw the Weaving and Textile Arts Exposition for the European Market, the second such event with the objective of sensitizing the European public to the textile arts, specifically hand-weaving.

There were only about a dozen merchants/exhibitors and one fleece shearer who wore a t-shirt appropriately marked "Mouton" (Sheep). Laurence Pocztar, whose idea it was to drive to this event, paid the equivalent of a Starbucks triple latte to Monsieur Mouton and he readily sheared a sheep of Laurence's choice and stuffed the fleece into a sack for her to take home.

Along on this car trip was Augusta Uhlenbeck, a Dutch master fiber artist residing in France who weaves magic into the textile she creates on her loom.

Photos from the outing:

Augusta (top) and Laurence (above), hungry after a four-hour drive from Paris. It should have taken us only two hours, but we took to the road without a map and we had to borrow the map of picnickers along the way as we veered away from the direction of Flavigny.

Felting demonstration.

Spinning demonstration.

An old European wheel.

Mr. Macho, err, Monsieur Mouton.

Laurence chooses which sheep to have sheared.

A bag's worth of fleece for the price of a cup of coffee.

Back at the Laine Zinzin studio.

A happy cat on a bed of washed mohair bought all the way from Texas. Laurence has a preference for doing the entire fiber preparation herself, but this Texan mohair was a challenge. The odor just prevaded her studio.

When I got back to Paris it was midnight. Fortunately, this city never sleeps. So it was four-season pizza, a little pitcher of wine and a book on natural dyeing bought from the textile fair to cap the fiber-filled day.

Little Gem2 homeward bound.