Fiber Arts Show

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Bigger and better.

Artist Roxanne Johnson prepares for the fiber arts show in Belen. Johnson makes custom-dyed yarn and her work will be featured in the Fiber Arts Winter Show at the Harvey House Museum in Belen.

That’s what local artists are bringing to the Harvey House Museum in Belen this month for the ninth annual Valencia County Fiber Arts Winter Show that runs through March 31.

Organizers will treat residents to demonstrations by five different groups that will offer people a little bit of everything, from stitching to quilting to weaving.

All Saturday demonstrations will be held at 1 p.m. Museum hours are 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. On Sunday, the museum is open from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Organizer Maureen McMillan said the month-long event has averaged about 500 to 700 visitors in the past and continues to grow with popularity. She said fiber art lovers will enjoy “an outstanding” show.

She said the group has grown from 10 artists in the first year.

“It grew every year because (the artists) came in and saw what a great show (it could be),” McMillan said.

Adelyn Grudier, of the Loopy Hoopers groups, is a part of a new group that teaches aspiring artists how to embroider material onto different items.

Grudier, a quilter, made her first quilt in 1956 when she was expecting her first child.

“I was deathly ill and I had to have something to put my mind on,” Grudier said. “I like to sew. It’s a creative outlet.”

She said visitors will be able to buy raffle tickets for a special quilt, with a portion of the proceeds going back to the Harvey House Museum. Tickets are $2 each and three tickets for $5.

Grudier said one of the group’s demonstrations will focus on greeting card embroidery.

“We hope it will be a crowd pleaser,” Grudier said.

This beaded image, created by artist Bill Trefsgar of Rio Rancho, is a part of the Valencia County Fiber Arts Winter Show at the Harvey House Museum. Trefsgar’s work is an example of the unique work that will be on display.

Barbara Garrett, of Fiber to Finish, said some artists use a rigid heddle loom to create their masterpieces.

Garrett uses an acrylic-wool yarn blend to come up with material that she says isn’t as sturdy as material you would buy at a department store.

But this material, she says, stands out and has “tremendous” texture that is hard to find.

Garrett says people should come out and see artists who have a unique skill.

“We have some really good weavers here in Valencia County,” Garrett said. “They are a real talented group.”

Belen resident Donald Pippenger is one of those artists.

Pippenger, who has participated in the show for the last four years, had his work featured in Handwoven Magazine, a publication for weavers.

He said his work will be on sale at a reasonable cost. For example, residents can buy a place mat set for as little as $30.

“It’s relaxing work,” Pippenger said. “I like working with different patterns to create things.”

Others, such as Jo Phillips, don’t need to leave their backyard to come up with material for their artwork.

Phillips sheers her own sheep to make wool handbags in Los Lunas. She said she likes fiber because it’s much different than working with a surface that doesn’t have room to move and expand.

“It’s alive,” Phillips said. “It’s part of the animal.”

Bill Trefsgar, of Rio Rancho, uses beads to create his artwork. One of his pieces includes two elephants in a bright image that shows details and color that give the animals a life-like appearance.

The artist started hiding his signature in his works. On one of his pieces, he hid his signature in a basket of apples next to a wagon wheel.

Janice Van Havermaat creates bead and needle felt work. Her items range from $45 to $150. She uses polymer clay to make necklaces and makes bracelets out of wire wrap jewelry.

“It’s a stress reliever,” Havermaat said. “I really enjoy the artwork.”

Grudier said her group will be among those selling their quilts at the Harvey House Museum. The quilts range from $350 to $400.

She said items for sale, such as the quilts, are a great value to the consumer since some pieces could take months to make with some artists knitting or crocheting in between television shows.

She said the “created works” can start with one idea and end up with another by the time the artist is done with the finished product.

Grudier likes to come up with different designs rather than stitching smaller, already made pieces together. She said creating a unique design gives an appeal that can’t otherwise be matched by something you get at a store.

“When you are finished with it, it’s something you can be proud of,” Grudier said.

McMillan said this year’s show should bring out the best in the different groups that come to the museum. She said visitors can get a taste of different elements of artists who work in different realms of the fiber world.

“Different groups do different things,” she said.


-- Email the author at bruffner@news-bulletin.com.