Our 2016 Featured Artist

Carin Engen

Art is like magic to me.  The process of making a thought turn into something that can be held in my hand is what I love.  When I see a design of mine in its finished form I find it almost impossible to reproduce it.  The magic is no longer there because I know what it's going to look like. It's hard for me to make a pair of socks or even two sleeves that are the same.  Needless to say production work is not for me.  I have been a felter for the past 24 years.  I have found it very rewarding and fun.  It fits my experimental personality. It's that magic thing.  I started dyeing my own wool roving and other fiber in 1998 because I couldn't find the colors I like. Now I am dyeing about 300 pounds of fiber a year for my students and for sale retail.  I also have a line of hand dyed wool fabric.  Teaching what I have discovered is the most wonderful thing.

Each year we honor a local fiber producer
This year, 2016, we seleted:
             Janet Heppler

Janet Heppler has been involved with fiber and fiber animals for over 35 years. She is a handspinner and handweaver, belonging to 3 different guilds.   She lives in Mendocino County outside the town of Covelo on a 60 acre farm  with her husband. She raises Merino Sheep, Angora Goats, and Angora Rabbits, all of which produce a rainbow of different colors and gorgeous covered hand spinning fleeces, mohair and rabbit fur.  Her pride and joy are the Merino sheep.  These sheep have won many fleece awards at the different county fairs and also, the prestigious Black Sheep Cup for the best 5 fleeces 2 years in a row.

The farm uses electric fence netting to best make use of the pastures with rotational grazing and has 4 guardian dogs, which protect the sheep from predators.  The farm also produces grass hay to feed the sheep in the winter and relies on solar power to pump water for the sheep.

Janet travels to many of the fiber and wool events in California and Oregon displaying and selling her wares under her fiber business Nebo-Rock Ranch & Textiles.

She also gives spinning and carding demonstrations and classes at these events.


Teaching sustainable traditions for 27 years