Teaching sustainable traditions for 29 years
Our Honored Fiber Producer for 2019
Our Featured Artist for 2019 is
LINDA HARTSHORN is known for unique dyework and lively use of color in handwoven textiles. She shares her positive, fun and supportive teaching style in workshops all over the country. Linda teaches weaving at the Ink People Center for the Arts in Eureka and weaves and dyes at her home on the redwood coast.
Francis Sweet has been a wool producer for most of his life. He has been raising sheep for the past 69 years, probably longer than anyone in Humboldt County. His first ranches were in Ferndale starting in 1950. In the 1970’s, Francis moved to his ranch in Petrolia and has been raising sheep there ever since.
Francis raises Romney sheep, whose wool is prized by handspinners. His flock also produces meat as well.
In the late 1960’s, Francis remembers how handspinning “really took off”. A large group of women handspinners, forty or so, would come to shearing day in Ferndale and select the fleece they wanted right off the sheep. The sheep would be shorn and they would take the fleece home with them.
Francis also sold wool to the Eureka Woolen Mill which started operation in the early 1900’s. The mill used wool produced in Humboldt to make blankets, flannels and fabrics until it eventually closed in 1966. The closure of the mill was hard on the local wool industry and many ranchers gave up their flocks, but Francis continued to produce wool.
Francis is an active member of the Humboldt Wool Growers. He also currently serves on the California Sheep Commission, which promotes the production of lamb and wool and includes Humboldt, Del Norte, Mendocino and Lake Counties.
Francis’ wife, Lorena, was a partner on the ranch until her passing ten years ago. Francis currently has a flock of 40 sheep on Valley View Ranch, his beautiful acreage on the Lost Coast.
Natural Fiber fair