Thursday, August 30, 2012

FiberWire and a Fiber Studio Tour

About 6 months ago my daughter Nellie, a talented fiber artist and owner of Spin Culture and Yarn Sweet Yarn, started playing around with spinning her own fiber creations onto some of my jewelry copper wire.  The result was what is now called "FiberWire". It consists of copper wire as the core with hand-dyed fiber spun onto it. After spinning, Nellie felts it to secure the fiber snuggly onto the wire. When she showed it to me, I knew it would be fabulous for jewelry making. It can be wrapped, sculpted, used like cord, woven into chain, and who knows what else!

We put our heads together and decided to introduce it as a small initial offering in my shop (Starry Road Studio). I also took some with me to Bead Fest in Philadelphia a couple of weeks ago to see if any of my designer friends would like to try it. Lorelei Eurto was among the first to express interest and Nellie and I were thrilled with her recent designs using it! She tried some ideas I hadn't even thought of - so exciting! I can't wait to see what comes forth from other designers out there!

Jewelry made with FiberWire by Lorelei Eurto

I thought you might like a little peak into a fiber studio - to see where FiberWire is made.

First here's Nellie. The door behind her leads into her studio...

Coffee station - very important - and that large contraption in 
front of  the window is the drum carder - this is used to 
create batts. Batts are where wool is straightened and combed. 
This is also the stage where Nellie mixes colors of her own 
hand-dyed fiber together. These batts get 
spun into yarn and other goodies like FiberWire.

Here are batches of wool - some carded 
into batts, others (below) ready to be dyed and carded.
That little gizmo to the lower right is a spin dryer. 
After fiber is dyed, while still wet, it is put in there to 
have all the water spun out of it - kinda like 
a washer spin cycle only much gentler.

Pots of fiber getting dyed - don't worry we do 
not eat out of these pots - they are only for dying!

More dying going on - a different process using crockpots. 
Don't ask me I have no idea why.

Here are several lots of newly dyed and dried fiber. 
As you can see its all kinda jumbled, not yet carded. 
These batches will go onto the carder machine.

Here's a few batts created using variations in color, fiber type, etc. 
The color play is amazing to me - its as though Nellie is painting with fiber!
These and tons more are sold in her shop Spin Culture.

Finally, here's where the last step happens. 

This is the wheel. 

Nellie sometimes sits out on the deck to spin, 
with Casey (our dog) at her side.

I hope you enjoyed this little tour of a fiber studio!


  1. What a wonderful blog! I love Nellie's wire! I have admired it since it's release! I love that you showed us photos of her studio! I always love seeing peoples creative space! The coffee pot is a must! It's so wonderful you both enjoy art and have been able to cross over to each others mediums!

    xo Genea

  2. How ingenious! I love the tour of the studio. Nellie's eye for color is wonderful. I'm not surprised that Lorelei dove right into this! Wonderful!

  3. Great Post Karen! I really did have a lot of fun with the fiber wire so far. Possibilities are endless - I'm sure there will be more coming soon! Great tour, I am intrigued by the process it was nice to see so many photos of each step! Thanks for sharing that! Hi to Nellie!

  4. Thanks for sharing Karen! It's nice to see how artists in different mediums create!

  5. What a talent! I really enjoyed the tour and as soon as I saw the posts about the fiber wire after beadfest, i knew it would be a hit. So versatile, the color blends are gorgeous, I wish nellie much success! Now on to her shop!

  6. What a great tour. That looks fabulous. I'll have to check out her store, plus look for some of her fiber wire. It looks like so much fun to work with.

  7. Love it, already put an order in for more:)

  8. Well, this sure is refreshing! While I love jewelry and jewelry and bead studios, this is different and nice :) Thanks for sharing the studio and the process with us, Karen and Nellie! What an awesome duo you gals are.

  9. I love studio tours. Its so cool that you both share a creative spirit and that you are able to collaborate on this project.

  10. Great tour, I have been working with fiber for years and always wanted to learn to spin. The wire fiber is beautiful, what a great idea.

  11. Amazing stuff (brilliant idea! they're like swaths cut from masterpiece paintings), and I am so impressed by how much skill, knowledge and experience this process involves. I especially can see this material working with your beads, Karen. I saw Lorelei's second necklace up there and immediately thought I NEED SOME OF THIS. But dangit I'm on a jewelry supply diet. (I better get crackin' and use up my stuff). Soon, soon...

  12. Very nice to see you daughter follow her creative genes!!! I love the wire and plan on using it at some point....lovely!

  13. Wonderful post, Karen - so great that you showed us all how Nellie's studio is set up and how she works. I wanted to run my hands through all that soft fiber! I love all the colors and possibilites the fiber wire has! And your dog Casey is gorgeous!!

  14. This is SO cool! I received some fiber wire from Malin for our Bead Soup and I loved working with it! It was SO easy to use - I use it just like I do with wire wrapping anything else - It's AWESOME!!!

  15. i saw this in etsy last week and am dying to give it a try! will be ordering some - what a wonderful idea! thanks so very much for the tour... a lot of work, i admire the vision to do this coupled with the execution of the idea... i mean really, lots of people have great ideas - but to carry it through is very commendable - well done!

  16. Thank you for the tour. It was very interesting.

  17. Hey everyone, I just wanted to express my gratitude to all of you for all of your support. I don't think I have ever known such a kind and supportive group outside of this one...this has really touched my heart. Thank you everyone so much! =)

  18. Wow now I just have to figure out if I can use it with my seeds!


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