After a lazy Saturday morning sipping coffee we made in our room we got in the car and headed North on Highway 101 toward our afternoon appointment in Egmont, continuing our Sunshine Coast adventure. We were given the names of some galleries, cafes, and pubs to check out along the way should we have enough time to stop in – luckily we did.
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Just a few quick turns from the resort we spotted the yurts that make up Yvonne Stowell’s FibreWorks Studio & Gallery and turned down the gravel driveway.
Greeted by her loyal companions, Yvonne showed us around the gallery, workshop space, and her own personal studio.
Fibre arts include weaving, quilting and creating art with everything from paper, silk and wool to wood to sea kelp. Yvonne’s gallery space is currently showcasing some beautifully intricate works from Shannon Wardroper.
Her works were on display until yesterday but as of March 27th, another exhibit featuring Ursulaâ€™s Collection by Ursula Bentz will move in until May 2nd.
The workshop yurt is a sturdy classroom where Yvonne brings in artists from around the globe to head up monthly sessions which are spread out over a few days. Current workshops on the calendar are “Painting with Wool”, and “Bull Kelp Baskets”.
Walking through the yurt’s door to Yvonne’s studio you almost feel like Dorothy going from black and white Kansas to technicolor Oz. Inside the beige canvas-like exterior of the yurt is a full spectrum of colour in wool form, covering the entire circumference of the rounded structure. Turquoise, magenta, indigo, charcoal — for a web coder like me I actually compared it to an HTML colour hex in my head.
There was a spinning wheel around one side and in the centre, just below a windowed peak that let the sunshine soak through, was a loom. The word “cozy” doesn’t even begin to describe the setting.
Tucked in this rainforest setting, you probably couldn’t ask for a better studio space. Yvonne told us her mother taught her how to weave when she was young and it’s something that she just kept on doing. As another couple pulled up, she went out to greet them as well and brought them into the studio space. She made sure to personally greet every visitor.
If you’re heading along the Sunshine Coast Highway through the Pender Harbour area I recommend stopping in to see what exhibits Yvonne is featuring. If you’d like to try your hand at any fibre arts, a FibreWorks Workshop would also probably be the best place to start.
When we returned this weekend I had at least two people mention the Fibre Arts Festival, saying that I should return to check it out. Having discovered some of the intricate and truly unique hand-made creations during our stay, it’s something to seriously consider. The Gibsons Landing Fibre Arts Festival will take place August 19th – 21st, 2010.
The Sunshine Coast is still in the “604” area code and is only a 40-minute ferry ride from Vancouver, which makes it a fantastic weekend getaway destination. This is the third of a few posts in my Sunshine Coast series which will continue later today or tomorrow. You may view all of my photos so far on Flickr, and John’s are up on Flickr as well.