Wednesday, June 29, 2022

There is a Reason for the Madness

You may have wondered why I have been so intent on the flax-growing experiment this summer. I had a reason, but I wasn't sure the reason would come true. It has.

I am happy to announce that I am one of three awardees of a Cultivating Nordic Handcraft, Teaching Tools 2022 Grant from the American Swedish Institute! The grant allows me to purchase the wood to make a tabletop flax brake and 3 gradated hackles for processing flax, ultimately for spun linen. I will use these tools in flax processing and spinning classes and/or demonstrations and presentations at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis and for classes and presentations at other venues. Up to now, I have been using vintage, rough tools for these activities, with no means of fully processing the flax to a spinning state. 

Obviously, this grant is so welcome, and it means an exciting year ahead for my work and what I can offer to others interested in flax and linen handcrafting. 

And it's a reason for trying to grow flax that might ultimately be better prepared than the flax stalks I poorly retted and still have in storage from a past flax growing experiment at Gale Woods Farm (an educational farm that is part of the Three Rivers Park District and where I occasionally teach). 

And, perhaps, this year's experimental potted crop will lead others to grow their own flax in pots or in garden plots? Or it will at least be a lesson on what NOT to do!

One of the potted stalks is already 16 inches tall!

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