i don't remember when exactly i stopped spinning only wools and protein fibers and started spinning cellulose fibers. in school, i learned to weave first and later to make paper from cotton and linen rag. i did not learn to spin, though we had two spinning wheels in the studio at buffalo state, an ashford and a penguin. getting my hands on all natural fibers was not easy then. the studio was plumb full of glitzy synthetics.
i learned to spin on a drop spindle and my first yarns were... BAD. then i learned to dye using natural substances, again, after using synthetic dyes in school.
i never connected my love of paper, the collage pieces, the linen sheets, the blue jean edition to spinning or weaving. i never even thought there were any cellulose fibers out there that i would want to spin.
those early assumptions were split apart one by one... an early teacher post-college was rita buchanan who introduced me to the "hand" of many cellulose fibers. i met, and fell in love (at a distance) with shifu. it still never occurred to me that i might make paper that i would then spin and weave and use in a book.
so i learned about shifu from dorothy miller and later maryann mckeller swartz. after, i became aware of the plethora of ways the japanese have traditionally used cellulose fibers... and found bashofu.
more love, and i found a piece at sri threads, that now lives on my studio wall. quiet inspiration, abundance, actually. stephen recently blogged about bashofu.
my journey, however, continues with lokta, kozo, milkweed, and shifu. here's some lokta, ecodyed.