Wool artisan, Carla de Ruiter.

About me...

Who I am?

Spinning wool

I'm Carla de Ruiter, Dutch by birth, living in Spain since 1989. Professional artisan and pedagogue. From small trapped by yarns and fabrics, always curious to learn more about natural fibers, especially wool and natural dyeing. This is part of my history and my inner experience.

In my country, the shepherds and their flocks were part of my daily landscape in the woods and on the moorland. When I was little, I was used to take long walks and cycling routes around my village. It was common to see at sunset that sheep and shepherd returned to their typical barns. In one of these routes by bicycle with my mother we found in a sheep and shearing fair a man spinning wool with a spinning wheel. A few months later the same man (Jan Bark) who was of my village (more than 100,000 habitants), became my first teacher of spinning, weaving and natural dyeing (1980).

Gradually there was simmering a story that, initially had no name but over the years and the activities that were imposed naturally, has become part of my act and my way of lifetime. Modest and meaningful. These activities, in the beginning only at weekends and sometimes very rare, facilitated me to be next to my children when they were small, and at the same time let me grow in my work as my children were growing up.

Artisan license num: 14,150 - Generalitat de Catalunya

What do I do?

Hilando lana

One of my most important activities is to transfer the knowledge of treatment and handling of wool from the beginning to the end. There are many and varied "final" expressions to mark each imbues in his or her work with carding, dyeing and especially with spinning, felting and weaving. One of my most important goals is not to forget the wisdom of the past and preserve this tradition.

In my daily activities I discovered the therapeutic qualities of this work with wool and apply them in my work with people who have special needs. Manipulative movements with small children are great to encourage them and helps to learn to enjoy in these early stages of learning. In the coming and going with weaving or creating felt, the repetitive motion is relaxing, meditative and helps to connect each person with him or herself. I have also observed as time passes how important it is for young and old to work with natural materials, far beyond wool, and confidently create objects or utensils or just to make small artistic creations. Perhaps all these activities will allow us to build a bridge to the future for our children, a bridge for a sustainable and harmonious world.

Although it is not my first goal, I work up creations that allow me to follow my inner externalizing taste for woolcraft itself, conscious of its therapeutic and healing properties. In my creations I use only natural fibres: wool, silk, cotton, alpaca, mohair, linen, hemp and esparto mainly. It is important to establish that the creations with wool requires a lot of time, they are all handmade with simple tools. I prepare the fibres for spinning or to make my felt with hand carders or carding mill. The dyes are natural or doesn’t harm the environment. I convert the fibers into yarn on my spinning wheel or with my spindle. Wool helps me to create my felt with different techniques, dry and wetfelting, as well as nunofelt, or mixing it up all. I create unique and current pieces with knitting needles or a crochet hook, even with a handmade or a triangular loom. I acquire the wool I use at nearby suppliers, as far as possible from biodynamic farms. In short, the purpose of Fibrart is the maintenance of a craft, an everyday activity for many years, that deserves to be remembered, and to be disclosed at all possible areas.

Where do I do?

Hiladora de lana

Around 1998 I started spinning demonstrations with my spinning wheel and spindle, at medieval, artisan and environmental fairs. I offer a workshop of spinning with spinning wheel and spindle. I show how to prepare natural fibres (cotton, linen, wool, silk, hemp, jute, mohair...) to spin. I use handcarders to mix fibers and colors. I twist the fibers to obtain the thread using spindle or spinning wheel. I show how to give colour to the fiber or yarn with plants, leaves, roots or flowers of our environment.

Periodically I organize courses and workshops where I transmit knowledgement of the whole or parts of the process, from fiber to tissue, for exemple to spin your own yarn or to create a unique felt fabric. I also teach, why not? to use the tools (needles, looms...) to convert the yarn into useful and current objects.

I expose natural fibers traditionally used to spin (wool,hemp, line): you can see, touch, smell... A sample of products made with wool show us about the infinite possibilities and uses that have woolfibres.

I give school workshops so that children learn to enjoy creating with their hands, from small objects to utensils with natural materials from their environment far beyond the wool itself.

Video "Spinning wool"

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