Posts Tagged ‘enid ashcroft’

Intros and descriptions that will lead into interviews (I know, I’ve been stuck…but taking a “fun” approach and words are flowing — just want to post all intros at once)

New interviews: Shannon Shanks of Broken Pattern (etsy); Phil Powell of Custom Wood Designs (etsy) and Ian Tait of IST Crafts (http://thewoodemporium.co.uk) have all agreed to mini-interviews — all are very busy, but I’m excited to share work by each!!!

And new items and designs in 2 shops (more info below); and my thoughts on bowls.

Insights to upcoming mini-interviews:

Shannon takes a very organic approach to wood-turning and my spindle-collaboration reminded me very much of the process used by artists and artisans I’ve known throughout my life. Broken Pattern contains a range of different fiber arts tools as well as a variety of hand-dyed and hand-spun fibers.

Shannon created a spindle with a silk-like tulipwood whorl:
20121211-043524.jpg20121211-043547.jpg (just lovely!) and uber-thin smooth birch shaft ideal for short staples (hoped for a wood spindle to use for cotton, but this works well for silks too!)


Phil Powell has a shop filled with exciting fiber arts tools, with rare woods and unique designs — nostepinnes, darning eggs like this recent beautifully figured black/white ebony beauty:

20121211-043153.jpg 20121211-043317.jpg

He makes beautiful drops and recently developed a design for metal tipped Russians — and they are FAST!!!

Cocobolo and Burmese Blackwood spindles — my first 2 metal-tips! — with 2 different preps of DebsFibers (etsy); preferring sushi batts over nests (though both are prepared with the care of a friend and eye of an artist):


I’ve since experimented plying Deb’s fiber — traditional 2-ply and my first N-ply (Navajo or 3-ply) spun/plied on the Hansen.


**NOTE: Metal points have the potential to ruin wood bowls, esp. softer woods.

I personally use stoneware (over regular ceramic) surfaces in the form of spoon-rests or small spinning bowls. The ones in the photos below were made by Julie Cavender at Willow Tree Pottery (etsy). Her spoon-rests are the perfect size to slip in your purse or project bag and these small spinning bowls contain a smooth thumb-sized divot in the center perfect for support spinning. She was able to make a mini-version to fit inside me S-shaped “lap bowl” Joshua (texasjeans) designed so that I could spin sitting in my wheelchair (my goal was to spin outside, his creation works everywhere for me; and, now with Julie’s help, I can use any spindle anywhere too!)



This last bowl, much larger than the others, was a recent gift from my mother. She brought it back from a trip she made to Argentina when my Grandmother was reunited with her sister after 40 years! They were born in Sicily and immigrated to two different countries to marry; my Grandmother never saw other members if her family. A beautiful bowl from such a significant trip! :)

I only store fauxlogs and small nests of fiber of projects I spin from bed — I'd never risk using this for spinning!


Ian Tait started out making tapestry and lace bobbins, but soon started selling drop spindles. Concerned about the environmental impact of using certain woods, he tops a sycamore base with a thin slice of exotic wood — his way to offer the best of both worlds. He also makes Russians (with or without metal tips), Turks — with the option of brass weights in the wings to elongate spin and, most recently, added a Tibetan, with a tulip-shaped whorl:


Sycamore bowls w/a trim to match the wood of the Tibetan are also available.

I started spinning an AWESOME Merino/SeaCell blend prepared in easy to spin pencil roving by Kimber at Fiber Optics — Once the stock is replenished, I recommend no-one purchase any….until I have enough time to buy more for myself! LOL

I seriously recommend giving this blend a go…I’m not often blown away by new things, but colors, prep, package…the team at Fiber Optics is very talented. Here is my attempt at a “neat” turtle with this super cool roving, spun on an IST Turk with bog oak wings, ash shaft and a reinforce tip for spinning semi-supported in the wheelchair Ian was kind enough to add for me:



So, I rarely make shop updates listed on Ravelry — even if I do, most items fly off virtual shelves too fast; if a 30 second window exists…well, most spindles are too long or heavy for me to just outright purchase.

Yet, I still look at recently sold items and try to keep up on different trends and styles.

First, I must say Enid Ashcroft seems especially inspired in her work over the past few months. I admire her as an artist and person; and certain designs of late…well, the wood, the attention to detail, the courage (Paduak Russians with sap wood! How is that possible?!), new designs — beehives in almost every style, and, although not a new item, Enid has included drop spindles (made in the Blossom and Pagoda styles that give her other spindles a unique artsy flair and, most recent to appear, a beehive drop) in her shop almost every week.


Art. Functional art.

And, No Worries — she hasn’t stopped making the lovely spindles that first caught the eye of spindlers like myself; as seen here with 2 spindles gifted to me — a sheoak Russian with matching bowl and a mini-Turk, with a purpleheart shaft (not as purple as photo suggests) serving as a backdrop to Yew wings:


(yew is so very cool; fiber optics pencil roving — closest for my first test spin!)
And, last but not least, Joshua Lynch of TexasJeans (etsy) has added 2 new spindles to his line-up: Tibetan and Victorian Lace Spindles!!

His Tibetans are made with the same thin flick many of us enjoy using, with attention to speed, balance and longevity — and they spin impressively long! Shafts are maple, curly maple, walnut and cherry, with 2 styles of whorls in a variety of wood choices.

A few examples from his sold items:


Made ideal for me to spin in bed, car or my wheelchair, Joshua made a custom Tibetan with a curly maple shaft and maple burl whorl — completely “wowed” and grateful for the care he took in creating this spindle for me, I fear my photos do not do justice:



Stay tuned for these and other updates coming soon to a blog near you!

And, thank you to everyone for your patience — although out of my control, I hope things will start moving along quickly…

Feel free to leave a (kind) reply below.

Suggestions are always welcome as are guest writers — feel free to e-mail me at spindlers_musings@earthlink.net


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