We are excited to be hosting artist, Megan Samms, Sept 17th through to Oct 15th, as our first resident in what we hope will become an annual program, the Custom Woolen Mills Fibre Artist Millstay.
Here at the mill, we believe that art is an important medium of communication within society. It serves as a platform for conversation about the present, the future, and the past. We also believe that we can offer fibre artists a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the materials of their trade – the community, physical environment, and day to day workings of our rural Alberta woolen mill – perhaps bringing new context to their practice. Thus our Millstay was born.
Megan Samms is a weaver, knitter, hand spinner, and natural dyer who grew up in Millville, Codroy Valley, Newfoundland. Originally self-taught, she later studied at Kootenay School of the Arts in Nelson, BC. Her latest piece, Shanawdithit’s Burial Shroud, is a tribute to Shanawdithit, the last know member of the Beothuk people of Newfoundland. It is destined for the Beothuk Interpretation Centre, Boyd’s Cove, Newfoundland – a provincial historic site and museum.
“Hardwork, handwork, ancestry, life in the Boreal forest, plants, fauna, weather, relationship and connection are huge inspiration and motivation to my work. I create textile works that are rooted in usefulness, shelter, tradition and beauty. I am a weaver, a knitter and a natural dyer.
I spin yarns, I make items to be worn, to keep you warm, to dry your hands and body, to wrap up your loved ones at any time of their lives. I make functional pieces that will be with you on the daily. I am honoured to continue ‘women’s work’ in our modern day and make effort to keep skill and custom prevalent.
In my work I employ natural fibres from animals and plants, dye from plants, looms, needles, spinning wheels, scissors, shuttles, niddy noddies, swifts, skeiners, skill and much appreciation.
I live the good life between seasons at a northern wildfire lookout and winters in the Kootenays or anywhere else my husband I are drawn to. This allows much time to contribute to keeping the shuttle and needles going to produce functional artworks and foraging for colour. Also, time to keep bees.” – Megan Samms
If you are out at the mill over the next month, you can visit her working in the studio where she will be dyeing and weaving away. She will also be giving a natural dyeing demonstration at our Open Saturday on Sept 24th at 1pm, just before our 2pm guided tour – should be an excellent day!