Catharine moved to Deep River with her husband and two small children in 2001. For the next 8 years her life was filled with raising her two boys and working for Atomic Energy of Canada. A shift in her direction occurred around 2009 when Catharine left work to pursue other endeavours. During this exploration she took some local felting classes and hasn’t looked back.
Catharine has been felting for seven years. During that time Catharine has taken a few online classes as well as in-person felting classes. The techniques learned have enabled her to continue exploring the limitless possibilities there are with wool. She starts with the basic components that allow her to create wall hangings, clothes, three-dimensional objects, and more.
She has shown her work locally in the town of Deep River, ON and she has joined up with other groups that have exhibited her work in Ottawa and the Ottawa Valley. In 2020 her work was included in a published book, “Separate yet Connected”.
She is inspired to create by what she sees in her surroundings and by her experiences with current events. Rooms in her house serve as studio areas. You can see her work on Facebook by going to her Wet Woolens page.
Lois has lived the majority of her life in Deep River and has been knitting & crocheting since she learned these skills from her mother at an early age. Upon retirement, she expanded her hobby of knitting for her family to include preparing her own yarn.
Over the last decade, Lois has spun mostly locally-sourced wool, but she also enjoys blending-in exotic fibres such as qiviut, silk and hemp to make one-of-a-kind yarns. The fibres are often then dyed using a variety of dyes and techniques to produce effects unavailable commercially. After spinning, the yarns are suitable for knitting, crocheting & weaving projects.
Lois’s ongoing education includes courses taken at the Haliburton School of the Arts in subjects such as Colour Analysis, Shibori (Japanese-style dyeing), Quilting and Basic Spinning. The latter inspired her to complete the intensive six-year Spinning Certificate Program offered by the Ontario Handweavers & Spinners (OHS), from which she graduated “With Distinction”.
As well as being a member of the Deep River Weavers, and also the Gateway Guild of Weavers & Spinners (GGWS) in North Bay, Lois sits on the OHS board of directors as the Northern Region representative. She regularly gives workshops at the GGWS and at the Killaloe Fibre Arts Circle.
Her handspun yarns are available at the Valley Artisans’ Co-op along with a limited selection of knit items.
Katja has been a member of the Valley Artisans’ Coop since 2004.
As a teenager, I discovered macramé and spent a few years making plant hangers, owls and wall hangings. Now that I am retired, I have re-discovered this wonderful art. I love making the Trees of Life, Dreamcatchers, and of course plant hangers and wall hangings. They are all unique and different in their own way. It’s amazing how many beautiful things you can make with cord, beads and few knot variations!
Batik & sock monkeys
Tracy joined the Valley Artisans’ Coop in 2000.
Crochet for Charity
I got interested in crochet when I was 16 years old. My mother was taking a Beginner Crochet Course at a Continuing Education High School and was coming home with her completed projects. I told her that I was interested in trying this out, so she enrolled me in the next Beginner Course, while she took the Intermediate Course, the next semester. I became obsessed with intricate doilies and tablecloths at that time and made a number of them. After a while, my interests changed to needlepoint, then cross stitch and embroidery, so crochet took a back seat for several years. . . like over 30 years. Life happens! Marriage, children, jobs, a business or two or three!
When I retired in the Fall of 2009 and moved to Deep River, I joined the local Deep River and Area Jabez Blanket Ministry. The Ministry’s goal is to produce beautiful hand crocheted or knitted blankets that are added to a “Back Pack of Hope” and sent to orphanages around the world. I became heavily involved with this group and subsequently became the local coordinator. One of my tasks is to encourage donations of yarn from the local communities surrounding Deep River. Some of the yarn donated is not always suitable for blankets, so rather than dispose of it, I decided to try my hand at making head warmers and neck warmers. I began attending craft shows and my hats became very popular. I started out of course using patterns from designers which I found for free on the internet. In the last few years, I honed my skills and felt comfortable in tweaking designs to make them more my own. Since I have such a beautiful variety of yarn… different fibres, colours, weights and textures, I can use these to create a lot of one of a kind hats, headbands and neck warmers. I love to play with textured crochet stitches to see if they will work in “the round” for a hat. To make my product even more unique, I will often use clip on earrings, broaches or other types of embellishments, along with buttons to decorate an appliqué or the brim of a hat or neck warmer.
Since a lot of the materials I use are donated, all of the profit from the sale of my products goes to Charities… The Jabez Blanket Ministry International (which started it all) and other local grass root charities. I provide the labour at no cost, since crochet is also therapy for me. I love creating these useful accessories and then being able to help out worthwhile organizations.
Born and raised in the Ottawa Valley, Laura is surrounded by nature and strives to capture the beauty of her environment in her wearable artwork.
A long time member of the Valley Artisans Co-op in Deep River she has honed her skills over the years working with many different mediums.
A professional fiber artist, Laura has mastered the art of Sun dyeing, also known as Heliographic Printing. Over the past 15 plus years she has been collecting interesting looking plants, seeds, flowers and nuts from nature and her own back yard gardens to imprint their images on silk, rayon and cotton. Her one of a kind scarves are sold all over the world and are often shipped to distant lands as symbols of Canada, especially the ones she makes in Autumn colours using maple leaves, sumac, wild raspberry and beech nuts.
When the summer ends and the sun is no longer strong enough to sun dye, Laura turns indoors to continue the creative process by using other dye techniques like spray, ice and snow dyeing.
Durability is an important component of Laura’s work and everything she creates is made to be washed, ironed and stands the test of time.
To expand her accessory line Laura began to fashion scarf jewelry that perfectly matches the colours in her scarves. Using a selection of thousands of different beads, crystals and stones, Laura produces individual, unique and one of a kind pieces of jewelry that are used to hold and accessorize her scarves.
The vast colours found in alcohol inks attracted Laura several years ago to explore other mediums such as paper art and home décor. Anything that is colourful and vibrant is a magnet to Laura and her pursuit of new applications is boundless.
Come visit her at the Valley Artisans Co-op in Deep River or at one of the many art shows she exhibits at around Ontario.
When I joined the Valley Artisans Coop in 2021, my husband and I had been in Deep River for less than one year.
We have 3 daughters and seven grandchildren and have made clothes and blankets for all of them.
I learned to sew and knit through my high school Home Ec course and was encouraged by my great aunt as a teenager.
I set up my business in 2014 and enjoy creating all sorts of projects, mostly children’s clothes and accessories.
I have also made fidget lap blankets and knitted cuffs for people with Autism, Alzheimer’s or anxiety.
Leslie grew up in Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. As a child, she was surrounded by visual art. Her father is a retired architect and her mother was a weaver. Though she has little formal training, she spent much of her time growing up immersed in the local arts community and enjoying the art that filled her parents’ home with.
In 1987, she moved to Deep River with her family, joining the Valley Artisan’s Co-op in 2007, the latest fork in a career path which has included teaching and raising kids.
Leslie has been sewing almost as long as she can remember. Her wise mother found ways to direct her to her sewing machine where she spent countless hours creating elaborate outfits for her fashion dolls and continued to sew her own (less elaborate) clothes.
Her first ventures into fabric art and custom garments included hand-painted silk scarves, silk lingerie and dresses for weddings and graduations. Once she had children, she turned her energies towards more immediate and practical pursuits, sewing clothes and costumes and teaching the willing ones to sew for themselves.
Leslie began her first quilt in 1987 for her daughters’ double bed. It took more than two years to complete, but was the inspiration for more. She created several wall-hangings from published designs before beginning to design her own in 2006. She now concentrates her efforts on wall-quilts in a variety of sizes, from letter-sized picture quilts to larger wall-hangings, and welcomes the occasional commission.
Leslie sees ideas everywhere, particularly in the natural world, and loves the endless possibilities of colour, texture and pattern that quilting offers.