The Old Stone House Museum, in Brownington, contains 21 rooms of exhibits that focus on daily life in northern Vermont in the 19th century. The museum’s newest exhibit features traditional fiber arts produced by Sterling students.
Students spun and carded the wool using traditional methods as part of the Fiber Arts curriculum, under the watchful eye of Jody Stoddard. Much of the wool was collected locally from the milking flock at Bonnieview Farm.
Natural dyes were used to give the wool color, including a beautiful pale orange coreopsis from Sterling’s herb garden and onionskins saved from the Sterling kitchen. Lichen, marigold, and black walnut also came from Craftsbury.
Students participated in the entire process, from shearing sheep in conjunction with the Agricultural Techniques class to gathering natural dyes.
“Seeing the whole process like that is not something the average American will do in their lifetime,” commented Adam Haley, ‘14.
Fiber Arts I is a 3-credit course at Sterling, offered in the spring and fall. Students who complete Fiber Arts I can go on to Fiber Arts II, and weave beautiful and practical textiles with looms from many traditions, including European floor looms, South American backstrap looms, cross-cultural tablets, Japanese kumihimo.