Colette Smith, Knitter Extraordinaire
We are fortunate to live in Colorado. We are even more fortunate to gather as the Rocky Mountain Weavers’ Guild and share our passions for a variety of fiber arts. Some of our members are internationally recognized for their contribution to those arts. One of these folks has explored combinations that carry us on a very exciting road within the arts. I’m writing of Colette Smith, our featured fiber artist for our annual Fiber Arts Sale November 13-15.
Colette notes on her webpage (http://www.colettesgarden.com/ ) , “After a lifetime knitting, I began designing knit patterns in 2008. I have an extensive background in art design as we had a bead business for 14 years. My favorite knitting is applique and 3 dimensional fiber art.” She also taught Elementary School Environmental Education for 16 years. Never one to sit on her laurels (or knitting needles, for that matter), Colette and supportive husband Craig live in the Denver area. With three adult children scattered to the horizon, Colette has time to imagine, muse, and create. Still, she teaches knitting design at Mew Mew’s Yarn Shop in Layfayette (http://www.mewmewsyarnshop.com/) and supports the Tibetan Village Project (http://tibetanvillageproject.org/). She credits Craig for encouraging her to “…’bungee’ my designs to the extreme.” Oh, and how she does!
Colette’s work particularly appeals to me; it combines knitting in a whirl of fantasy, creativity, whimsy, and patience, with the support of her loving spouse and family. I have a personal vision of her tossing skeins of yarn into a large cauldron with some beads and scales, taking out a pair of magical knitting needles (think Hogwarts), stirring, chanting spells from an ancient tome hand written by druids a millennium or so ago, adding a pinch of something from time-darkened jars, and, much later, pouring out dragon eggs, flowers with bees, a coral reef teeming with creatures, birds and fish, GaeWyn (a Water Dragon), or a six-foot tall Ice Dragon with blue eyes, over 600 hand knitted, beaded, and sewn scales, and 17 MILES of yarn. Her pieces evoke the joy and celebration of life, both real and imagined. Colette envisions each creation, then makes it happen. Each artwork is unique and inspired, something we can all appreciate.
Her newest dragon, Forest Dragon Taliesin, is visiting the Englewood Library carrying friends including mice, a snake, an ant, and Guinevere, the only angora white snowy owl with whom I’m acquainted. Taliesin encourages readers at the library to explore the Arthurian legends through books by internationally renowned award-winning author John Matthews. Visit the Forest Dragon’s display at the Englewood Library, 1000 Englewood Parkway (just north of Hampden near Santa Fe and the Light Rail Station). Taliesin holds court through November 15. Colette will have items for sale at the Rocky Mountain Weavers’ Guild Fiber Arts Sale November 13-15.
GaeWyn and her egg, with her entourage of shrimp, fish, turtle, crab, and octopus all on a coral bed, are on the road with Colette to Vogue Knitting LIVE in Chicago October 24-26. Fortunately for Colorado, Colette will make her way back to sell her fanciful creations at the Handweavers Guild of Boulder Sale and Show October 29-November 2 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds in Longmont (http://www.handweaversofboulder.org/annualsale.html) as well as at the Rocky Mountain Weavers’ Guild Sale November 13-15 at the Englewood Civic Center (http://www.rmweaversguild.org/fiber-arts-sale-2/). . Visit Colette’s Garden at her website listed above or keep up with her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/colettesgarden).
(by Tom Cotter)