Linda Kernstock, Clearmont

Sage Ridge Mill & Critters

Primary medium: Fiber

Artists's Resume​

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I was born in and graduated from high school in Michigan. I moved to Wyoming my sophomore year of college to attend the College of Agriculture at the University of Wyoming, where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Rangeland Ecology and Watershed Management. I use this education everyday while I am looking at the plant demographics in my own pastures. Beautiful fiber comes from healthy animals. Healthy animals come from balanced pastureland. I currently live in Clearmont, Wyoming.

Our ranch is in a very secluded traditional area of our country. The fresh air, mountains and sunshine definitely encourage outdoor exploration. Outdoor exploration encourages the desire to bring a little of that inside so we can enjoy it longer.  Fiber Art is my way of bringing what I love inside.  

 

My fascinating journey with fiber first began when I fell in love with the faces of my first four alpacas.  After deciding that alpacas were the livestock my family and I wanted to interact with, it was a logical step to be interested in the product we were raising, the fiber!

 

I love all types of fiber, but particularly alpaca because each fleece is unique. Each and every alpaca that calls our ranch home has enriched not only my life, but the lives of family and ranch guests who come to visit and learn fiber arts. I am very proud to have established a full service alpaca ranch with an on-site commercial fiber processing mill and teaching facility. I currently teach spinning and feltmaking workshops and provide consultative services to customers on practical and technical aspects of fiber animal husbandry, fiber harvesting and product development.  Teaching fiber husbandry to kids and community members is not just about the fiber but also about the health and aesthetics of the animals too.

 

I am finding inspiration for my yarn and felt projects from the world around me - from the natural world I live in, consulting with my customers, through the process of teaching, and even from the animals themselves. The process of manipulating fibers, to produce unique felts and yarns that utilize all types of fleece harvested from the alpacas, is always an exciting learning experience. I especially enjoy creating unique and delightful functional pieces from fibers that might not be seen as the most desirable from the animal, pieces such as pet beds, saddle pads, fuzzy slippers and cushiony rugs.  The process of manipulating fibers begins with good management of the animals and harvesting the fibers.

 

With my brand "Fiber with Flair", I journey along the entire spectrum of the fiber experience raising, harvesting and manipulating different types of fibers to create delightful functional pieces.

Artists Statement

Critter Caretaker, Fiber Fluffer, Spinning Sorceress.

 

I live and work in rural Wyoming. We, my family, the critters and I, spend our time playing among the prairie grasslands and the sagebrush ridges! We enjoy the many sunny days and the painted sunsets.

 

My inspiration is created from the animals. The animals naturally grow their own beautiful coats. My magic is preserving the natural aspects of that coat while moving the fibers from the animal to the finished art I create.

 

As a producer, I develop value-added fiber products utilizing all types and grades of fiber harvested from the alpacas.

 

As an artist, my preferred media is the alpaca. The whole alpaca from the day they arrive on my ranch until they have to leave me. I am always excited to experiment and dabble in Old World traditions as I create yarns and felts. With my brand “Fiber with Flair” I participate in each and every step involved in growing, harvesting, processing and creating valued-added products from alpaca fleeces.

 

I enjoy felting "out of the box."  I like to use types of fiber that allow my felt to have that "pelt" look and feel to them. My heart is also light knowing that none of my animals were killed to produce fiber for my art! The techniques I use extend far beyond knitting, spinning or felting and my felting pallet includes the actual landscape my animals graze upon, in addition to the colors and textures I harvest from my animals.

 

I have currently been working on nuno felt manipulations and exploring how different fabrics interact with the alpaca fiber. I also enjoy dabbling in the world of creative hand spinning, using different forms of fiber – raw, cloud, cut, short, long, shaved. I like to honor age old traditions for spinning while experimenting with basic fiber forms of alpaca. I enjoy playing with unconventional technique and seeing how each yarn is different and unique because none of the animals are the same.

 

My fiber mill machinery is an extension of my hands – it allows me to further manipulate the fibers as my imagination sees fit. I am always looking at the world around me for inspiration as to how fiber could look after the enchanting processes of spinning or felting.

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