Wild Fibers on an Old Sheep Ranch

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The high mountain grasslands of Colorado’s South Park have a rich history of sheep ranching, perhaps best captured by Myron Wood’s classic photograph above: Sheep Storm, South Park, 1967. Buffalo Peaks Ranch, the Land Library’s headwaters site, shared in that ranching tradition.

We’ve reported in the past about our plans to convert the ranch’s eighteen corral stalls into artist studios and maker-spaces of all types:

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With Buffalo Peaks Ranch’s historic ties to sheep ranching, and the recent donation of a fully-equipped weaving studio, we are especially excited about creating a space for Fiber Arts. We’ll have plenty of space for looms and classes, plus a dedicated library devoted to books such as these:

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The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook by Deborah Robson & Carol Ekarius, and The Book of Looms by Eric Broudy.

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We also have many books on dyes, such as:

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And one of our favorite sections features textile traditions from across the globe:

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As soon as possible, we’ll have a regular schedule of workshops and demonstrations, inspired by new traditions and old. We would love to start next summer by constructing a warp weighted loom, an ancient craft (dating back to 7000 BC) captured in one of our favorite film clips from Norway’s remarkable Norsk Folkemuseum. This short 1947 clip is silent, black & white, and truly wonderful to see  from start to finish:

For much more on the slow craft of Norway visit Norsk Folkemuseum’s YouTube Channel — there’s many more vintage film clips!

We hope that each corral stall will be a nesting place of creativity, but then, there’s just so much anyone can plan. And maybe that’s a good thing. Here’s what happened to one artist open to change:

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In 1972, when the packing and crating for a major exhibition made it impossible for Henry Moore to work in his sculpture studio, he retreated to a small shed that looked out on a sheep meadow. Over the course of several months, Moore captured the scene from his window, and upon completion of his Sheep Sketchbook, it was presented as a gift to the artist’s daughter, Mary.

Who knows what artists will see out their windows at Buffalo Peaks Ranch?

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