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Instructor Biographies


Ida Atkinson


Sue Black originally from Illinois, has lived in Sweden, Maine for almost 36 years where she and her husband, Sam, have been working on their 200 year old connected farmhouse. Her main interests include early textiles and the tools used to produce them. She has demonstrated at several historical sites as well as making hats and other items for reenactors. There is always something new to try. She has taught workshops on Kumihimo, card weaving, inkle weaving, lucet braiding, spinning, and 4 harness weaving for the past several years. What pleases her most is the opportunity to share her interests and skills with others.


Janet Conner is an avid rug hooker who has been pulling loops since 1979. Graduating from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia, she spent 30 years teaching Elementary Art in southern Maine, while raising a busy family. After retirement in 2005, Janet was able to work at rug hooking and fiber arts full time, launching her web based business, which offers a line of her own patterns as well as rug hooking supplies and equipment, books, and natural dye recipe cards. She teaches fiber arts in her home state of Maine and throughout the East Coast plus Bermuda and Canada, with a specific focus on art history and the inspiration found in both fine art and folk art. In  addition to rug hooking, she also teaches punch needle, proddy, and penny rug techniques.   Twenty-five years of studying and repairing antique rugs has influenced Janet’s love of old fashioned methods and timeless motifs. She has contributed chapters on cleaning and repair of antique rugs to Rug Hooking Magazine’s book Finishing Hooked Rugs. She co-authored Rug Hooking Traditions with James & Mercedes Hutchinson, which debuts with the Hutchinson Exhibit, in August of 2016.   Janet’s rugs have appeared in Celebration of Hand-Hooked Rugs XXII, Rug Hooking Magazine, Hooked Rugs Today 2004 & 2006, and galleries throughout New England. Her greatest joy is to foster the success of her students; many of whom have made rugs in her classes that have been featured in Rug Hooking Magazine.  www.jconnerhookedrugs.com


Kim Durkee has been working with fabrics since she was 10 years old: making drapes, bedspreads, wedding dresses, quilts, and all types of clothing. In 2009 she learned how to braid rugs from Barbara Fisher, a master fiber artist in rug braiding. Since then, her passion for rug braiding has grown immensely. Kim has made several rugs, totes, and trivets. She is now dabbling in braiding rugs with roving. She teaches braiding from her home in Solon, ME. as well.


 Mary DeLano is a ‘multi-lingual’ fiber artist. She mixes techniques and materials across the fiber arts to create magnificent, one-of-a-kind pieces. Mary has a unique perspective that gives her the freedom to venture into uncharted territories and take her students along for the ride. Mary devotes most of her time to a variety of needlework techniques. She is a big fan of Sue Spargo, having taken two long workshops from her and sewn one of her larger appliqué quilts. Mary teaches an open embroidery class at Camp Wool in Kennebunk, Maine once a month where she teaches students new stitches to incorporate into their penny rugs and wool quilts. Mary also teaches at Fiber College in Searsport, Maine, at Pleasant Mountain Fiber Arts in Denmark, Maine, and at many local fiber shops.


Ellen Hedglin is a Mixed Media and Fiber Artist who takes her inspiration from her travels and the natural world around her. She most enjoys working with fiber, glass and metal. She has shown her work at Elliott Gallery in Bermuda as an artist in residence and at the Fryeburg Fair Fiber Center as the featured artist . Ellen resides in Steep Falls, ME and continues her education at Maine College of Art, and by taking workshops. She enjoys teaching fiber art and jewelry workshops to both adults and children. Ellen also teaches Art and Nature at Center Day Camp in the summer.


Donna Kay. For over 25 years Donna Kay has been a professional knitting teacher and designer. She has a passion for traditional knitting and spinning and enjoys sharing her expertise with others. As well as teaching nationally and locally she designs for yarn companies and various publications, including Knitter’s Stash. In order to further promote traditional knitting she started her own design company, Tree of Life Designs. Donna lives on a farm in NH with her husband and family where they keep oxen, sheep and horses. She has been teaching knitting since 1983 and spinning since 1997.


Anna Low a Portland, Maine bookbinder, made her first book in kindergarten - a simple, stab bound book. Making books has stuck with her ever since. In college she took a bookbinding class and was introduced to bookbinding as an art form, both in terms of content and structure. This is when the obsessive binding started. After a while she had to unload her ‘test’ books on friends and family to make room for new ones. Seeing her books being use helped her realize how much she enjoyed making functional art. There is always a new book experiment being worked on in her studio. Each book she makes is unique. There are too many beautiful papers and fabric to ever make the same book twice. Her blank books for sale (on Etsy, in local shops and at art fairs) are carefully crafted to be both functional and aesthetically pleasing, in hopes they will inspire people to fill the pages with thoughtful writing and drawings, whether that be detailed garden notes, poetry, or artful collages. Visit her website at www.purplebeanbindery.com


 Kendra Rafford's career in fiber arts began 20 years ago when she first started working at Halcyon Yarn, in Bath Maine. Being surrounded by all the colors and fiber ignited her love of the fiber arts. And oh what a fire it created. After years of taking classes with well known fiber artists and countless hours of experimentation on her own, she is now an accomplished fiber artist who creates patterns, felts, knits, spins, and weaves. She specializes in felting, with a strong focus on Nuno felting. Trained as a teacher, it was natural for her to introduce others to the world of fiber arts. Today, she demonstrates and teaches fiber arts at shops and in local schools, sells her work privately under Maine Fiberworks and continues to work part-time at Halcyon Yarn, all while raising 3 boys.


Sybil Shiland is an avid weaver, knitter and spinner. She especially loves working with color and texture in both weaving and knitting as well as experimenting with the amazing array of fibers now available. She finds the fiber world in all its aspects endlessly intriguing. 


Peggy Thrasher has tried a number of basketry techniques but fell in love with pine needle baskets.  She loves the idea of making something beautiful out of nothing.  Pine needle basketry is a slow and peaceful craft - as much  meditation as creation.  She has recently been studying with Maggie Tetreault who is a member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen and has been making Pine Needle Baskets for 35 years.  Peggy is excited to share this creative craft with her students.


 Linda Whiting grew up in a creative atmosphere, always “making things”, and has worked in a variety of mediums but her love of color brought her back to fiber. In addition to learning new techniques herself she most enjoys meeting new people and encouraging them to take pleasure in the fiber arts. In addition to teaching workshops designed to help people feel comfortable using color she demonstrates spinning, dyeing, and tapestry weaving at fiber events in Maine and New Hampshire and in schools, at fairs and local historical sites. She owns two sheep, enough to keep her in fiber. www.pinestarstudio.com


Jan Winsor has a BS in Elementary Education with a minor in art. She worked in an elementary school for 13 years keeping art in the background as a hobby. Jan was introduced to fiber arts, and as a lifelong animal enthusiast, found fiber to be a perfect medium for her. She was able to combine her love of art, teaching and animals all in one endeavor to make it her full time focus. She now has her own flock of sheep to provide wool for her fiber products and artwork. You can see some of her farm animals and fiber art pieces at  Four Winds Farm, Maine


Julie Yarbrough is a trained studio artist who has lifted her hand in many artistic endeavors. Her work is greatly influenced by her wild sense of humor and imagination. Ideas percolate at the drop of a word, a flash of color. Always ready with an “off the wall” observation, you never know where it will lead her and what wonder it will lead her to create. Julie’s felting tools and felted critters can be found in catalogs and fiber shops. She teaches and demonstrates needle felting and other fiber arts at local events and takes pleasure in flights of fancy.  www.kickthemoonfarm.com