Hello everyone and happy 2021! Our mutual archnemesis 2020 has brought about some pain and discomfort to say the least. Yehudi Menuhin, arguably one of the finest violinists of the 20th century, coined the phrase “Order Out of Chaos.” I must believe that by the end of 2021 the collective we will find order. In the pursuit of this elusive order, many of you have noticed some changes to the Mill and website. Thank you for all your concerns and inquiries. The short answer to your questions; yes, we are still here and yes, it is still me.
Continue reading if you want the long answer.
As many of you know, 2020 has been an extraordinarily difficult, I refuse to use the word unprecedented, time for businesses. The lock down could not have happened at a worse time for those of us in agriculture. Not having shearmen to shear our beloved fiber animals this spring, a lot of fiber was ruined. Of course, fiber processing is the bulk of our business. Having fewer orders to process and no festivals/shows to attend, gave me time to reflect and attempt to find order out of the chaos. Like the Phoenix rising out of the ashes, I was determined to transform the business for its rebirth in 2021.
Those who know me well, are aware that I have many facets. I am madly in love with textiles and fiber. But what many people do not know is that visual arts are also a passion of mine. Photography and illustration have been an important part of my creative outlet. I have woven and embroidered tapestries of some of the pictures I have taken using the techniques I have learned from around the world. It finally struck me, “why am I trying to keep these two worlds separate?”
I have always created the Mill’s finished items, socks, rugs, sweaters, etc., under the name Paulina LaShawn. I decided this marriage between textiles and visual art needed its own identity. That is what you have been seeing throughout 2020. Allow me to introduce you to [drumroll] Paulina LaShawn Design Studio.
I know what you are thinking, “What does this mean?” It means that I now have a dedicated space to teach you, spinning, machine knitting, weaving and so much more. There is now space in the mill to teach you dying and fiber preparation. But, most importantly, it means I can reach out and nurture the community of people who have supported me throughout the years.
Our services will stay the same. I can still process your fiber from start to finish piece and anywhere in-between. I am in the process of putting the yarn shop online so, that piece has changed. Although, I will have more yarns produced by me available for purchase, welcomed change. One exciting change, I will have both my textile pieces and my fine visual art pieces in my booth at shows. I have wanted to share this with you for years. Now, I have the opportunity to do so. Please stay in touch. Sign up for our newsletter. Check out my new blog, Paulina LaShawn Talks …. Fiber, Wine & Design. All my favorite things. I sincerely hope you find the Order you want and need.
So, I guess I have to say, thank you 2020 for the chaos!
Toia has an intense interest in Indigenous Weave Structures. She received the title Master Ashante Kente Weaver from Adamwomase, Ghana, West Africa in 2009. At that time, she was the only female, American weaver to achieve the title. She learned to weave Taanko from a Maori tribe of New Zealand. It is her goal to help preserve the indigenous structures through video and woven cloth.