Jackie Mathiason Answers Five Questions About Her Art
Alpaca farmer and fiber artist Jackie Mathiason is a spinner, weaver, felter, knitter, and crocheter. She is also a master at dying and teaches the art from her home and studio. For more information on the farm, store and classes visit: www.alpacaroad.com.
What is your first fiber memory?
In 2017 we visited our first alpaca farm. I fell in love with the luxurious sensation of the products made from the alpacas’ fiber.
Who got you started in the fiber arts and what technique did you learn?
I have been dabbling in various arts from watercolors to pottery since a very early age. It was not until I started working with the fiber from my own alpacas that I found my true calling. I taught myself how to process the raw fiber into batts and roving. I used my roving to teach myself how to spin. I also taught myself needle and wet felting. Last year I started giving classes in dying, felting, and spinning.
What drew you to the techniques you have now mastered?
To me it is almost magical how something so simple as raw fiber can be transformed into such a vast array of products. There does not seem to be an end to what can be made from the astounding alpaca fiber. Here on the farm we’ve made slippers, socks, rugs, hats, scarves, and shawls to name a few of the items. We have spun it, felted it, wove it, and wore it. I continue to be amazed at the versatility of alpaca fiber.
What does fiber art mean to you?
Working with alpaca fiber gives me great satisfaction knowing that every product we make comes from the alpacas we raised. I can look at a product and tell you the name of the alpaca it came from.
Where do you want your fiber art to go in the future?
It would be nice if my products were synonymous with high quality. That people who bought my products wore them with pride.