Episode 49: In Conversation with Wax and Wane Fiber
Wax & Wane Fiber is a collaboration between Baltimore fiber artists, Claire Fredrick and Ashton J. Page. The two met at the MFA in Community Arts program at the Maryland Institue of Art in Baltimore, after Claire came from Chicago, Illinois and Ashton came from Omaha, Nebraska. They collaborated at MICA on The Quilt Story Exchange, where they worked with Baltimore women in recovery from trauma, to make therapeutic storytelling quilts. After graudating, they were inspired by their mutual interest in the magical range of natural plant dyes to start their own company, Wax & Wane Fiber. The company has a two-fold mission: to play in the studio researching dye science and surface design, and to travel and teach natural dying with an undercurrent of ecological stewardship. They also make a line of textiles for the body and home, including custom vagina scarves and pride flags. They talk with Marlee about teaching workshops in their own studio and on the road, how to promote events and new developments, and the challenge of ramping up studio production amongst part time jobs and domestic partners.
words of wisdom:
“This is a partnership, so we are using ‘we’, and it’s been a challenge for me to get away from using ‘I’ statements… this is both of our’s thing, and having to be cognizant of the “we”, and also when it is okay to be my thing in a two-part company, and when it is okay to be your thing in a two-person company.”
“I think when that happens, you are just forced to figure it out.”
Claire and Ashton were hosted at have company in the last few days that the physical shop in Grand Rapids existed, and they offered a natural dye workshop that turned into a space to share feelings and talk about transition. They are working on developing a longer-term course in their craft, hoping to offer a four-day workshop for public schools. In the studio they are gearing up for holiday season sales- they are excited to be selling at Renegade Brooklyn for the first time this year.
things to be excited about:
- Finishing a knitting project! Claire is finishing her first knitting project, a shawl that she has been working on for months and will wear this winter.
- The Broken Circle: Yarns of The Knitting Witches! This new young adult fantasy fiction by Cheryl Potter, that Ashton and Claire are SO in love with. It’s about fiber arts and witchery and it is a series, so get ready to be hooked.