Teachers

Featured Artist: Susan Kesler Simpson

Featured Artist: Susan Kesler Simpson

I was born on a dairy farm in Jay County, Indiana. I lived there with my parents and two older brothers. Our family was very active in 4-H, each one of us completing 10 years. I loved showing Guernsey dairy cattle. We showed at the Jay Co. Fair and the Indiana State Fair. Through 4-H I learned to sew and cook, and I still love baking cookies.  I remember as a child my grandfather raised sheep and he had a ewe that didn’t want her babies. So, I was given the responsibility of feeding them bottles. One of the twins died but the other became my pet. I named her Tammy, and she would follow me around the farm if she wasn’t in her pen. Grandpa always said she was the most cantankerous sheep on his farm. Little did I know that Tammy was my introduction to wool. I learned to spin wool before I learned to weave. I bought an old walking wheel and that was what I learned on. Later, I was very fortunate to buy a nice small loom so I could keep up with my new passion.  But life gets in the way and that was once again put on hold.  I finished my BS and went on to get my MA at the University of Nebraska. 

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Julie Davidson

Julie Davidson

Julie Davidson is very proud to have been part of the Jay County Fiber Arts Festival from the very start. Many thanks to Gyneth Augsburger for getting it started and keeping it going. Julie also feels blessed to have met so many amazing fiber people through this festival. Julie enjoys the process of making yarn, starting with her sheep and Angora goats. She and Barry host 5th Saturday Spin-ins at their home, Teasel Hill Angoras in Columbia City, Indiana.

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Tracy Burns

Tracy Burns

Tracy Burns has been hooking rugs for 14 years and teaching classes in her home for 12 years. She enjoys giving rug hooking demonstrations and presentations for groups and museums. She has given presentations in 20 towns in 15 counties in Indiana. Tracy also enter rugs in the Fayette and Wayne County Fairs as well as the Indiana State Fair, where she has won many ribbons. Tracy continues to take advanced rug hooking classes to develop and enhance her skills, so she can help share the different possibilities of this fiber art.  She and her family live in the rural area of Fayette/Wayne Counties. 

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Carol Tropf

Carol Tropf

Carol Tropf is a teacher of students from pre-school through 8th grade for 31 years. She had spent 5 of her last 6 years in Blackford County Schools teaching art in elementary and Jr. high grades. These years in art education facilitated further exploration for her in many areas of art, but particularly in fiber arts and jewelry making.  Since retiring in 2012, Carol has been pursuing her love of the fiber arts of needle felting, needle punch and rug hooking, jewelry making, antiquing, repurposing and painting furniture and old furnishings, decorating and sewing. Carol has been teaching needle felting for the past 4 years locally at the Arts Center in Hartford City, Hobby Lobby in Marion, Indiana, and in Lakeside Chautauqua, Ohio, for 2 weeks each summer. 

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Christina Coghill

Christina Coghill

Christina Coghill is a lifelong crafter. Christina learned to spin over 20 years ago.  Spinning soon lead to processing fiber and to dyeing.  Christina is a certified Redding method Dyeing instructor.  Redding Method Dyeing is a technique that master dyer, master spinner, and shepherd, Natalie Redding invented and perfected. This method of dyeing will blow your mind!  Gone are the measuring spoons, premixing of dyes, and Dye pots that turn out muddy.  You will learn how to use various protein fibers and how each type dyes differently. This knowledge will assist you on dyeing colorways using minimal dyes, and should you make a mistake you will learn how to save your fibers. If you want to create eye catching bright colorways that are easily reproduced, you will want to learn this dyeing technique. Redding Method Dyeing teaches you how to dye bright vibrant colorways that are beautiful and colorfast!

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Monique Kinney

Monique Kinney

Monique Kinney is a stay-at-home mom to 3 children. Her family runs Kaninchen Farm, a small farm that raises French Angora and Silver Fox rabbits. After raising rabbits for over 6 years, Monique has branched out from homeschooling children to teaching homesteading classes including some about Raising Angora Rabbits for Fiber. Monique enjoys spending the winter months knitting, sewing, and creating things for their homestead.

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Kay Story

Kay Story

Kay Story has been twining rugs on different mediums for 10 years. Being a self-taught crafter, she learned which material works best for the intended project.  Kay has taught classes on rug twining to all types of students in the rush, Fayette, and Wayne county area. The love of rug twining led to her and her husband developing different types of looms for her projects. She enjoys sharing her knowledge and looms with others.  

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Karen Good

Karen Good

Karen Good is a lifelong crafter who became interested in fiber arts five years ago when she purchased her first spinning wheel.  She soon became a student of all aspects of fiber crafts; including needle felting, knitting   and weaving.  She loves to explore and experiment with fibers, often processing the fiber all the way from sheep to a finished project.  

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Patti Hodge

Patti Hodge

Patti Hodge raises alpacas and angora goats in Whiteland, IN. She has been felting for 15 years and has taught classes for the last 10 years. She loves to explore and experiment with fibers and felting techniques. She enjoys sharing her discoveries and introducing novice and experienced felters to this wonderful old-world textile art. 

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Susan Simmons

Susan Simmons

My fiber journey started in basket making almost 25 years ago.  I taught basket making around the state and dyed my own reed to construct the baskets with.  As I continued to take classes, I was exposed to other fibers/arts and that brought me to the wool fiber world.  I started rug hooking approximately 15 years ago, along with wool applique, which introduced me to another dyeing opportunity of dyeing wool.  I vend at events around the mid-west in addition to Tennessee, Kansas, and North Carolina.  It has allowed me to meet a lot of great people/friends along the way.  I love to teach and teach others the techniques that I have learned along the way. 

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Francie Appleman

Francie Appleman

Frances has been spinning and weaving for over thirty years and knitting since she was a child. She has worked with her local historical societies and guilds to teach spinning and weaving and some historical applications. For most of her life, she and her husband farmed and raised their own sheep for meat and fleece. She schedules her vacations shopping at fiber festivals and taking weaving workshops and bringing home yarn as souvenirs. She is unapologetically addicted to all forms of fiber activities.

Click here to see the classes she’s teaching this year!