Edmonton is known as "festival city" for a reason - there are many festivals throughout the year. Luckily for Ashley, she lives right up the hill from where the Edmonton Folk Fest takes place. She also enjoys the Street Performers Festival, and the numerous cultural & historical sites such as the Ukrainian Cultural Heritage Village. Her favourite thing to do in Alberta is to take random drives out of the city to see the beautiful countryside.
Ashley has been doing various forms of art for as long as she can remember- sketching, painting, clay & sculpture, jewelry-making, lampworking, and now, fiber. She got her Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Lethbridge in 2005. Ashley says she loved the program because of its multidisciplinary nature. It wasn’t until she finished university, though, that she got into fiber- having participated in a number of projects focused on women's history, she was drawn to fiber & textiles. She also liked that she didn’t need a separate studio space to create. One of the most paramount motivations behind her work is the idea of "craftivism"; she does not simply work to make functional or pretty things, but creates craft as a form of resistance to mass-production, exploitation of labour, and the degradation of the environment.
Using local materials is also important to Ashley- she believes in encouraging local economies as a way to counter some of the negative aspects of globalization. She is always looking for local suppliers, and has found quite a few- in the fall she visited an alpaca farm and got some fiber which she spun into this yarn:
Edmonton is a pretty "crafty" city - there are many arts & crafts fairs, stores, and farmers markets where people sell their wares. Ashley began crocheting during gatherings with friends also known as "Stitch 'n Bitches". She was introduced to spinning via a visit to the Edmonton Weaver's Guild open house. After trying spinning she was instantly addicted. A few of the women involved with the guild mentored her, and she soon purchased a second hand wheel:
Thank-you Ashley for allowing us a peek into your life!
Please visit Ashley's shop on Etsy here:
and her blog here: