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For this year’s summer escape, my husband Russ and I decided to go to Sisters, Oregon, an attractive getaway for us. Only 3 ½ hours from our home in Ashland, Oregon, Sisters offers fly-fishing for my husband and a strong artist community for me.
While Russ spent time on the Metolius River, I hit downtown Sisters to search out fellow felters. Sisters is well known for its annual quilt show which took place on July 9th. The show is in its 36th year and had over 1200 quilts on display. Lots of quilts are still on display throughout local businesses. But Sisters has a lot more to offer than quilting and while exploring downtown, I came upon several artists who do both needle and wet felting.
My first stop was Desert Charm, a fiber art, bead and dime store located on South Elm Street. Tami Meritt, the owner, is a felter and jewelry maker. She carries wools for felting from local ranches, including her own farm and numerous Alpaca farms. Desert Charm offers classes in felting, other fiber arts and jewelry making.
Next I wandered into Alpaca by Design on West Cascade Avenue and quickly discovered some beautifully felted scarves made by Liz, who happened to be working that day at the shop. She makes her scarves from local alpaca and hand-dyes her work. I went back to Alpaca by Design the next day and met the shop owner Steven Segal, aka Weaver Steven. He weaves lovely alpaca scarves and has his loom in the shop. He carries knitted alpaca clothing, accessories and yarn.
Donterra Artworks is located on Hood Avenue, owned by Don Patheal and Teri Applegarth. Don is a woodworker and Teri is a mosiac artist. Don and Teri started their gallery in 2007 and have grown to represent about 142 artists. They describe the gallery as wildly unique and I think it is a must-see. You can spend hours exploring different types of art; there is something for everyone.
I spent most of my time enjoying the felted work in the gallery, including beautifully made vests, wraps, hats and other accessories.
There are so many talented artists in Sisters. I found that the artists and local business owners recognize the importance of supporting one another and fostering sustainability. Sisters is host to many festivals and art fairs and each shop I visited had local artist representation.
I truly can’t wait for my next visit to Sisters.