Surround Yourself With Fabulous Fibers

Fiber artist John Ravet works in his studio at Mainframe Arts, where he creates unique pieces using premium materials. Photographs: Duane Tinkey (left) and Al Feliciano (right)

Step into John Ravet’s kite-shaped third-floor artist’s studio in Des Moines and let the layers of texture draw you in. Mannequin busts modeling hand-knit and woven shawls are on display across from the loom on which one-of-a-kind pieces are fabricated. Stacked baskets conceal high-end fibers awaiting the spotlight.

One of the great joys of working with fibers—whether spinning, knitting, crocheting or weaving—is the basic ease of these crafts,” Ravet says. “A few hours, inspiring materials, simple tools, and a bit of patience are all that’s needed to begin.”

Ravet, who was recently featured in dsm magazine, says he marks his calendar for Heartland Fiberpalooza in Winterset. The event features vendors selling hand-dyed and hand-spun yarn and related goods, as well as classes and demonstrations.

“Of all the fiber festivals I’ve attended, Fiberpalooza is among the most accessible … and the most charming,” he says. “I keep several yarns and fibers I’ve purchased there in a safe deposit box—not because they were expensive, but because they’re irreplaceable.”

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