A stone’s throw from Chimney Rock, nestled in a verdant field below Route 259 in Fulks Run, sits a small house with a view of the mountains.
There are no signs indicating what lies inside, but once you walk through the door, you are met by a little tail wagging greeter named Hubcap Ober.
Beyond him, you see all manner of fiber equipment, from all sizes of looms to spinning wheels.
Friends Susan Ober and Vicki Mongold, of Fulks Run, have made a vision of theirs come true. When a small house adjacent to Vicki’s home came up for sale, Vicki and her husband, Fred, purchased it. She and Sue, both expert fiber artists, brought in all the equipment, both their own and donated, to set up a place for people to come and learn how to spin or weave, or meet up with other people who do.
When asked about how she got started spinning, weaving, knitting, etc, Vicky said “I’ve always had an interest in it, but didn’t know anybody who could guide me. So I went to Priscilla in 1981.” Priscilla would be well known local spinner/weaver, Priscilla Rainey. Vicki started, but “then there was a break when my daughter was born, when life as you know it, ceases to exist! But off and on, and then again in 2000, I got started again. “
“ I still have a Schacht Mighty Wolf loom at home.” But the rest of her equipment found its way to the new little studio.
According to Vicki,”I originally wanted to call this Dream Come True Studio, because I had 2 looms over in a climate controlled outbuilding, and I thought how nice it would be, if people who wanted to weave but couldn’t afford a loom, or didn’t have room for one, could come and use my looms. That was just sort of in the back of my mind for a long time. When this property came available, Sue and I got to thinking, wouldn’t it be neat to kind of fill it up!”
“ I started out just wanting to bring one big loom that someone had given me, the others just sort of materialized!”
Rather than do full classes, they would prefer to do one on one learning. It is a lot easier to help each individual as they progress, than to work with several students.
If people have the slightest interest, Vicki and Sue would like to give them the opportunity to learn. The old-time lost arts have been making a resurgence over the past few years.
In 1971, Susan and her husband, Don, lived in Washington State, they went to Anacordes, an artsy little town, and walked into this house, where there was a huge Swedish loom. It was so beautiful, and she told her husband, “I want to do that!’’ Sue continued, “ In 1975, I had an opportunity to take a rigid heddle loom workshop, loved it, and started spinning in 1984.”
In 1989, while living in PA, Sue had her own business, Rockwild Angoras, sold Louette equipment form the house, and had 100 angora rabbits. She also taught fiber arts at night school. She gave up the rabbit business in 1996, when she and her husband started breeding their paint and quarter horses.
While helping Donna Robinson at the Rockingham County Fair Farm Museum Sue said “The studio idea actually started when people were offering us looms at the Fair, and our friends have been so supportive, giving us equipment that they no longer use. I still have looms at home, but there is no more room here to bring them! This was a good place to get rid of our stashes!”
There are 3 rooms of equipment, with yarn stored in cabinets in the kitchen, and books in the wall shelf in the dining room. At last count, there was 1 Union rug loom, 1 Schacht standing floor loom, 2 Dorset, 2 Kromski rigid heddles, a triangle loom, and assorted tape looms. And, we can’t forget the ever-present greeter, the cute little dog, Hubcap. Be sure to ask how Hubcap got his name!
During the interview, Linda Williams of Swope, was working on the Kromski rigid heddle.
An outbuilding on Vicki’s property houses a dye studio, for the occasional wool that needs to be dyed.
Along with being open by appointment, a group of fiber enthusiasts meets 2x a month, the 2nd and 4th Mondays of each month. Some of the people attending are part of a group of friends who have been meeting for years.
To learn more about Studio 259, and what they have to offer, follow them on Facebook, and share in two fiber artist friends’ dream come true!