Gayle Walford Upcycling Artist Exraordinaire!

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The Okanagan School of the Arts is pleased to introduce Gayle Walford, who will facilitate fabric classes in the new year. Gayle has a wealth of knowledge, a love of keeping usable materials out of the landfill and a great playful approach to being creative with fabrics! 

Gayle is a fabric artist with a passion for upcycling fabric and developing fun ways to use it.  Over the past 5-6 years she has helped to divert hundreds of pounds of discard fabric from going in the landfill by breathing new life and purpose into it.  Gayle delved into the textile world approximately 6 years ago by making ‘rag rugs’ for her aging dog.  Shortly after starting out she felt frustrated by how much time she spent snipping and ripping strips of fabric and how little time she actually spent making the rugs.  After considerable trial and error and in combination with a passion for problem solving, Gayle began transforming old linens into hand dyed balls of fabric yarn, that make knitting, crocheting and weaving faster and more convenient.  Recognizing that some of the fabric was simply too beautiful to convert into yarn she was lured into the world of art quilting, and over the past couple of years free motion sewing has become Gayle’s passion.  She has taken numerous fabric arts & quilting courses and loves to create one of a kind artful pieces using fabric and ink dyes, paint, thread and of course stitching!  

While Gayle loves to transform fabric, she also enjoys and appreciates all forms of art.  She grew up playing music and over the years has taken courses in pottery, dance, clowning, felting, storytelling & visual, sculptural and expressive arts.  She draws inspiration from her many teachers, including:  Kate Church (visual & sculptural artist), John Turner (clown instructor best known as Smoot from the Canadian clown duo Mump & Smoot), Laura Wasilowski (Art Quilter), Carol Ann Waugh (fiber artist) and Lori Kennedy, Leah Day and Cindy Walter (very talented quilters) to name a few.  Gayle has taught Music and Movement as a Healing Art at the Haliburton School of Art and Design, and has attended a number of their weeklong summer workshops.  When she is not in her studio creating she is out in the community helping people of all ages develop their skills in the art of daily living.  Her experience as an Occupational Therapist and certified Heart Math practitioner has helped her to appreciate the valuable role creativity plays in well being.

Gayle looks forward to meeting other creative enthusiasts and sharing her passion for fabric upcycling here at the Shatford Centre.  She can be reached at freemotionfun@gmail.com

For information on her classes, click on the Okanagan School of the Arts courses. 

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