Spinner and textile artist Paula Veschore can find a project in anything. “Everything to me is an art project whether it’s weaving, gardening, or a bucket of rusty horse shoes,” she said.
Veschore is one of seven demonstrating artists in the Thread Studio located on the sixth floor of the North Building in the Denver Art Museum. When demonstrating her craft in the museum, she uses a spinning wheel to transform raw materials into yarn. She uses this for various textile projects, including a complex knitted shawl.
Veschore said she was always interested in the arts, including knitting, felting, and painting, but had to put those interests on the backburner when she became a single mother and needed to support her family. As soon as she was able to, Veschore returned to art and began painting and knitting again. Somehow, Veschore said, the family ended up with sheep and on shearing day, her friend invited her to be part of a spinning club despite her lack of knowledge or experience. The club, Dances with Wool, is comprised of local textile artists who gather twice a month to talk about techniques and show their projects.
“Everyone is very free with knowledge and sharing their experiences,” Veschore said of the group. Several demonstrating artists in the Thread Studio belong to the group and began volunteering at the DAM when fellow textile artist Margaret Charlton told them about the opportunity at a club meeting.
“I always feel good after spinning because I’m creating something that will be used to make something else.”
Veschore said it’s important to have spinners and textile artists demonstrating in the museum because of the lack of knowledge the public has about its clothing.
“I’ve talked to so many people who don’t know where their clothes come from,” she said. “They don’t know that their shirt is knit or that their jeans are woven. It’s fun to explain the differences and the processes to people.”
Veschore said she enjoys interacting with the visitors because “everyone who comes in here sees something they recognize.” She shared an anecdote about a little girl who sat and watched her spinning for a long time. When Veschore asked if she wanted to know how it worked the little girl said that she understood, and explained it all perfectly to her.
Interactions like this are what the artists in the Thread Studio say they love about being at the museum.