Here’s What Design Students Created with Canadian Wool

21 June 2023
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Ad description: Cover of the book Sheep, Shepherd & Land, and the words, "THE book about Canadian Wool, by Anna Hunter. Photos by Christel Lanthier. Buy now."

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“You wish you had more time,” says Hélène Day Fraser, associate professor and co-founder of Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s Material Matters lab.

We’re chatting on the phone, and from where I’m sitting there’s a current of reflection funneling down the phone line between us. I’m curled in a chair northwest of Calgary, and she’s contemplating the end of the school year from her perch in Vancouver. Together, we’re both taking a look back at our recent collaboration, With Wool: The Art of the Possible.

Read Tara’s introduction to this program and her work with the students here.

The partnership, which saw me fly to the university in mid-February with a load of commercial sheep fleeces in tow and present to third-year industrial design students, was initially conceived as an exploration and discussion of wool in all its forms between our farm, Providence Lane Homestead in Alberta, and the Industrial Design program at Emily Carr. It was a rewarding and invigorating experience. There were challenging questions about not just wool but also the potential of regenerative agriculture and the reality of animal welfare in Canada. With their arms full of wool and visions in their heads, the students left me that day with a promise they’d be back in a few weeks with concepts and ideas. 

All photos by Tara Klager

Copyright © Tara Klager except as indicated.

About Tara Klager

Tara Klager is a first-generation regenerative fibre farmer raising endangered and heritage breed sheep hard against the Rocky Mountain foothills in Alberta, Canada. With a passion for the land and a firm conviction that her role is to safeguard and steward the amazing place she gets to call home, Tara, and her husband Bob, have worked to build community with a wide range of representation - from LGBTQ2+ to Indigenous organizations to fibre enthusiasts and members of the public, Tara provides a place and framework to encourage discussion and interaction between a variety of groups and people. Whether you're interested in animal husbandry and welfare, endangered sheep breeds, the variety of practices that go into regenerative agriculture and how you might apply them to your own context or fibre and all its possibilities, Tara invites you to the homestead, a world of people, place and permaculture. Welcome to my frontier!

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