Minna White — ARTIST






Minna White with Wool Coat

Minna White
with Wool Coat

Interview with artist Minna White —

 

On Display

On Display

l am a wool artist.  I create large wool felt panels such as wall-hangings and floor rugs, pieces that could also be draped over furniture.  I use thin layers of base colors and overlay them with unique designs in different natural wool colors.   I work only with fleece from the rare Navajo-Churro sheep breed.  Ancestors of today’s Navajo-Churro sheep came to this hemisphere in the 1500’s with the Spanish Conquistadors.  This breed has retained many of the characteristics that enabled cultures world-wide to gather and domesticate sheep for millennia.

 

Wool Blanket #4

Wool Blanket #4

 

Wool Blanket #1

Wool Blanket #1

Most of the fleece that I use is from my flock; some is from other Navajo-Churro flocks around North America. Their fleece grows quickly and many are shorn twice each year.   Then the fleeces are separated by color and picked through (skirted), then first washed, next “combed” (carded) to align fibers resulting in clean fiber of a single color (batts or roving).

 

 

Wool Runner or Wrap

Wool Runner or Wrap

 

Wool Blanket #2

Wool Blanket #2

 

Because Navajo-Churro sheep retain their genetic diversity, breeding a white (or brown) ewe with a white (or brown) ram does not necessarily result in the desired white or brown lambs.  So every year, lambing season is an adventure as a range of the colors is possible.

 

 

Wool Blanket #3

Wool Blanket #3

 

My home and solar-powered-studio are located in Taos, New Mexico where I find limitless inspiration for design in the mesa and mountains.    When I walk into my studio and begin to think about what I will create, I can gaze on washed batts of different colors.  Some days, I choose tones of gray; other days, black-and-white; and on yet other days, browns are most appealing… or I mix a variety of colors.   Making new felts and wool felt products may be fun or perhaps frustrating; however, I know each will be different and I find that compelling.   Curiosity and creativity.

 

Wool Blanket #5

Wool Blanket #5

 

I have my fingers in the fleece, fibers and wool-felt throughout the process – from shearing the sheep to the final felted pieces. I love the tactile feeling of the fiber and the incredible color diversity.  I also enjoy art events, showing felt with opportunity to explain the history of felt-making and the Navajo-Churro breed.  I also can share the fact that wool is the most amazing fiber— fire-resistant, hand-washable and durable.  I watch as people touch and smell the wool-felt and subsequently expand their understanding and appreciation.  I have found a way to express myself as an artist, knowing that I am involved in sustainable work because the sheep are currently growing their coats!  It is a rare privilege to be a wool fiber artist.

 

Minna White the artist d/b/a Lana Dura  -  the label

Minna White the artist
d/b/a Lana Dura – the label

 Lana Dura, giving sheep a job!  (“Lana” is Spanish for “wool”)

 

 

 

Minna White & friend

Minna White & friend

Website:  http://www.lanadura.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/lanadura.fibers
Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/lanadurafibers/
Etsy:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/LanaDura
Email:  Lana.Dura.Fibers@gmail.com