The One Wheel. A Mission and a Half
Last month I did a big thing. Well it was big for me at least! I had been thinking about it for a while but was very uncertain about if it would fly or plummet screaming into the firey heart of Mount Doom in the biggest crash and burn in the history of er.. crashy and burny stuff.
I had been dreaming for ages about a new spinning wheel. Not just any wheel, but what I fondly renamed (in my head) The One Wheel to Rule them ALL (mwahahahaha!) the Majacraft Aura. I absolutely
I was already selling my yarns quite happily in my Etsy store, but then I discovered crowd funding. People make a project, and ‘the crowd’ (aka internet people) fund it! Project makers offer ‘perks’ or items in return for financial support for their projects. I liked Indiegogo, it has a big range of fundraisers running and lots of funky arty indie projects. I made the decision to close my eyes and take the leap! I wrote the story of the One Wheel, and made my presentation video to go with it; described by some as ‘epic’ I hoped like hell that I wasnt going to annoy Majacraft with my odd references to Lord of the Rings. I found out later that Andrew Poad himself is something of a major LOTR fan too, the whole thing ended up quite serendipitous 🙂
breathe in, breathe out, calm and centered…. calm and centered…..
Anyway.. 🙂 I made my campaign, my One Wheel Fundraiser! I had listed a range of ‘perks’ at different prices, mostly including at least one skein of handspun yarn. I hoped someone would like it and I was a bunch of jittery nerves by the time I hit the ‘go live’ button! But it worked. It really actually worked! I did quite a bit of researching, looking at other campaigns and figuring out what was cool and what wasnt, and also thinking about what people like be prepared to basically, pre-order. But nothing prepared me for the amazing support, messages, and of course campaign support yarn orders!
It was most definitely a month of spinning and dyeing, dyeing and spinning, spinning and carding and spinning 🙂 And I loved every second of it! The real icing on the cake came when I heard from Majacraft themselves (run by the lovely Poad family) that if I met my goal they would personalise my new Aura for me with one of their amazing customisations, in which they etch a design directly into the timber. They do such stunning work with these I was totally over the moon about that! Even cooler was that I knew I would never be able to decide for myself what I would want on it, so I asked if Andrew would make the design for me, keeping in mind my connection to New Zealand and my geekiness with the LOTR . And he came up with the PERFECT image, a very stylish ELVEN text, in which he actually translated my One Wheel to Rule them All phrase into elvish and etched it into the wheel! How cool is that! And to top it off he also wrote my story from the campaign onto one of the treadles. This is trully the One Wheel and I feel such a bond with it 🙂
The great ‘wheel reveal’ also happened incredibly serendipitously. I was attending a workshop here in Holland with Esther Rodgers (Jazzturtle) at the home of Alet Tienpont. She has a gorgeous farm in Zeeland and also runs her own studio/shop there (Textiel Wol en Zo). She had made the order for me and my Aura arrived there on the very weekend we were all there for the workshop! Some of my favourite photos from that weekend are the pics of Esther spinning on my One Wheel 🙂 She also took the photo of me with the wheel that you can see on my ‘About’ page. (Let me just say here that Esther is amazing and her knowledge is vast, I learned a lot of new stuff, particularly about carding and carders. Very cool).
I look back now on the Indiegogo campaign as having been a really life altering adventure. I dont think thats being too over the top! Firstly, it gave me a huge huge confidence boost about my spinning and dyeing and the direction I am going in with that. Secondly it put me in contact with some wonderful people, and I really value that very highly. I have a basic philosophy about crafts and spinning, I strongly believe that our craft has evolved, and continues to grow, through a strong sense of community and sharing of skills, techniques, and knowledge between craftspeople. This campaign completely cemented that philosophy into the foundations of my future direction. I’m not totally certain where I am going to end up with this! But I do know that it will involve the sharing of discoveries, ideas, inspirations, and the sheer adventure to be found in having a craft, with others. And thats what I am going to do 🙂
Since I have now renewed and re-created this blog, I thought it was important to revisit my Indiegogo campaign, to share some pictures of my Preciousssss, and to properly thank everyone who joined the challenge and helped make my dream happen!
If you’d like to relive the moment with me again, here’s my campaign video!
Heres the story of the One Wheel (in case you were wondering!)
In the dark time before handmade became known to all, before knitting and crochet was released from the drudgery of granny squares and itchy socks, the great wizard Majacraft created many spinning wheels with the power to create yarn, he released them into the world, where they were taken up by many, spreading the power of handmade far and wide. But he knew, they were lacking, their yarns were beautiful but missing the final creative force that would take yarn and its users to the next level. Humanity, and the fibers we used, started slipping back into the dark times, the hippies and earthchildren creating their earthforce yarns lost their souls and gave in to the mighty power of Massproducagon. These times were known only as ‘the eighties’ and they lasted several decades. But now, there is a new light in the world. The great wizard Majacraft could not let the world suffer under the constraints of yarns limited by orifice sizes and snaggy hooks, he joined forces with the incredible Pluckyfluff, legend among sheep and revolutionary bringer of a new age of yarnish enlightenment. Together they created The One Wheel, which they named ‘Aura’. This wheel was destined to rule them all. Together, Majacraft and Pluckyfluff gave this wheel the power to take fibers and turn them into art, incorporating other objects of power into the yarn in a way never before seen. With this wheel it became possible to spin amulets into the fibers, to create twists, knots, spin entire sheep into a creation of great wonder, a creation which would bring the dulled and uniformed humanity back to the art of needlecraft, wool art, natural fibers, and revitalise handmade, sending Massproducagon back into the crater of mediocrity.
WoolWench is part of this journey, striving to create inspirational yarns and artworks in fiber. She saw these wonderful creations that Pluckyfluff released into the world, and was inspired. She understood Majacraft, and felt drawn to the Aura, created in the very land where she was born and to which she was spiritually tied, and she instantly saw an expression of her potential in the spin of this wheel. The Aura contains the power of her connection to the land and the forest, the spirit of Tane Mahuta, forest god, reflected in the rich colour of the Rimu wood used to give it form.