2020 Keynote Stephany Wilkes
The Flag Wool & Fiber Festival is pleased to announce Stephany Wilkes as our 2020 Keynote. Stephany is a sheep shearer and author of the book Raw Material: Working Wool in the West. She volunteers as the President of the Northern California Fibershed Cooperative, which owns and operates the online Fibershed Marketplace. Stephany is an avid knitter, a passable spinner, and a gardener with madder and weld gone wild. Her writing has appeared in The Ag Mag, The Billfold, Hobby Farms, Midwestern Gothic, and other publications. When she is not living on either I-80 or I-5, Stephany lives (somewhat begrudgingly) in San Francisco, with her husband and not-so-failed livestock guardian dog, Dude.
Evening Keynote Presentation: Sheep Can Save Us, Again
Saturday, May 30 from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm
Sheep have sustained humanity and cultures around the world for tens of thousands of years, but their most important work may be yet to come. Sheep and other fiber animals can help solve some of our biggest, most pressing problems--soil depletion, wildfire risk, pollution from synthetic fibers and dyes, and unsustainable food production--and help us feel better at the same time, through natural fiber arts and crafts. This keynote talk honors the work and stewardship of generations of sheep and people, and shows how seemingly trivial decisions and choices can be some of the most important we make.
We invite you to join us on Saturday, May 30 from 4:30 - 7:00 pm for Sheep Can Save Us, Again with Stephany Wilkes. From 4:30 - 5:00 pm, mingle with attendees and Stephany while enjoying light appetizers. Stephany's presentation will begin at 5:00 pm, followed by a Q&A session.
Book Reading & Signing
Join Stephany for a book reading & signing of Raw Material: Working Wool in the West. Date & time TBD.
About Raw Material: Working Wool in the West
In Raw Material, Stephany Wilkes tells the story of American wool through her own journey to becoming a certified sheep shearer. What begins as a search for local yarn becomes a dirty, unlikely, and irresistible side job. Wilkes leaves her high tech job for a way of life considered long dead in the American West. Along the way, she meets ornery sheep that weigh more than she does, carbon-sequestering ranchers, landless grazing operators, rare breed stewards, and small-batch yarn makers struggling with drought, unfair trade agreements, and faceless bureaucracies as they work to bring eco-friendly fleece to market.
Raw Material demonstrates that the back must break to clothe the body, and that excellence often comes by way of exhaustion. With humor and humility, Wilkes follows wool from the farm to the factory, through the hands of hardworking Americans trying to change the culture of clothing.