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The sheep are shorn once a year, so some wool can be as long as 10 inches long. Andrea Myklebust owns mainly northern European and Scandinavian primitive breeds including Shetland Icelandic and a new Gotland ram. All the animals have different fleece characteristics. “You have a year’s worth of care going into the sheep,” she said. “Their diet and well-being shows in the fleece.” (Republican Eagle photos by Stacy Bengs)

Sculpting, sheep and spinning

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life Red Wing, 55066
Red Wing Minnesota 2760 North Service Drive / P.O. Box 15 55066

STOCKHOLM, Wis. — In the summer of 2012, sculptors Andrea Myklebust and Stanton Sears moved an old decaying building one mile down the road to their piece of the property in rural Stockholm.

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The structure came from the homesteaded land of Laura Ingalls Wilder’s grandparents, giving the duo all the more incentive to try and save it.

Today, the building works as functional fiber art studio, known as Black Cat Farmstead. There Myklebust spins wool straight from her herd of sheep into unique fiber.

Although was the big sculpture work that brought the Twin Cities-based artists out to the country where they now have a 2,200-square-foot studio, farm life and fiber art slowly made their way into Myklebust’s world.

“About three years ago I got some sheep,” she explained with laughter. “It was my mid-life crisis.”

She says she was aiming at cheese-making, but then the sheep were shorn. Once Myklebust got the wool in her hands she said it was like a switch went off.

“I completely went down the rabbit hole of traditional fiber art and got fascinated by both the processes, materials and tools. Over the past several years, I’ve been doing more of that kind of work.”

As a sub-culture spinning is still prevalent. Myklebust meets with a handful of other local spinners monthly.

“It’s crazy,” she says of the resurrection of the yarn-making culture. “There are people that are still doing it.”

Black Cat Farmstead is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays, plus 4 to 8 p.m. Tuesdays from May to October. Find more information about her fiber art at www.blackcatfarmstead.com or for Myklebust and Sears’ civic artworks at www.myklebustsears.com.

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