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From fashion to fiber arts

Said enjoys working with the alpacas.

White Violet Center intern Sadie Laing comes to us from Madison, Wisconsin, where she recently completed a bachelor’s degree in textile and fashion design from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Sadie also has an associate’s degree in fashion design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York.
I sat down with her recently to talk about her favorite textile pieces and life at WVC.

Sadie’s portfolio show at UW-Madison featured textile pieces inspired by the Greek legend of Daphne and Apollo.
Sadie used all natural materials in her pieces. One particular piece, which she described as her favorite, was a neckpiece she sewed out of leaves. It had a leathery appearance to it.

Sadie’s internship began in October.

“The first person I met was Sage the cat, so that was a very positive impression. I just walked in, Robyn was in her office, but I didn’t see her right away … it was this empty center with a very friendly cat and I thought, ‘I think I’m gonna like it here’.”

At first, she said, she worried about the workload.

“I worked in a fabric store before I worked here, so I thought I was used to tossing heavy things. I was not, she said. “But I’ve gotten used to it. It didn’t scare me away.”

WVC encourages interns to come for a ‘trial day’ before beginning their internship. Sadie was unable to do so, because she was in New York.

“It was kind of a shot in the dark, but it worked out … it’s the most fulfilling experience I’ve had in my life so far.”


Intern Sadie Laing and WVC garden manager Candace Minster sell vegetables at the farmer’s market

Sadie went on to say that WVC is not only complimenting her education, but adding to it. She would like to pursue a graduate degree, but is still undecided which field she will study.

“It’s doing a really good job of filling in the holes in my formal education … I was always interested in sustainability, but didn’t really know how to approach it. I wasn’t sure how I could get involved … I think it’s helping to shape my future educational decisions.”

As a child, Sadie spent much of her time doodling and sketching clothes. She felt it was the only thing she could imagine herself doing, and thus pursued it in college. An introductory textile art class inspired her to follow her current path.

One of the facets of her internship that Sadie is most looking forward to is learning more about fiber arts. WVC boasts a rich fiber program with educational workshops and fiber crafts made from handspun fiber from the alpacas. Just last month, the WVC interns got to experience spinning firsthand. Some, including Sadie, also got to participate in the weaving workshop in November.

“I had a teacher who was really inspiring to me; she combines social justice with her artwork … that was probably the first time I realized I could create something with purpose, something that would provoke change.”

Sadie will be interning at WVC until April 2017.

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Kelsey Hollis

Kelsey Hollis

Kelsey studies media art and marketing at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College. Her hobbies include baking, reading, and spoiling her three rescue cats. She worked as an intern for the Sisters of Providence in 2016.

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