Sadie Laing prepares water for the alpacas at White Violet Center for Eco-Justice, a ministry of the Sisters of Providence of Saint Mary-of-the-Woods, Indiana.

For as long as she can remember, Sadie Laing has had an interest in sustainability and the arts.

During a Google search for fiber arts, Sadie, 23, happened across White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (WVC) and was intrigued.

The Rochester, Minnesota, native had finished her time at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and spent a year at the New York Fashion Institute of Technology but had a desire to learn more about fiber art.

“I wanted to learn more about textile art,” Sadie said. “White Violet Center seemed like the full package.”

So, she elected to spend a seven-month internship at WVC – a ministry of the Sisters of Providence – and traveled to Saint Mary-of-the-Woods.

She arrived at Saint Mary-of-the-Woods in October 2016 and immediately started working with the alpacas.

“I had never seen an alpaca until I got here,” she said.

During her time at WVC, Sadie has learned quite a bit regarding fiber art. Her time with WVC Fiber Arts coordinator Candace Minster has been instrumental to that learning, as they work with fiber two days per week.

“I’ve learned to weave,” Sadie said. “Candace has been a really great teacher. I’ve learned a lot of valuable skills, hands-on skills.”

Through her work with fiber arts, Sadie has also explored spinning and knitting.

Additionally, Sadie has come to enjoy her time with the Sisters of Providence.

“This has been a very enriching experience,” Sadie said. “I have an interest in intentional communities. I want to have a career in service and intertwine my work with my personal life.”

While serving as an intern, Sadie has also harvested USDA certified organic vegetables in high tunnels, as well as collected, washed and packaged farm fresh eggs.

Sadie departed WVC on May 5 and said she has an interest in pursuing a graduate degree.

“I am looking into sustainable agriculture and crafting communities,” she said.