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View of table with woman making punch needle art.|Kristen Dettoni sitting on step outside fibers building at Snow Farm Craft.|Kristen Dettoni working on punch needle art piece with natural dyed yarn.|Punch Needle art piece made by Kristen Dettoni at Snow Farm Craft.

My Snow Farm Art Residency

This spring, I had the opportunity to participate as an artist in residence at Snow Farm, The New England Craft Program in Williamsburg, Massachusetts, for two weeks. It was the first time since graduate school that I had an extended period devoted solely to being creative. There were no limitations or requirements. I spent two weeks completely free, exploring new concepts and ideas.

Often with running Design Pool, I move from one task to the next without a break or time to breathe. Some days those tasks are creative and energizing, and other days they’re the less glamorous task of an entrepreneur: bookkeeping, answering emails, responding to questions. Yet, the time in between is so essential. In that space, you can reflect on the progress you’ve made and notice the small nuances that might lead to the next big idea.

This is the first year Snow Farm opened its studios to two-week residencies in the spring and the fall. There is no instruction during this time, but artists have access to studio space and equipment. I had the entire fiber studio and dye kitchen to myself to create and enjoy. Even the building itself was inspirational. It was built in the 1850s. The interior architecture, floors, and ceiling beams inspired thoughts, stories, and eventually art.

I’ll confess, the idea of two weeks was initially a bit daunting. For starters, I had never been away from my business for that long. Also, knowing how precious time is, I wanted to make the most out of it. I created several finished punch needle pieces during my time there, many expanding on my codebreaking concept. I also revisited bead weaving and made small paper weavings as companion pieces. And with access to a full dye kitchen (a dream!), I dyed a lot of yarn to bring home, along with lots of new ideas and concepts to work on in the future. Now – I just need to find the time.

Photo credit: Erin Long Photography

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Kristen Dettoni

Kristen is a visionary textile designer based in Southern New Hampshire with a track record of industry-defining contributions dating back to 1993. She is the Founder of Design Pool and Domanda Design and is an occasional blogger. Her creative influence is reflected in her work across multiple sectors, including automotive, office, hospitality, healthcare and home furnishings. Kristen is an accomplished designer with over thirty years of experience in design with a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. She maintains an art practice and exhibits her artwork in juried and group shows throughout the United States. Her artwork has received numerous awards and honorable mentions. Whatever her creative pursuit, Dettoni approaches it with a strong belief in the power of good design to transform our environments and ultimately, our lives.


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