Arts on the Square Spotlight: Meet Annie Cadden of Fisher Cat Fiber Co.

Thursday, June 20, 2013
We can't say enough about the innovative eco-designer Annie Cadden of Fisher Cat Fiber Co.  She's been a very important part of ScrantonMade since the beginning and we are always so excited to chat with her! We can't wait for you to see what she crafts up for Arts on the Square!

Hi Annie!

Tell us a little about your company and what inspired you to start it.
Wow that's a great question, not so easy to answer. Fisher Cat Fiber Co has been and still is a process in the making. Never was it my intention to start a business. About six years ago I told myself that I would not purchase any more yarn or materials until everything in my stash was used up. I started felting bags from scrap wool, weaving rugs from rags that I had saved and gave a try at making plarn (plastic cut into yarn).  I opened my Etsy Shop and entered a few art shows. The upcycled plastic rugs really started taking off. Since then, not only are the rugs available on Etsy but also in several online markets in the United States, Australia and the United Kingdom.

Fisher Cat Fiber Co was born as a way to be resourceful, to repurpose and to be creative all at the same time. I believe it still holds true to that intention.

How did you learn your craft?  

My educational background is in music, I have no formal training in the fiber arts. I belong to a local weaving and spinning guild that consists of the most generous members who share their skills and talents. I also took two classes at The Mannings Handweaving School in East Berlin, PA. That is where I purchased my first spinning wheel over 15 years ago. 

My love affair for colors, textures and fiber started at a young age. It began with the simple pot holder frame and then my friend’s grandmother taught us to crochet. We were probably about 12 years old, I never stopped. In high school my sister taught me to knit. Over the years I kept pursuing the fiber related crafts. In my 20’s I learned to use a spinning wheel and a few years ago I started to weave.

What kind of materials do you use to make your work?  How long does each piece take to make?

The rugs are woven from several materials. The most popular are those woven from plastic bags. I also weave vintage material made into rags, salvaged dress factory material, t shirts and wool roving. The time it takes to actually weave a rug is minimal compared to the entire process: winding on the warp, threading the loom, preparing the fiber, weaving, hemming, cleaning and finally labeling. All considered, it takes approximately 6 hours for a 2x3 rug.

How would you describe your style & where do you find inspiration?

I am not sure that I have a style. I would say it’s eclectic, traditional but contemporary at the same time. My current inspiration are artisans who re-purpose discarded materials into pretty much everything: clothing, furniture, paintings, etc... some of it’s amazing!

What items will you be featuring at the Arts on the Square festival?

I will be co-vending with fiber artist Ellyane Hutchinson of Digital Leaf Studio. In addition to the FCFC rugs, Ellyane will bring handmade lace jewelry, tatted necklaces and earrings, bags made of vintage textiles and hand woven vintage ribbon, knitted & crocheted pins.

What is your most popular item?

The upcycled rug, however the felted market bags have also become popular. Made  from local wool or project seconds, no two are ever alike. They are a seasonal and limited  item. I will have them in November at the Nyack NYArt Show and in December at the Bethel Woods Holiday Market.

What are your can’t live without craft room essentials? 

Scissors, lighting/lamps and a sleigh hook for threading the reed.

How do you make your workplace an inspiring place to be?

It is a beautiful place all it's own. We are located in an isolated area surrounded by many acres. My work space is on the second floor. One side of the room has large windows without curtains. I am inspired by the day. Rain, sun, snow, wind, sights, smells, sounds... it's all very inspiring.  The only thing I ever add is music.

Will you be demonstrating your craft at Arts on The Square? If so, tell us a little about it...
I will be bringing my new spinning wheel.  Ellyane will be demonstrating drop spinning as well as tatting. I cannot say enough about the quality of her work. Be sure to stop by to say hello and check out our demos.

Is there any other information you would like us to share/highlight about you or your work?
Thanks to ScrantonMade, I was featured on Earth 911 this past April. That was a true honor!

Follow Fisher Cat Fiber Co. 
Twitter: @fishercatfiberc

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