Saturday, February 16, 2013

Gladys Strong, 1923-2013

My friend, Gladys Strong, passed away on February 13, 2013. She was an extraordinary fiber artist: master weaver, dyer, spinner, knitter. I met her about 7 years ago when I started attending gatherings of the Benzie area spinning group. She had spent much of her adult life in Virginia, but had moved north to Lake Leelanau to live with her daughter and son-in-law. We in northern Michigan gained so much from her presence.

She was especially knowledgeable about natural dyes, and she was so very generous with that knowledge. I remember a few days at her studio over pots of brewing fibers. Rose petals, logwood, cochineal, cutch, henna.

Despite a number of chronic health issues, she was always cheery. I do believe her enthusiasm for the fiber arts was most responsible for her upbeat attitude.

Here are some pictures of Gladys.

Gladys and Midge O., 2006:

Modelling my "Atlantis" shawl, 2007:

Modelling her own lovely woven vest, 2007:

Another view of the vest, 2007:

Spinning some silk, 2007:

More spinning. Gladys in the foreground, Carol S. and Sally C. in the background, 2009:

Spinning, 2009:

Gladys in her beautiful hand spun, hand knitted sweater and hat (her design), 2010:

Gladys, I will think of you often.


  1. Gladys was everything Amy said and more. I will miss her, her cheery outlook and her great fiber knowledge freely shared. Thank you, Amy, for this beautiful tribute to a genuine fiber artist. This brought tears to my eyes and helped me to process and accept her passing, which has been on my mind since I found out a few days ago. I will miss Gladys. Benzie Spinners will miss Gladys.
    Anonymous = Judy McL

  2. Although I didn't know her, she clearly had a wonderful love of life as well as fiber. It always sad when someone who has given so much to the fiber community leaves us.

    1. Hi Pippa, I think you would have liked Gladys very much!