Celebrating Community at Whatcom Skill Share Faire


Clockwise from bottom left: Student learning to spin, Faire entrance, Pedal-powered seed cleaning machine, Anti-GMO car topped by a turnip genetically modified with fish genes, Fire by Friction

A gracious sun shining on green fields greeted comers to the Whatcom Skill Share Faire. Colorful pendant flags directed people to open-sided tents where dozens of local people demonstrated and taught their craft.

What an extravaganza of sharing! You could try your hand or take a workshop about:

Home skills like making a felted soap ball or goat cheese

Animal husbandry like horse “whispering” or making a chicken tractor

Fermentation and Brewing like home brewing beer or sourdough

Survival Skills like tying knots for everyday use or making fire by friction

Gardening, like making compost tea or scything to cut plants

Workshop skills like building a solar oven or keeping your bike in shape

Health care like distilling herbal remedies or kaleidoscope yoga

Life processes like green home funerals or the art of telling a good story

An outdoor stage kept the air alive with music and stories. Vendors offered their wares and literature – from the Whatcom Folk School and emergency preparedness to herbal tinctures and hand-crafted jewelry.

We videoed fiber artists carding, spinning and weaving; a pedal-powered seed cleaner machine refurbished from the early 1900s; making fire from friction; and low-cost rocket stoves.

We were astonished at the sheer scale of the event. It must’ve taken a lot of organizing, cooperation, and volunteers to produce. It radiated in celebration of generosity and eagerness to share, all the while deepening the bonds of community in this northwest Washington region.

We salute Transition Whatcom for their second annual event, and hope many other communities are inspired to do similarly.


  1. Hi Janaia! So nice to meet you both at the Skill Share Faire in Ferndale, WA. You made filming fun and easy going. Looking forward to the program. I’ve shared your blog entry in our spinning groups blog.
    Maybe we’ll see you at the Oct 19 & 20 Fiber Fusion show in Monroe, WA? ANother fabulous grassroots event – website has lots of great info.
    Very best to you both!
    Carol “The Director”
    Spin Drifters Spin Group ~ Fiber Arts
    Camelot Ranch Alpacas


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    Celebrating Community at Whatcom Skill Share Faire

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