Fibre Arts Bootcamp in BC is the fundraising arm of The Llama Sanctuary, a humanitarian organization dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing of camelids in need. What began as a singular act of compassion in saving a llama who was destined to become pet food due to his ‘unruly’ behaviour, eventually expanded into a full scale llama and alpaca rescue facility. Lynne Milsom and David Chapman, who are active in a number of trusts and socially oriented enterprises, have become full-time managers of The Llama Sanctuary, based in the North Okanagan region of British Columbia.
TomBurke, that unruly llama, turned out to be a great teacher and a catalyst for life-changing events that lead to the creation of this website and the fibre arts, among many other things, to raise awareness and funds for animal rescue generally.
After years of running their clothing design and manufacturing business, it was a yearning for a more natural lifestyle that brought them to Canada in 2003, and strangely enough, Lynne and her husband David Chapman, found themselves moving back into the world of textiles, through the promotion and use of natural fibres.
‘What a joy it is to step further back in the process of clothing design and produce our own textiles’ said David.
Fibre Arts BootCamp is the educational offshoot of The Llama Sanctuary and from small beginnings they have grand designs to promote the fibre arts and the use of natural fibres throughout British Columbia.
Following seven years of self-discovery in a wild and remote area of northern British Columbia you will find FABinBC taking root in the mild, bountiful and more populated Okanagan region in southern BC.
With their clearly defined principles, keen work ethic and high-energy enthusiasm, the plans they have for fibre arts and the natural fibre industry are likely to be very interesting.
Quoting from one of the FABinBC articles:
‘Synthetic fibres have their uses, but being oil-based, they generate massive amounts of pollution and wearing synthetic fibre for long periods is now known to be harmful to human health. They have lured us so far away from the roots of one of the most important aspects in our lives, clothing; that we have lost a lot of the knowledge necessary to care for ourselves at the same time as caring for the planet.
Part of the grand Fibre Arts in BC plan is to promote the use of natural fibres in a huge way and help restore some of that knowledge through a dedicated educational organisation. We have a responsibility to each other, to the planet and to ourselves to work for the highest good of all and our present day use of synthetic fibres does not meet that goal.’
The Fibre Arts BootCamp is just one small stepping stone along the road to promote natural fibres and how to convert them into useable textiles.
Lynne Milsom has worked in retail management; troubleshooting and retraining branch managers. She also managed the Finance Department of a London group of charitable housing trusts before teaming up with David to start her own clothing design business.
David Chapman served as an electronics engineer in the Royal Air Force before turning his lifelong affair with mountains into a career in Industrial Climbing, where he consulted for various agencies in the development of high level safety and the use of rock climbing techniques for industrial purposes.
Lynne Milsom and David Chapman have left all of that behind and now love working together on 20 acres near Enderby in British Columbia, designing and producing everything for Llamas in the Raw.
Learn more from their websites:
The Llama Sanctuary – Fibre Arts Textiles and Tools
Hornby Trains – Humorous Railway Ramblings from a Derailed Enthusiast