Illinois has been blessed with an abundance of rich, fertile land. It has drawn and allured Americans for centuries. Farmers who traversed the prairie to settle their lives in this land far west of the colonies were taken back at the sheer vastness and beauty of Illinois. Men came to conquer the indomitable prairie, women came to make a home, and their spinning wheels and looms came to provide a sense of belonging, a sense of calm.
The click-clack of wheels and the rhythm of knitting needles provided families with more than necessary clothing. It became an art passed from generation to generation, a comforting and soothing routine for working women, and most importantly, a heartfelt tie between the enduring sheep of Illinois farms and the warmth and well being of the farm's family.
By the time Illinois found itself in a war between the states, spinning wheels and looms were being replaced by machines and factories, industrializing these revered arts so common and known to the nation's people. As the nation began a shift away from the agricultural heritage it was founded upon, more and more people grew distant from the farm. from its simplicity and its freshness; its significance and its character.
At Esther's Place, we desire to create a warm and joyful experience that welcomes you to engage in fiber arts in a unique way, through discovering the agricultural and historical significance of these fascinating arts. Just over an hour's drive from Chicago, Esther's Place is located in the quaint, rural village of Big Rock.
We welcome all to come and restore that meaningful connection between the farm and fiber arts, and learn the skills that have molded and shaped generations. Though such skills were a necessity in yesteryear, they also enriched and enhanced cultures spanning the ages of time. Today more than ever, it continues to be a captivating and fascinating pursuit that beckons us to take a closer look at our past.
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