Meet the Staff and Teachers
Growing up in southern California, Gerry was taught to knit and crochet by her mother when she was 9 years old as a way to keep her busy and out of trouble. As the years progressed, Gerry learned to sew, quilt, bead, needlepoint, rug hook, and felt. As a member of the Northern Arizona Fiber Artists Guild, she is now looking to enhance her skills with spinning and weaving. Through several careers, she worked as a Manufacturer’s Representative for 9 years traveling the southwest visiting yarns shops and attending many yarn markets. Gerry has come full circle by working and teaching classes at Purl in the Pines for the past 5 years while also working as a Dietetic Technician, Registered at the Flagstaff Medical Center. Gerry is happy to be living in Flagstaff where she finds peace with her husband, cats, and dog. When she has time to relax, Gerry immerses herself in one of her fiber art passions.
Louisa Ballard’s fiber arts passion is Weaving. She has a Fine Arts degree form Ohio Wesleyan University with an emphasis on weaving. She first discovered weaving when she saw a loom at 9 years old, made her first rug at 11 and took her first class at 13. She got her first loom at 18 and it has been with her everywhere she has lived. She has been weaving seriously for over 30 years. Her weavings have won awards and commissions and been in galleries. She is currently exploring the simplicity of Rigid Heddle looms to the increase design range of a computer dobby 16 shaft loom. In her spare time she spins yarn, dyes does needle point and embroidery, plays with crochet, active in the Fiber Artist of Northern Arizona Guild, works in her yard and travels with her husband and dogs. As a weaving teacher, Louisa hopes to share what she has learned and help others discover the fiber design possibilities of weaving for the home or as a unique wearable fiber art piece.
Susan Chastain received a Masters in vocal performance and did her Doctoral course work at the University of Illinois. She has recently moved to Flagstaff after 18 years teaching voice at the university level in south Florida. As a voice teacher, Susan has taught a variety of music styles ranging from opera and musical theatre to pop and blues, and has taught ‘acting for singers’ classes to both musical theatre and opera singers. Susan has also had national exposure as a knit and crochet designer, and sells her patterns under the “Mother of Purl” label. She has had extensive experience teaching knit and crochet classes, and has worked in and around the yarn store field for over 30 years.