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This month we were very excited to welcome Carole Ricketts-Corey as our Artisan-in-Residence! Carole works with raw materials to make and create beautiful yarn from several different types of fiber. She sells some of the yarn and with the rest she weaves, knits, and crochets beautiful textiles like scarves and sweaters. In an Odyssey from earlier this school year, 4th grade learned about about the creation of other textiles (cotton, polyester, and jute), which made this artist experience a perfect connection.

Students learned how to identify and prepare raw materials like alpaca through four different stations.


Students performed an investigation of exotic fibers using microscopes and their sense of touch to learn the difference between sheep, alpaca, llama, Angora rabbit, banana fiber, bamboo, camel and silk.


Students also got to experience washing freshly sheered alpaca wool and learned how to properly card (similar to hair brushing) already washed alpaca wool.

Students learned and practiced creating hex codes, as well as participated in the process of dying raw fibers using kool-aid! Each school used a different color dye.  After washing and drying, Carole will use these fibers to create an artifact that will stay on display at The Imagination Lab.

Last but certainly not least, students got to see firsthand how Carole takes the raw fibers they have learned about through each of the other stations and how she makes it into a usable material to work with. (Hint: She’s doing it in the above photo!)

We are very excited that all of our fourth graders at Plainfield schools had a chance to experience this Odyssey.

Check out Carole on Facebook under “Carole Makes”, or online at