Since Celeste Suter learned to knit in the Fall of 2004, many other fiber arts have become channels for using her creativity.
Creative expression is part of her life objective. The colors, textures, and promise of endless combinations of fibers to create her works of art brings her heart joy and sparks her imagination to take flight. She is amazed to watch the raw materials, especially wool yarns, take shape in her hands.
As a child Celeste loved doing arts and crafts projects. She enjoyed the school outings to art museums and has always had an interest in seeing others’ handiwork. She learned to sew clothing the summer after 3rd grade and learned to crochet in a high school home economics class, drawing her into the world of fiber arts that, unknown to her at the time, would later become such a valued part of her life. In college, while pursing a degree in Elementary Education, it was the learning to teach art classes that she remembers treasuring the most. While becoming a teacher wasn’t in her future, she still enjoys helping her children, Girl Scout groups and middle school art electives students find creative ways to express.
It wasn’t until she wandered into a local yarn shop, that she decided to finally learn to knit. Her first knitting project was a felted stocking in memory of her first child lost to miscarriage. This healing experience led her to further projects and then to begin designing her own patterns. Celeste was awarded an Emerging Artist grant from Southwest Minnesota Arts & Humanities Council in 2006 to help her learn the art of spinning and for further knitting pattern development, and an Opportunity Grant in 2009 that enabled her to take classes in rag rug weaving and wet elements felting.
She won a commission to create felt art piece for the Minnesota State Sesquicentennial Art Project in 2008.
She is continuing to design knitting patterns and expand her work as a fiber artist which includes creating handspun yarns, hand dying, weaving and felted art projects. She is thoroughly enjoying the colors and hand of a wide range of fibers including varieties of wool, alpaca, llama, silk, camel, bamboo and soy silks, and mohair.
She has exhibited her art at many venues including the 2005 – 2009 Milan Arts and Crafts show, Christmas in the Village in Montevideo, 2005- 2008, Syttende Mail 2006- 2009 in Milan, MN and (Upper Minnesota Valley Art Crawl) Meander 2006 – 2009 and Majestic Pines Art Festival in Nisswa, MN in 2007 & 2008, and Gateway to the West Artfest in Gary, SD in 2007 & 2008. At the Gary show she was voted best Fiber Arts display in 2007 and won best of Show for her hand dyed silk shawl in 2008. She has demonstrasted spinning at the Horse Power Event at Swennson Farm Museum 2006 & 2007 using an antique spinning wheel from the museum and weaving on a hand built antique rug loom in 2008. Celeste won 2nd place in the daily costume contest at the Minnesota Renaissance Festival in 2006 by making her costume and demonstrating her drop spindle skills. In Fall 2007 she opened a fiber arts studio in Downtown Montevideo. Celeste has also been active in the arts in her community theater as a makeup artist, volunteering with the Montevideo Senior High School band program and helping with costumes and set design for Montevideo Middle School musical “When in Rome” in 2006 and was head costumer for the Montevideo Senior High School plays “Get Smart” in Fall of 2007 and “Anne of Green Gables” in Fall of 2009 among others. She also enjoyed appearing in the documentary “Made in Minnesota” for the Minnesota Film Board and in the move “Sweet Land” as a featured extra which was filmed in Montevideo in October of 2005.
The last three years she has enjoyed meeting, learning from and teaching other fiber artists at regional fiber events. Getting together with the ‘fibery’ folks she has met over the last several years are like having a family reunion…with people who share a love of yarn, wool, looms and spinning wheels!