Carmen Bohn is a modern fibre artist, creative entrepreneur and educator living and working in Ottawa, Ontario. She is the owner and CYO (Chief Yarn Officer!) of Ply Studio. Her formal education has nothing to do with art: she doesn’t have a MFA or a set of artist residencies at various prestigious institutions. She did volunteer as a tour guide at an art gallery once. And she does have a lifelong passion for creating weird and wonderful things with paper, paint, yarn, textiles, markers, and anything else that might be lying around. Match this with a solid background in designing and facilitating learning experiences, she is a dynamic and personable force creating memorable and meaningful workshops, retreats and arts programming through her personal fibre brand, In The Ply, and in her non-denominational arts space called Ply Studio.
Carmen leads individuals and groups in finding their creative spirit and learning to make stuff by hand. She is a spirited, life-long learner always looking for the next thing to add to her bag of tricks. Though she is happiest if she has a ball of yarn in her hands, she also facilitates a variety of workshops that may or may not have anything to do with fibre. She has a deep love and respect for the power of creative arts programming for overcoming a lot of the things that ail us and is dedicated to providing both a space and the connections between those that instruct and those that want to be instructed, through Ply Studio (a place for creative connection, coming to New Edinburgh in Ottawa, spring 2020).
Some other fun facts about Carmen:
- Her favourite podcasts are NPR’s How I Built This and The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish.
- She usually reads about 5 books at one time (in that many different genres). ‘Big Magic’ by Liz Gilbert never leaves her bedside table.
- She has run 2 full marathons and expects to run her 3rd sometime before she turns 50.
- She has travelled, worked, studied and played in rural and urban Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa. She will tell the story of that time her tent was surrounded by hyenas in Zimbabwe if you buy her a (local, craft) beer.
- She will always call herself a ‘prairie girl’ even though she has lived in Ontario for the last 15 years. She still checks the weather and the gas prices in Saskatchewan at least once a week.
- She spends a good portion of her time (when she isn’t at her day job or creating any number of side businesses) with her inspired husband, Chris, and her giggling girls, Everleigh and Maeven. Usually on a ski hill in the winter or near a body of water in the summer.
Her interest in her fibre art is to reclaim and upcycle textiles and household waste that otherwise would have ended up in a landfill. She spins yarn and creates woven tapestries and freeform crocheted and knitted objects out of a lot of things that might be considered past their useful life. Creating fibre art with a textural and colourful message is her heart’s passion. She is currently working on a series of larger tapestries for a group exhibition with her Mother/Artist collective, 44.4.