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Artisan Textile Co.'s owners, Donna Graham (left) and Ina Bernard, in front of their six-month-old shop. —Photo courtesy of Ina Bernard

Will Travel For Art: Artisan Textile Co.

This Pueblo shop is part gallery, part store, part school—and well worth the drive.

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When you think of Pueblo, green chiles likely come to mind first. Art should be a not-so-distant second. The southern Colorado city was recognized as a Colorado Creative District in June 2013, and since then, it has blossomed into a veritable outdoor museum. In the Pueblo Creative Corridor, murals, public art sculptures, and street performers accompany more than a dozen galleries, studios, and shops over a mile-long span that weaves through three downtown districts. In short: There’s a lot to discover.

One of the area’s newest additions is an adorable, art-forward shop called Artisan Textile Co. Opened in November by textile and fiber artist Ina Bernard (who also has a studio in the back) and Donna Graham, a mixed-media artist, the venue is part store, part gallery, part school. The boutique’s shelves showcase the work of five artists besides Bernard and Graham—Kathi McIntyre, Susan Anstett, Donna Gower, Fae Evans and Sandy Geonetta—plus the tools you need for working with fiber (wool, yarn, needles, etc.). A single gallery wall features a new invited artist each month.

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(Read more about Colorado’s creative and art districts in our May issue.)

Artisan Textile Co. also hosts regular classes; Thursdays are meet-up nights when anybody is welcome to stop by, socialize, and bring whatever product they’re working on. “We specialize in sustainable, handmade, handcrafted artisan products in old-fashioned industries like weaving and knitting and crocheting,” Bernard says.

Bernard’s focus is needle felting—using a sharp needle to turn loose wool fibers into, in her case, wearables like mittens or bags. She often uses recycled or upcycled products in her pieces. You’ll find her fiber jewelry and felted flowers at Artisan Textile Co. Perusing the space, you’ll discover that textile art is not limited to a scarf or a hat or a pair of socks—though they have those too. Artisan Textile Co. also stocks wall art (Graham incorporates handmade knitted items into her paintings), handwoven towels, fingerless gloves, and more. “Our artists they have the sheep, they have the sheep shorn, they process the wool, they spin it, and they knit something out of it,” Bernard says. “It’s sheep to shawl.”

Stop by on a First Friday (the concept is the same as in Denver) for “make and takes.” You’ll create something with your own hands—like origami sheep or a spun necklace—that you can take home with you. The events are always free. Says Bernard, “It’s fun to teach people about fiber arts.”

Visit: 113 Broadway Ave., Pueblo, 719-744-6696

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Daliah Singer, 5280 Contributor

Daliah Singer is an award-winning writer and editor based in Denver. You can find more of her work at daliahsinger.com.

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