Where It All Began
Kathie grew up in Central Virginia and graduated from Virginia Tech with a BS in Poultry and Animal Science. While Kathie was at Va Tech her Mom had gotten a spinning wheel and learned how to spin animal fibers. While taking Sheep Production, Kathie was introduced to the Angora goat by the Grad student teaching assistant and shortly after that 3 angora goats were added to the family’s farm. Kathie also met her husband, Jeff while at Va Tech. They married in April 1990 after Kathie finished college. She joined Jeff in Kingston NY, where he had gotten a position with IBM. Jeff is an electrical engineer specializing in Computer Hardware. They have lived in the Hudson Valley of New York, Burlington Vermont and In 1995 they moved to the area North of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania, where their son Alex and daughter Rebecca completed their family. The family now resides in Milpitas, California.
A Love For Horses
Kathie's involvement with horses started when her Dad bought her a pony when she was six. However, she didn't have any formal equestrian education until high school and college. She has used her various moves around the country as an excuse to try different disciplines, working at a training facility for Thoroughbreds and a Dutch Warmblood breeding and training barn. Most of her riding experience is is in the amateur arena with hunter/jumpers. She has also explored Classical Dressage and both Cowboy and Western Dressage.
Kathie started cinch making in 2015. She loves the fact that it combines two of her loves, Horses and Fiber Arts.
Before Kathie got into cinches, she worked with many types of animal and plant fibers as a hand spinner and needle felt artist. Her experience was gained by being an active member of both the Ulster County Spinners Guild (NY) and Butler County Spinners and Weavers Guild (PA). They helped to develop her style and proficiency as a hand spinner and provided many opportunities for exploring the Fiber Arts. Kathie fell in love with needle felting and took it into wearable art when many needle felt artist were focusing on making soft sculpture. She also moved into frameable multimedia fiber art with needle felting as the focus.
Training and Creativity
More recently, Kathie has been taking classes with Pop Wagner. She wanted to make sure she had knowledge and proficiency before branching out on her own. Kathie’s cinch making is a lot like her life, full of variety and exploration. She enjoys working with natural colored mohair and in her own designs, prefers earth tones. She is willing to experiment with color as well as cinch type and has made mohair cinches for western disciplines, dressage and endurance.
Kathie has maintained her ties to the family farm and business now know as The Hill and is in the process of developing her own line of 100% natural colored mohair cording and yarns using The Hill’s mohair fleeces as the core source of fleeces.