About Susan Waldron
I feel like I need to pinch myself, because I am living a life I could have dreamed of. I did not dream of all the details, but working with my art all the time has been a dream of mine since I was small.
Felting Alpaca combines my love for color, nature, and alpacas. There is an organic exuberance with my hand dyed Alpaca fiber. It feels like a combination of cashmere and silk. After raising these animals from birth it creates a spiritual connection with the animals and the felted pieces.
In addition to the felted pieces, I also paint in oils. My oil painting has grown tremendously with my experience in felt and my felting has grown from my oil painting. Working with both has always just been a dream of mine, and one I hope I never have to wake up from.
The Adventure Begins
My husband Ron and I are both retired. We started our Alpaca adventure in 2003 with the purchase of 2 females. It started by us looking for something that we could do together. We were both widowed and were brave enough to re-marry in our later years. This created a combined family of 9 children all blessedly grown with their own homes and families. We had tried the winter home in Florida, but it just wasn’t for us. After visiting a local farm and then Alpaca show we met people who were our age and had farms. We had no farm background, (Ron’s pre-retirement business was in wholesale and retail candy and I had a small interior design firm), but these gentle and serene animals stole out hearts and there was no looking back.
We upsized to an 1875 farmhouse, long on charm and short on mechanics (no A/C, propane gas, our own well) and 5 acres of land. We call it a farm and once it was, but there was no barn anymore. The house is remodeled and the fencing and new barn are all done. The Suri Alpacas are here and definitely part of the family.
What’s Happening Now
Now I am combining my love of painting and my love of the animals. The Alpacas hold my heart. The wisdom of the ages and a sparkle of curiosity combines in their expressive eyes. I feel a wonderful connection to them. We care for them, food, shelter, assistance in birthing or health issues when necessary. We train the babies to be easy to handle and go into the show ring and they give us this indescribable fleece with an annual hair cut in May. When someone asks why we do this, I just hand them some fleece and they melt with appreciation.
Working with the hand dyed Suri Alpaca fleece in my tapestries, I combine my impressionist painting style and love of color with my Alpacas. So we work together in a daily partnership. This must have been how the pioneer women felt about the livestock they partnered with.
Now the grandchildren number 21 and are all thriving, loving and terrific. We just celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary and the herd on the farm averages 12 Suri Alpacas. I am constantly reminded at how deeply blessed we are.