Ozark Handspun

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About the Artisan: David Gentzsch, Jefferson City, MO

The Beginning
Growing up the oldest of a large farming family in the Ozarks, along the Missouri River, we were very much a part of nature. It was all around us.

Over twenty years ago, my wife and I bought a small farm and we inherited two ewes. The next spring, we had two fleeces, and Ozark Handspun was born.

Six years later, with a growing family to support, there was not enough time to be an artist, a father, a farmer, and a provider. So, we left the farm and moved to town to provide greater opportunities for our daughter. That winter, in 1986, all the spinning equipment and Ozark Handspun went in to hibernation.

Caption: Dave spinning yarn at home in Jefferson City, MO, in the 1980s.
In 2003, semi-retired and visiting our daughter in California, we walked into a yarn shop and could not believe the interest in knitting and all the unusual yarns available today. Some were wonderful, but I told my wife, "I can make yarns better than some of these."

We came home to Missouri and called an old friend from 20 years back to buy some raw wool and mohair. Out from storage came the spinning wheel and equipment. I immediately began washing, dyeing, carding, and spinning. Ozark Handspun was reborn.

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