We would like to introduce Carole Balala, the force behind Plum Blossom Farm. Plum Blossom farm is in the hills of Sonoma County where Carole cares for a small flock of sheep, chickens, ducks, and dogs. She has a compassion for animals and traditional farming methods and runs her farm guided by a strong set of values. Her sheep are cared for and are able to live out their lives on this small farm. They provide all the wool she uses for her felt products and dryer balls. She has found much success by sticking to her values, producing a product that is not harmful in any way to these beautiful creatures and telling their stories along the way. We are so thrilled to be able to carry her wool dryer balls. What Carole is doing is inspiring. She is creating a product that is friendly to our earth and the creatures on it.
Why do you do what you do?
I love living closely with animals and the land. Getting to create and
felt is a real bonus to that.
Where does your creativity come from?
I did dabble in oil painting and pottery before I found fiber arts, but
really dove deep into the world of textiles. There is always more to
learn, I really value what wool, felting, dyeing have taught me about processes.
Can you describe the moment or time when you knew that creating objects
was what you wanted to do? How did your passion come to be?
I got the sheep first, so they were the catalyst to the whole business.
Once I got them sheared and found out what it takes to get from dirty wool
to finished product I was hooked. There is purpose and beauty in every
step of the process from washing and carding the wool to
needle or wet felting the prepped fibers.
What’s your favorite artwork?
I am drawn especially to textiles of course but love anything with
What kind of routines or rituals do you have?
I try to give myself some quiet and still before I dive in to create a project
to clear my mind.
What’s your favorite thing that you created?
I love some of the wall hangings I have needle felted, which used a line
drawing style with fine needle lines. Very simple but striking.
What do you try to communicate through your art?
I want people to think about where the fiber originates from when they see
or feel the wool in my work. It all ties back to the "growers of the
medium" for me. I hope they can appreciate all the love that goes into
the finished pieces.
What role, in general, do you think artists play in society? What are your
thoughts on being an artist in today's world?
I think artists can offer unique perspectives and create wonder. The
addition of beautiful things into the world, that give joy or pause,
cannot be overrated.
Is there a creative medium you would like to pursue but have not yet tried?
I would like to spend more time with clay because I just love the feel and
the warmth of pottery.
Do you have any advice on how to be more creative? OR overcoming creative blocks?
Take the pressure off and let it roll. I've learned that for me
creativity flows better on its own time frame.
Where do you see the future of small farms in 20 years? Why is it so important to raise awareness about how food is grown and how livestock is cared for?
I feel like small farms are really making a difference in the way people
see the ideals of agriculture. We have seen the problems with big Ag and
how small farms can combat those same problems. I think consumers want to
feel good about how their dollar is spent and what it is actually
supporting. I hope people continue to contribute to small, caring farmers
who are trying to make the world better with their holistic approach.
It is really important that people know where their food comes from
because they are more likely to choose to support the kinder, more
environmentally conscience options out there. When consumers take the
time to explore where their food, clothes, consumables come from they are
taking a more active role in the production of the goods in their daily
lives. They can make decisions they are proud of and use their dollar to
I love seeing my products make the complete transition from growing on my
sheep to clean, felted wool. To me, it's an honor to care for these
gentle, sweet animals and I take the job seriously. I find it wonderful
that these lovely creatures can give us a fiber that is strong and soft at
the same time and has so many uses. I hope that customers can feel the
reverence and respect that is grown in and that I personally work
into all my products.
Help support Plum Blossom Farm by Sponsoring a Sheep HERE.
Shop Plum Blossom's line of dryer balls in THE SHOP.