Photographs of Teresa Genaux creating in her studio, which can be found in Cameron County.
While some people call themselves knitters, Teresa Genaux is committed to making great products by overseeing every step of the process — nearly from start to finish.
She and her daughter, Robin Kuleck, have over 20 alpacas which they care for, shear annually, and send the fiber on to the Pennsylvania Alpaca Owners & Breeders Association, a cooperative which processes what is sent to them by alpaca farmers and allows those who contribute to buy yarn at wholesale prices.
Teresa is a fiber expert of sorts. When the animals are sheared around May to free them from their heavy fur for summer, she manages the fleece that comes from the animals, painstakingly picking out vegetation and anything contaminating it. Over the years, the lifelong knitter prides herself on her ability to identify the fineness of the fiber that comes from the alpacas.
One of the things that Teresa loves about alpacas is their gentle and docile nature.
“You have to own at least two because they’re family. One will perish unless it has a mate,” Teresa said.
Like people, each alpaca has its own personality — like Lola, the exceedingly sassy alpaca who can spit impressive distances when crossed, and Tally Ho, the gentle and loving ambassador who will allow children to walk her on a leash, even though she towers over them at nearly five feet tall and 200 pounds.
In her home, Teresa knits constantly, selling nearly $20,000 worth of knitted products a year. She makes hats, headbands, scarves, therapeutic socks for diabetics, felt boot inserts, baby sweaters, shawls, and other items.
These images were captured by Katie Weidenboerner Deppen as part of the 2017 Creative Makers Exhibit, a traveling showcase of creative makers working in the PA Wilds.
More about the show here. Proceeds from the sales of the Creative Makers Exhibit photographic tiles & posters will go back into the work of the Wilds Cooperative and the extension of this project as we will continue photographing the creative makers living and working in the PA Wilds.
Each tile measures 8 in x 8 in and is mounted on foam core that is approximately 3/4 in thick and comes with adhesive attached for wall mounting.
Please note: Orders for photographic tiles are placed in a batch at the end of each month with the vendor, and then take an additional 2 weeks for delivery. Please be prepared that your order could take 4-6 weeks for delivery.
Over 10 years ago, a groundbreaking effort began to brand a quarter of the Commonwealth as the "Pennsylvania Wilds" and invest in it to create a premier nature, heritage and cultural destination that would fuel local economies and inspire stewardship among the people who live, work, play and visit the region. Engaging the region's artists and craftspeople in the work is key to building a meaningful regional brand and infusing pride into economically-distressed communities. The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania, our membership program that supports artisans and entrepreneurs through such regional branding, was born out of this belief. Today, nearly 200 local artists and craftspeople participate in this juried arts and business development program. "Creative Makers" reflects the splendor and uniqueness of the Pennsylvania Wilds landscape and rural lifestyle, and the resourcefulness and talent of the artists who live and work here. PA Wilds Juried photographers captured the images, and our goal with the exhibit is to help tell the story of the creative individuals living and working in the PA Wilds.
This project is made possible through grants from the Pennsylvania Partners in the Arts.
The PA Wilds is home to an impressive and diverse community of skilled artisans, craftspeople, and producers working across a variety of media. The PA Wilds Conservation Shop is proud to source and curate our shop using products made the many talented makers of The Wilds Cooperative of Pennsylvania.
Learn more about our sourcing now.
PA Wilds Conservation Shops are owned and operated by the Pennsylvania Wilds Center for Entrepreneurship, Inc. a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit. To learn more about our nonprofit mission please visit pawildscenter.org.