Barbara Grossman is the Organizer of the Annual Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival, now in it’s 12th year, as well as organizing fiber retreats. An independent business owner her whole adult life, she taught yoga for over 20 years, leads a natural, healthy lifestyle, and has been dabbling in fiber arts field for more than 15 years. She is married to Randy Grossman, former Pittsburgh Steeler, (and a creative guy) has 2 stepchildren, 2 grandchildren, and a daughter Sarah. Her daughter Sarah taught her to knit when Sarah was in the 1st grade at the Waldorf School, which is where the 1st Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival was held. “ I had a great introduction to a broad range of art-related activities that are all part of the curriculum at Waldorf Schools. Fiber holds a special appeal to me, I love the feel of it, the texture and the rich colors.” Barb has taken a wide range of fiber classes that include the study and properties of fibers, dyeing, carding, spinning, weaving, and realized this field is never ending. She is pleased to have been a teacher at her various “Knittreats,” giving her the opportunity to share her ideas and felting techniques she has learned.
She is a member of the Fiber Arts Guild of Pittsburgh, and hopes to be able to share her passion for the Arts with others with a new show: The Creative Arts Festival.” Each year at the Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival, I saw people who were eager to expand their horizons beyond the yarn and fiber world. We offered a variety of classes that were slightly outside the fiber “box” with basketry, beading, hooking, jewelry, surface design, embellishing and more.”
“I see a whole new generation of people who are exploring traditional “craft” techniques that were common for our Mothers and Grandmothers generation: quilting, sewing, “repurposing,” recycling, woodwork, metalwork, surface design, soap and candle making. There is a surge of interest in creating and living a more sustainable lifestyle. It seems a natural progression to host another Festival that embraces and teaches a broader range of Creative Arts classes.”
There are a multitude of craft festival and shows that sell products, but none that also show you “how to” make them. With vendors, demos, classes, and a Free “Make it and Take it” class for all attendees, we (my sister Ann and I) hope to fulfill the interests of all ages, from the very beginner crafter to the advanced artist.
Ann Szilagyi works with Barb in the planning and administration of both the The Pittsburgh Creative Arts Festival and The Pittsburgh Knit and Crochet Festival. In addition Ann has started a new business that offers programming for Senior Living Communities and is working on writing a book about her personal experience and the positive outlook on Leukemia. Ann enjoys gardening, baking, crafting and paddling whitewater in the warm summer months. She recently made a career change to work with Barb and do some consulting from home after a year’s hiatus, healing and recovering from her diagnosis with Leukemia. She continues to be in good health, great spirits and is enjoying her new career path in this fresh new field that offers a creative vitality and is rich in historic legacy. She is especially pleased to be working with Barb again (and Barb is grateful for the help!). She lives in West Virginia with her husband, dog, and 2 cats and loves living in the fresh country air.