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Loomis artist demos skills at Explorit

This article appeared in the June 14, 2013 edition of the Davis Enterprise.

By Lisa Justice 

Special to the Enterprise  

Explorit is pleased to announce a two-weekend event with realist painter and textile artist Linda Merchant.  Linda is an artist and educator with the High Hand Gallery in Loomis who will be here Saturday, June 22 and Saturday, June 29 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. to share her skills with the Davis community.

On Saturday, June 22 Linda will be hosting a drop spindle demonstration.  Drop spindles are devices for spinning raw textiles like wool roving into yarn or thread by hand.  These simple tools have been around for thousands of years and are currently enjoying some popularity among knitters and other yarn enthusiasts.

Drop spindles use gravity to stretch and twist wool into yarn.  Wool fibers love to stick together and the tension and friction created by spinning encourages them to do just that.  After spinning, yarn is much stronger and suitable for sweaters, handbags or just about anything that will last a long time.

On Saturday, June 29 Linda will demonstrate realist painting with oils and pastels.  Almost completely self-taught, Linda has been painting for most of her life.  She uses a painstaking, layered process to achieve detail and precision in her work on wildlife, still life, portraiture and more.

She has been inspired by the work of Robert Bateman and Carl Brenders.  Linda strives to revive the techniques of the Old Masters such as layering, grisaille and glazing.  Her award-winning work has been featured in dozens of shows and can currently be seen at the High Hand Gallery in Loomis and at

If you too are inspired to realistically render wildlife, stop by the realistic sketching activity in our current exhibition.  Try your hand at drawing an accurate duck, see seashells, birds and other works of nature drawn by previous visitors, and learn how the arts can be used to advance scientific knowledge.

Linda’s demonstrations are part of Explorit’s on-going effort to showcase local talent and immerse the Davis community in scientific and artistic experiences as part of our current exhibition Beautiful World:  Science and Art.  These demonstrations will be free with paid admission to the museum.

We are always on the look-out for artisans and scientists who would like to share their work and skills with the community.  If you would like to share your crafty, artistic or scientific skills or interests with the community, please email us at


Explorit’s events:

• Explorit Summer Camp Begins June 10 – There are still spaces available in several of our 1st – 5th grade week long camps and our pre K-K camps.  These spots won’t last, so don’t delay sign up today! Register on-line at

• Exhibit Public Hours This Summer:  Explorit’s exhibition Beautiful World, Science and Art will be open to the public every Wednesday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m., Friday 3:00 to 6:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m.  Admission is $5.00 per person and children ages 2 and under are free.


Explorit Science Center is located at 3141 5th St. For more information call (530) 756-0191 or visit  You can also “like” us on Facebook at or follow us on twitter at @ExploritScience.

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