The insanely beautiful French alpine pastures provide ideal grazing ground for France's oldest native sheep breed, the Merino d'Arles, which is destined to be a favorite fiber among trekkers traveling the ancient transhumance between France and Italy. Long before the French Alps became the winter playground for alpine sport enthusiasts, they were the feeding ground for thousands of French sheep who vacated their pastures in Provence, where the summer heat quickly robs the land of fertile soil.
Kirby Camino is like many ranchers in the West; his days are long, the tasks are endless, and the dollars are few. Kirby is a third generation Basque rancher trying to keep the farm afloat amidst a volatile meat market and well-armed barrage of energy companies, converting valuable pasture land into drilling sites that will ultimately make the land uninhabitable for sheep. Fully aware of the challenges of an uncertain future, Kirby helps to maintain more than 3,000 Rambouillet sheep that have garnered every award a sheep can earn in the ranch's 70-year history.
Less than five years ago Janice Kissinger left her "day job" and launched a new career in the world of natural fibers. Using recycled Indian saris, Janice applies Merino wool to create finely felted garments into a line of soft, sensual luxury. Her business features a growing line of one-of-a-kind garments that masterfully blend tradition with talent. Astonishingly, each piece is individually sculpted, no sewing, no buttons, no hidden zippers are used in creating this apparel.