Dori has always had a love of animals and an artistic talent, dabbling in various arts and fiber arts from the time she was young. She pursued a degree in Education and Fashion Merchandizing. After years of being a horsewoman, she discovered another passion, the wonderful world of Angora Goats, being their shepherd, spinning, weaving, and all aspects of fiber arts. Now she is truly in her element.
Dori at the Bella Bodom Ranch with The Dancing Goats
It all evolved from the purchase of an Angora goat to have a natural “weed-whacker” a dozen or so years ago on a central Ohio farm. It soon became evident that you can’t have just one goat! After several days and sleepless nights listening to a mournful “Baa” she brought the goat’s twin sister home to provide company. Peace was restored, and that should have been the end of the story. Not for Dori! She quickly found that she had an abundance of long gorgeous Mohair locks and needed to do something with them. She taught herself to process and spin the fibers into fine yarns and soon sought out other spinners in the area. That’s when things really took off.
Ten years ago she, and her ever patient husband of 38 years, moved back to Texas and established their Bella Bodom Ranch in Ben Wheeler. It was a major move, and quite an adventure! It was a virtual modern day “animal ark” – a caravan on the road with a big horse trailer filled with: a herd of Angora goats; a horse; four dogs; two cats; and, an Angora rabbit. There was even a sailboat with an assortment of ducks in the cabin swimming in a bilge full of water watching the traffic go by. The truckers enjoyed the spectacle and declared “Now that’s a real duck boat”! What a sight it was, and what a cacophony of animal sounds on their overnight stops! More than one motel guest did a double take.
On the second day after getting back to Texas, she searched and hooked up with the local spinning group. She became a member of the Wildflower Fiber Committee and helps organize and teach various workshops at both the annual spring retreat for spinners and the summer knitting camp.
Over the years she has attended numerous fiber festivals, workshops, and retreats across the country. To promote the art, she enjoys giving private lessons; and tours of her ranch, goats, fiber processing work room, and “fluff room” studio. Throughout the year she works with a local 4-H fiber group; does public demonstrations at festivals; and makes visits to school children – taking her spinning wheel and, maybe, a couple of Angora Goats.
With her husband’s unwavering support, she has established the best little registered White Angora goat herd in East Texas. Their fiber is a “spinner’s delight”! Her does are selectively bred with a magnificent buck to produce some of the finest, softest, lustrous mohair you will find anywhere. She enjoys the whole process from: the caring of the goats; the birthing of kids (maybe not the occasional need to bottle feed every four hours); the shearing; the careful preparation of the “Diamond Fiber” (aka Mohair), and creating various products. On occasion, goats are available for sale to good homes for people wanting to start their own “Spinners” herd, or just have their own natural “weed-whackers” and enjoy the pastoral contentment they bring.
Dori enjoys spinning all kinds of fibers, but especially likes to spin her own designer yarns (Mohair – a specialty of course); dyeing; felting; knitting; and weaving. Most of her work is OOAK (one-of-a-kind) and she makes some truly fabulous “light as a cloud” woven mohair shawls, and other designs of wearable and visual handmade fiber art items that are marketed under the name “The Dancing Goats”. Her creations can be special ordered in the colors you want. A handcrafted product soon to be introduced is a luxurious body powder puff made of baby mohair locks complete with handmade, 100% pure, and natural bath powder. She sells her mohair from kid to adult goats in various ways: raw fleece, washed locks, mohair clouds, and roving ready to spin.
Enjoy shopping at Dori’s Studio! For further information, please eMail us at BellaBodomRanch@WildFlowerFiber.com