Susan Druding, Teacher, Shop Owner, Activist
Susan Druding was a graduate student at the University of California-Berkeley when she first learned to spin and weave. In the Bay Area of the 1960s, fiber interest and social tensions both ran high. Without a business plan but with a lease on a small storefront, Susan and a business partner opened Straw Into Gold, a store devoted mostly to spinning and dyeing. Spinning legend Bette Hochberg, author of Handspinner's Handbook and Spin Span Spun, was a regular, and legendary spinning wheel maker Alden Amos set up shop in the basement. Award-winning spinner Celia Quinn ran the old carding machine that they used to create rainbow batts. They became the first United States distributor of Ashford spinning wheels and equipment. Whether as a shop owner or storyteller, Susan Druding has yarns like nobody else.