Toronto Public Library Pilgrimage of 100 Branches

Deer Park’s Improved Woolen Castle

In 2010, I received a kind e-mail from April Quan, the artist who had created the woolen castle for Deer Park Library in 2000. For many years, April used her creative skills to make toys from natural materials as a fundraiser for her children’s school; thus, Deer Park chose the perfect architect for an interactive toy in its children’s section.

While describing the history of the cloth fortress, April told me that three pennants and some doll figures had been plundered from the castle in the early aughts. Mention of her delightful castle in my 2010 blog post about Deer Park motivated the artist to restore the missing features and return the textile chateau to its original glory. It makes me happy that my library blog played a role in the castle’s evolution!

April’s email also revealed the origins of the soft sculpture’s materials: “The wool is recycled fabric from the big Goodwill store that used to be at Adelaide and Jarvis . . . (the store had) a perfect winter coat just waiting to be turned into stone. . . . The turrets and grass were skirts from the same store.” I loved how Ms. Quan saw the makings of a fairy-tale building in ordinary woolen coat and some skirts from the Goodwill.

Three Huzzahs for April Quan and The Restored Woolen Castle!

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