SAGA HILL – Exhibitions & Awards

Image of Earthly Coat installation

from the studio of artist W.J. Johnson

Join me in topics of interest to fiber lovers—from the meditative aspect of the work, to the creative and even scientific—as I share experiences behind my ongoing creative projects. Visit the Saga Hill Blogs: (former blog) and (current blog).

Image of American Swedish Institute logo

2022–2023 American Swedish Institute Teaching Tools Grant

I have been awarded a teaching tools grant to create/purchase flax processing tools for use in upcoming classes and presentations at the American Swedish Institute and other venues. For this grant, I am purchasing the hardwood to make a tabletop flax brake that will be used to break down flax stalks for hackling into spinning fiber. I am also purchasing three graduated flax hackles that further separate flax fibers from the flax stalk so it may be spun.

Go to my blog at to watch the progress of the making of the flax brake and other activities related to the grant.

Photo of Earthly Coat installation

“Earthly Coat”

An outdoor exhibition at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

a jury-awarded installation for Dirt-O-Rama, an outdoor exhibition, June – October, 2012

Wendy J. Johnson, Saga Hill Designs

Colleen Werdien (The Cat That Walks on Water)
Clark Babler (West End Welding)

Materials used:
Coat – Wool felt; dyed and undyed protein and cellulose fibers. Armature – steel pipe and wire.

Artistic Statement:
It’s a perfect circle of life: As soil beautifully clothes the earth's mantle, soil also clothes us. Fibers used in clothing originate in the soil (directly or indirectly) and eventually become soil again. Earthly Coat encourages us to think about how we dress with “dirt” every day.

Check out my blog & follow the process of creating this exhibit.

Image of the “High Voltage Above Wisconsin” photograph

“High Voltage Above Wisconsin”

Alumni Invitational Exhibition

a digitally altered photograph shown at an exhibition at the Hillstrom Museum of Art, Gustavus Adolphus College, St. Peter, Minnesota, November – January, 2011

Photo of the “1 in 10,000” installation

“1 in 10,000”

An outdoor installation at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

a jury-awarded installation for Tree-ology, an outdoor exhibition, April–October, 2008

“1 in 10,000” refers to the statistical fact that only 1 out of 10,000 acorns survives to become a tree. Using 100 gazing globes of various sizes, resting under a majestic oak, this exhibit reflected on the incredible odds of this tree’s existence and encouraged the viewer to see themselves as present in the life of the tree.

Image of stainless steel globe with human reflection