I just returned from a short jaunt up to Vancouver, B.C. with my husband, Ted. We explored wood carving and indigenous art for his interests, and weaving, dying, and silk production for my interests. One of our stops was the Maiwa storefront on Granville Island.
I had heard the founder of Maiwa speak at the ANWG conference held in Victoria many years ago, and was very impressed with their efforts to keep creativity and industry going in foreign cultures through crop science, dye science, fair trade pay, enhanced marketing, and in general valuing slow cloth in all of its forms and applications. I know it sounds silly, but I enjoyed just being near all of those cool jars of dried dyestuffs, mordants, and color theory books. I am not much of a home dyer, but my friends are, and I liked the variety and quality of the dye products in their store. I also picked up the latest version of their marketing booklet – each years’ edition is a little bit like a tour book or National Geographic, and I try to collect them. During Covid, many of their classes have moved to on-line, and I know local people who have taken some of their classes and liked them.
Another program I viewed this week was from the Washington Humanities Office, and was about how indigenous people continue their story telling and recording – from a look at the old way (painted on animal hide, for example) to modern ways through wall art and recorded story telling. One of the artists featured was Lily Hope, an Alaskan Tlingit weaver who did several modern projects that tell a story in our time. One was called Protector Masks, where she used the Chilkat style of weaving to create face masks like we all wore during the pandemic. The other was a class where she taught weavers to create small versions of Chilkat dancing blankets, and then recently had them “danced” by children to bring them alive. She is keeping this artform going through education and modern technology.
Travel gives us opportunities to see things from a different perspective – from the artist, the materials available, and the value placed on them. I hope each of you can experience new places and new sources of inspiration for your weaving.
As many of you know, I volunteer as a weaving teacher once a week at the Southeast Seattle Senior Center, teaching people of all ages how to warp a loom, read a pattern, and launch down the rabbit hole of the pleasures of weaving. For that studio, I was filling out a wall calendar of future events to enjoy around the area, and was struck with what a wealth of opportunities we have around the metro area.
February – Red Alder
February – Ikat at the Seattle Art Museum
March – RAGS
April – Spring Fair
May – I am sure there is something I have not heard of yet.
June – Fiber Fusion
June – ANWG
Plus our monthly Guild meetings, end of year picnic, etc.
I also noted that there have been several posts requesting help learning how to use their looms. I am happy to see some of TWG members responding to those quests for help. The kindness of passing on our tips and tricks, teaching the mechanics and successes of our weaving – that is what is going to keep our Guild relevant and engaged, and perhaps bring a few newcomers into the fold.
Keep supporting local events, share them with each other, and keep learning and teaching into this new year.
Linda Stryker, President
Fall is in full force right now – blustery, getting darker, rainy. I hope each of you is warm and dry and ensconced in your favorite fiber passion(s). Many of the fiber festivals and sales have happened, gardens are put to bed. This is one of my favorite seasons.
I wanted to comment on our October program – the hat maker. As I had felt last year in advance of the lacemaker program, I had been lukewarm about the idea of a speaker divergent from weaving, but as with the lacemaker, our October speaker knocked my socks off! I know that I appreciate “makers”, and although I do not aspire to take up that additional hobby or artform, I really appreciate the history and evolution of their craft. Anything combining color, fashion, texture, and bling has my utmost respect. I really enjoyed the program, and I thank the program committee for their work planning such a lovely topic.
Speaking of color and bling, I am excited to hear Jennifer Moore at our November program, and am one of the lucky ones taking her class. I had a doubleweave class from her many years ago, and she is a great teacher. I look forward to seeing the samplers we are able to create.
Welcome to the fall return to our Guild activities and friendships. Those friendships are the glue keeping our Guild strong, fresh, and fostering learning.
Many hands have been at work over the summer focused on the new Guild year including improvements like a new website, scheduling programs and workshops for the year, improving our Zoom and hybrid quality, and really polishing up our library contents and ease of use.
In addition to our sparkling new website, the use of Facebook and Instagram is increasing our access to the public and perhaps potential new members. Please visit these sites often and also post your own photos.
Back to the topic of friendships…..most of you are aware, we were left without a president at the time of spring elections. The past president, Carole Stewart, and the current first vice president, Linda Stryker, have agreed to team lead the Guild, relying on the friendships among our members to support us and to assure that everyone participates and feels ownership in our Guild. The role of president is still open if anyone is interested.
We will be meeting virtually until the end of 2022, and make further adjustments at that time.
We look forward to seeing you in September!
Linda Stryker and Carole Stewart
A new month and the end of the old guild year. It has been a great year with interesting programs and a renewal of spirit to get the guild moving forward. I’d like to thank everyone who has attended our zoom meetings. We have a strong base. Also I would like to give a social thanks to the members of the TWG team. Most of all Carol Thompson who has been so dependable in making the year happen. Always there to run zoom and keep us connected along with her duties as treasurer. Thank you to the program committee for providing the programs. All very interesting and successful. Thank you to library team for organizing the library and book sale. It will be great to get in there and see it in person. They also have kept in contact with the church. Thanks to the team that attended the HGA workshop and have taken the ideas and are working on implementing some of them. It will be great to see what is being done with the website and learn how to make it a useful tool. Thank you Bette Norberg for introducing us on Facebook and Instagram. There are more people I should thank. Just know that I appreciate all that was done this year and I look forward to next year with Barbara Bitetto at the lead.