Monday, September 5, 2016

Exposing Ourselves

Qualicum Beach Museum
August was a busy month for the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners guild.  We had fun participating in the Qualicum Beach Museum's Childrens' Day as well as exhibiting at the Lighthouse Fall Fair.

blue ribbon pears at Lighthouse Fair

Public exhibits and demonstrations are an important as well as fun activity for our group.  They give our guild exposure in the community and are a way for us to support the efforts of community groups with similar interests.  They also give us the opportunity to teach people about the basic processes involved in making yarn and cloth.  Maintaining knowledge from the past is a passion that we have in common with our local museum.

spinning lesson
The museum event includes a lot of hands on activities that let children experience how things were done in the past.  In keeping with this we set up our display to encourage little ones to try their hand at both weaving and spinning.  The photo illustrates a spinning lesson.  The parents seem to enjoy the activities as much as their children do.  The spinning lessons spanned a wide age range and attracted males as well as females as you can tell from the second photo.

adult spinning lesson
Our Lighthouse Fall Fair is an old fashion country fair that celebrates self sufficiency in many ways.  Like a lot of country fairs this one includes contests that involve old fashion home maker skills, farming activities or crafts.
Jude's start fish, part of our seaside display
There are categories for spinning, felting and weaving along with everything from wine making to grotesque vegetables.  The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild sponsored a special prize for a hand woven shawl and the Weaver's Atelier sponsored a prize for the best woven item done by a novice weaver with less than 5 year's experience.

Pat's winning shawl

Benita's scarf
There were plenty of prize ribbons to be had and our guild members brought home their share, including two in the wine category, best red and best white.

Our first general meeting of the season is on Monday September 26th at the Baptist Church on Beach Avenue in Qualicum Beach.  The church is across the walkway from the old Via Train Station where we have our resource centre.  The meeting starts at 10:30 and visitors are most welcome.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Summer Markets

Outdoor markets spring to life in the summer in the Oceanside area.  It is a great opportunity for artisan groups to introduce themselves to the community.  This past month the Qualicum Weavers and Spinners guild attended "Art in Action" in downtown Qualicum Beach.

In spite of a cloudy start to the day the weather favoured us so much so that barefoot spinning was encouraged.  Note the lovely pedicure.

The Art in Action event is a sale.  For most of the events we attend we bring items for demonstration only so our display was different from the usual.  One learns to appreciate how vendors manage to fit so much into such a small booth spaces.  As you can tell from the pictures we were not successful in packing both demonstrations and sale items into the same space and the spinners have spilled into the empty area at the edge of our booth.  They were appreciative of the dry weather.

We set up our tent under a grey skies and watched as the threatening clouds slowly moved south east away from our location.  A "wash line" full of tea towels covered one side of the canopy.  By noon the number of towels had decreased substantially.  Many of them are headed to homes many miles away as souvenirs of a summer trip to Vancouver Island.  With them went the story of how they were made and who made them.  The story behind a piece is unique to hand crafted items and something that sets them apart from equally beautiful items that are manufactured in large quantities.

We also had a colourful display of light scarves and household linens.  Some of these are also on their way to a new home far away from where they were created.

As always the spinners draw a curious crowd.  This spectator seems to be content to watch from a distance.

Our demonstration loom is always popular but this time we brought along a drum carder.  It helped to bridge the story between raw fleece and the singles spun yarn.

If you missed us at Art in Action then look for us a Children's Day at the Qualicum Beach Museum on August 20th or later at the Light House Fall Fair in Qualicum Bay on September 3rd.