Sunday, October 12, 2014

Keep Me Warm Exhibit

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners Guild will be exhibiting at The Old School House Art Centre in Qualicum Beach from October 27th to November 17th.

The theme of our exhibit is "Keep Me Warm".  The theme evolved from the practical nature of  many of our creations and from the intent behind those creations.

 Think of a special scarf inspired by the love for the daughter who will wear it or the blanket made in anticipation of a new grandson.  The pieces may be created to provide protection from the cold but they are filled with warmth beyond their physical properties.



 In creating their pieces for the show, guild members were asked to consider the guild's purpose and to use traditional techniques such as weaving, spinning and felting in the process.  Members began working on their designs in January.  They spent the winter months spinning yarns, sampling and weaving yardage.

Inspiration for the pieces came from memories, historical textiles, animals, winter colours and the yarns themselves.  I have not shown any of the finished pieces in this post.  We hope you will come and see them in the gallery.  If possible, visit with us at the Opening Reception on Wednesday October 27th at 7 pm.

The Old School House Art Centre is located in the heart of Qualicum Beach at 122 Fern Road West.  For more information check the gallery website at
www.theoldschoolhouse.org


Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What I did on my summer holiday

The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners took a break from our regular meetings but never the less we have been a busy group.  The studio has been buzzing with various activities.  We finished painting warps then set up our guild looms for scarves and rugs and tea towels.  Expect to see some of these items at our fall show and sale in November.  I have included a small example of the many different scarves showing the painted warps.





Over the summer we attended a number of local events.  The first of these was the Art in Action display in Qualicum Beach.  This is an annual event organized by The Old School House Gallery.  It showcases the wide variety of local painters and artisans that practice in our area.


Next we set up our tents at the 100th Anniversary Celebration for the Train Station that we call home.  There is a photo of the train station beside this post.  Our guild occupies the second floor of the train station.  It houses our studio and resource centre.  We also use the space for small meetings and working groups.  The first floor is an electronic arts media centre.

Our display was a sheep to shawl demonstration starting with how raw fleece was processed, spun and finally woven.  We had a particularly dirty fleece to show the slow process of picking and carding the fleece using a drum carder.  The fleece was donated by a local farmer.
  We used the guild's portable Leclerc Compact treadle loom to weave a shawl that will be an item in the silent auction at our sale, Elegant Threads.  We demonstrated both weaving and unpicking the weaving to correct mistakes while answering numerous questions.  You could say we demonstrated why weaving is best done in a quiet place.
As usual we attracted a group of very young weavers who tried their hand at working our demonstration loom.  The little two harness Leclerc loom is great for demonstrations as it is very simple to operate and easily demonstrates the principles of weaving.  It seems to be a magnet for little boys.  The little weavers were so enthusiastic they finished off the warp.

The final event in our summer program was a display at the Lighthouse Country's Fall Fair.

There are a small number of fall fairs in our area that still have judged exhibits including weaving and spinning categories.  Some of our members have earned ribbons this year and hopefully more will be encouraged to enter these competitions and keep the weaving/spinning categories alive.  Congratulations to Mabel and David. (The pumpkin was not entered in the weaving category It was just a lovely picture that might inspire a weaving.)
Our exhibit included demonstrations and a range of item including felted puppets, baskets, tapestry, hand spun yarn and finished woven goods.

  We had an impressive display of scarves.  It is interesting to see all the different interpretations of a simple item like a scarf.  The photo shows a small selection of the scarves that were on display.  Some are made of silk, others are cotton or wool, a rayon yarn or synthetic.  Some are long and narrow and meant to be wrapped around the neck while others are wide and flat, meant to be tucked inside a coat.  Some are as decorative as any jewel while others are practical protection from the cold.

Once again our little demonstration loom was in action.  A number of potential new weavers "made cloth".  Lucky for us the loom is simple to warp.

 This time we have a brother and sister team trying their hand at being weavers.


 Audrie demonstrated tapestry techniques using her copper pipe tapestry loom and managed to concentrate at the same time.
That's all for now folks but look for news about our upcoming exhibition, "Keep Me Warm" at The Old School House Gallery in down town Qualicum Beach.  It takes place October 27 to November 17.  Right now we are busy finishing our pieces for the show.