Tuesday, August 8, 2017

We Are Moving




The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners are moving.  After 25 years of hanging out in the loft of the Train Station at Qualicum Beach we are leaving.  The town of Qualicum Beach has decided that we don't fit with their vision for the old Via Train Station.  They intend to renovate the loft area and rent it out to a commercial enterprise.



hand painted floor
The creation of the Train Station Resource Centre was the action that solidified the guild in its infancy.  The guild was provided with a largely unfinished attic area which had to be turned into workable space.  This meant a lot of fund raising to buy materials and a lot of do-it-yourself construction work.  Take a look at the fake brick pattern that was hand painted on the blank grey linoleum.

Having a permanent space allowed the guild members to build and share a set of resources including an extensive library, an inventory of common yarns and of course equipment.  It was a tiny area with low ceilings and windows that didn't quite close but we made the most of it.

library of books and periodicals



Fanny loom
The train station loft served as a meeting place, a resource centre and a studio space.
Members now had access to floor looms that were too large for most homes.

 A used Fanny loom was donated to the guild and became the workhorse for many guild projects.  We will be retiring the Fanny loom when we leave the loft but she has many years of service and we hope she will find a good home.  If you are interested contact us qualicumweaversandspinners@gmail.com




Mixed yarn warp demo
The loft was ideal for holding small workshops and spontaneous group projects.  It wasn't pretty space so a little mess now and then was tolerable.


stars workshop
We learned needle felting, painted warps, made Christmas ornaments and bookmarks, held spinning lessons, wove tea towels by the dozens and had tons of fun together.
workbee ANWG goodies


   









Projects became a means of integrating new members into the group and a way of sharing knowledge between experienced members and novices.

Scarf project

Over time as the guild grew the space became too small for regular meetings so we held our monthly meetings in the old church that shared the grounds known as Heritage Square.  Study groups continued to meet at the loft.
messy chart does it mean anything?

train station birthday

In 2014 we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the train station with a "simulated" sheep to shawl.  We even put on costumes for the event.  This event brought us closer to our neighbour The Qualicum Beach Museum and eventually lead to the guild joining in other museum programs.

In spite of grumbling over the narrow stair case, bumped heads in the cupboards or the cold breeze from the windows the train station has been a great home.  We will remember the times there fondly.





Where to now???  The town is anxious to start renovations in the train station so we will be moving out the last week in August.  The town has found us space in the old elementary school now referred to as Qualicum Commons.  The space is excellent but it will mean a significant change to how the guild operates.  The town is helping us with rent for the first year but after that the guild will have to earn sufficient income to continue in that space.  It will be a challenge that will stimulate new ideas.

More to follow on our new location.





Sunday, July 23, 2017

Art in Action 2017

Pat and Jane the loom
Art in Action is a community event that show cases the various artists and artisans in our area.  It is an outdoor event that features, visual arts, fibre arts of all kinds, metal and wood work, pottery, and glass.  It is an annual event that takes place in downtown Qualicum Beach.  Our guild has been a part of this event since its inception.
This year we set up our booth under cloudy skies and kept close watch on the clouds in case we had to grab our equipment and head for cover.  But though the wind did blow and the skies were dark the rain went somewhere else.


this is how we weave
This was the first outing for our new Jane loom by Louet.  We'll have more about the loom in another posting.  We are grateful to Grinsheep Fibre Productions and the Regional District of Nanaimo who supported the purchase.  Often we get questions about how a specific piece was woven and it helps to be able to show the process on the demonstration loom.  The couple in the picture are getting an explanation from Gitte.

shawls and scarves and clouds


       
which tea towel to buy?
A lot of tea towels flew off the clothes line (now and then due to the wind) in the first hours of the event.  Regular visitors to the event know to check out our booth early for the best selection.  Some went home to Alberta and Ontario as reminders of a pleasant vacation and some went home as future Christmas gifts.  We hope whatever the intent that they are well used and enjoyed and yes they are meant to be used for many years.

As usual the spinners performance drew a lot of attention.  Some people just like to watch while others become very engaged in the process.  Notice the styles of foot wear, or lack there of, in the photographs.

footwear included technique

 
barefoot spinning technique


the sock foot technique
    Our next event will be Children's Day at the Qualicum Beach Museum on August 19th.  After that we will be at the Light House Fall Fair in Bowser on Saturday September 2nd.  We will have a large display with clothing as well as home decor items.