Sunday, June 24, 2012

On Public Display

Here we are again making a public display of ourselves.  This time we are surrounded by paintings in the McMillan Art Gallery in Parksville.  Mac Fun Days, an event organized by the Oceanside Arts Council (We are a member group in this umbrella organization) was yet another opportunity for us to "show off", and spread the fun with fiber message.
We selected warm colours for our display and included various yarns and finished products to show the variety of talents within our guild.

Mary's tiny spinning device was interesting from both a mechanical and a historical point of view.  It prompted a lot of questions about its design and its link with the emergence of nationalism in India.
Sometimes we forget that the very action of making fiber into yarn and yarn into cloth has had dramatic impacts on living standards and social systems in all cultures.  Perhaps it is important to keep the simple processes alive just so that we can understand how we arrived at today.  Maybe today's spinners and weavers are in themselves "historical" pieces (my apologies to anyone who takes that as a comment on age).

What can be so interesting to this little group gathered on the floor?

The young lady is learning to spin with a chop stick by rolling it against her leg.  The ultimate low tech method of creating yarn with origins that are so ancient we can only imagine them.  A drop spindle must have seemed a technological marvel compared to this method. 

Our cloth making equipment did not provide the same history lessons but nevertheless we had a group of very enthusiatic weavers like this lad who threw the shuttle and beat the fell.  This small 2 harness Leclerc loom is ancient to us.  Its simplicity makes it ideal for teaching both the general concepts of weaving and how a harness loom works.  The warp is gradually turning into cloth.  It has reached that point that every weaver will recognize when the trail of paper hanging from the warp beam signals the end is in sight, the halfway point is long gone and it is time to plan for the next warp. 

If you missed us at the McMillan Gallery then look for us at The Old School House (TOSH gallery) on Saturday July 28th.