Thursday, October 31, 2013

Coming Soon Winter Art Walk and Elegant Threads

At this time of year most artisans are busy finishing up projects checking their inventory and getting ready for the holiday season art and craft shows.  The Qualicum Weavers and Spinners are in the middle of planning their annual show and sale, Elegant Threads.  It runs from 11 am Friday November 22 to 3 pm Sunday November 24.

Qualicum Beach is a well know location for artists and artisans.  There are many studios and galleries in the area.  Artisan markets are a summer feature in the downtown area.  This fall the local arts community has organized a Winter Art Walk.  Our guild show will be one of the featured events.   Most of the locations are within easy walking distance of each other.  During a pleasant afternoon stroll along decorated streets, you will be able see a variety of high quality crafts, quilting, fiber arts and paintings.  You may opt to round out the day with a stop at one of the many bistros.
If you click on the poster to the right you can enlarge the list of participants.  For more information about the walk check
The guild show, Elegant Threads will take place at Rotary House which is at the corner of Beach and Fern in downtown Qualicum Beach.  The sale committee will be setting up our display early on Friday morning.  The doors open to the public at 11:00.  Every year the set up committee starts out wondering what guild members will bring to the show.  We are always amazed at how creative guild members can be.  There is always something new that results in comments such as "How did he do that?" or "Now why didn't I think of that!" or even "Where is my wallet I want to buy one before they are all gone!"  I love the whimsical pieces that hint of a quirky mind allowed to wander without boundaries.  They are quickly picked up by the savvy shoppers that come early.
Our guild members have a common love for working with fibers and threads but we differ in the way we use them to create pieces.   This results in a wide variety of items that arrive the morning of the sale.  The set up group have a difficult task displaying the items so that each piece is shown to its best advantage while the entire show does not look like a jumble sale.
 Some of us are masters at blending and spinning fibers and our "art" is based on the beauty of the hand created yarn.  We may knit or weave with it using simple structures in order to make the yarn itself the center of the piece.  Often these hand spun creations must be felt to be appreciated for their softness, warmth and drape.
This lovely hand spun hand dyed yarn will be a feature on our silent auction table.
The simple design and natural colour of the blanket below shows off the hand spun yarns.  It makes use of different thickness to create a striped effect.  Blankets are a favourite project for the more industrious spinners.
Pat's painted bamboo scarf
Some people may be enchanted by colour and how yarns can be used to mix colour or paint a picture.  They may blend coloured yarns or dye them to create a flow of colour.  Others may use the structure of the cloth to create complex blending of colour.  These two different scarves were created by dyeing the warp threads to get specific effects after the yarns were woven.
Mary's silk tied weave scarf
The show includes many utilitarian items that you would expect a group that have a fascination with yarns to produce.  Although the items have a use they still illustrate pride of workmanship and style that is unique to hand crafted items. 
group of tea towels 2012 sale

Weaving a tea towel is almost a rite of passage for every new weaver.  They also remain a favourite project for experienced weavers as they are an opportunity to explore design and colour.  There will be something for every taste and a match for even the most striking kitchen paint job.

Clothing and accessories are other favourite projects for both knitters and weavers.  This year expect to see cozy tops with simple lines and unique fabric.  Several of our members participated in a mixed warp workshop which I predict will result in several Hapi wraps.
hand woven and knitted tops from 2010 sale

A large group also attended a woven lace workshop.  If the participants put their new knowledge into practice we should also see some woven lace table linens. I'd be disappointed if we don't also see some "double wide" woven blankets made by the intrepid group that practiced this technique on the guild looms.  Who knows what other inspired creations will come out of the boxes on Friday morning.