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Archive for June, 2011

In Canada with the Peace Arch Weavers and Spinners Guild ( and why I’m shouting “Go, Canucks!”)

I love Canada and have always felt very fortunate that I live so close to it and get to venture there every once in a while to visit and to teach.  My recent workshop for the Peace Arch Weavers and Spinners Guild is just one such opportunity.  I packed up my little Miata in a rather creative fashion (the trunk is only 5 cubic square feet . . . while my Ford Explorer has 80), threw back the top, and headed north with excitement and a little wild abandonment looking forward to teaching and spending time with my Canadian friends.

The workshop was held at the Surrey Museum in Surrey, B.C.  A very nice museum with an amazing staff.  I love museums and teaching in one is a real treat . . . but, best of all, the Surrey Museum has the Textile Studio on the 2nd floor . . . complete with a Jacquard loom!  There are a number of facilities I’ve been to that excite me and leave me envious . . . The Textile Center in Minneapolis, MN where the Weavers Guild of Minnesota meets, the house where The Weavers Guild of Greater Cincinnati meets, and now the Surrey Museum.  I think it would be exciting to have access to a Jacquard loom!

Not only did I have a great time with the Peace Arch Weavers and Spinners Guild, I was also given a heads up about The Game.  My first response was “What game?”  It’s moments like this that I wish I had done a little homework before leaving home.  The Game they were referring to was the fifth game of the Stanley Cup finals . . . the Vancouver Canucks vs the Boston Bruins . . . and it was going to be played while I was there.

Even though I frequently ice skate, I’ve never seen a hockey game or even follow hockey . . . but, after watching the fifth game of the Stanley Cup and bearing witness to the Canucks winning 1-0, I may just have to start watching.  It was fast and it was thrilling!  The television coverage showed not only the game, but the fans throughout Vancouver.  What a spirit to behold!   After four games, the series stood 2-2.  By winning the fifth game, the Canucks led 3-2 . . . and after returning to Boston for game six, the series is now tied 3-3 and tonight is the final and deciding game.  I will be watching and cheering Go, Canucks!.  Some may consider it unpatriotic to cheer for a Canadian team . . . but, they are my near neighbors to the north . . . and I always love to see teams win a series at home.

Go, Canucks!  Good luck and play well!

Planes, trains, and automobiles – (Okay, no trains . . . but, there were planes and automobiles)

My non-weaving friends are often puzzled by my frequent absences since I’m often journeying along the path less traveled . . . in other words, the places I find myself teaching I sometimes need to look on a map to know where I’m going (or where I am).  The past couple of weeks have been just like that when I found myself teaching in Dayton, OH, the Tri-Cities area in eastern Tennessee, and College Station, TX (okay, there was a side trip to San Francisco/Berkely thrown in there . . . where the roads are traveled by many).

While teaching in Dayton, OH for the Weavers Guild of Miami Valley, I realized how fortunate I am to live in an area were we’re just having cooler-than-normal temperatures this year.  Dayton hasn’t been hit as hard as other areas with flooding, but there were farms we drove by where the fields were covered with what looked like small ponds . . . but, there’s a hardiness (heartiness?) to the folks in America’s heartland.  I had a marvelous time with my new friends sharing my enthusiasm for a wide variety of four-shaft weaves.

From Ohio I headed to the Tri-Cities area of eastern Tennessee . . . Anyone familiar with the area before I arrived told me how beautiful it was there . . . and they were correct!  Lush green mountains surrounded the area.  The workshop, Extreme Warp Makeover, was held in the “Roseland – Bachman, Steadman, Shipp Home” . . . which is probably the oldest building I’ve ever taught in (predates 1880).  I was fortunate to spend nearly an entire week in the Tri-Cities area (which includes Kingsport, Bristol, and Johnson City).  During the week, in addition to spending time teaching a workshop for the Overmountain Weavers Guild, I had real honest-to-goodness southern fried chicken (Yum!) . . . and I even got to add to my collection of weaving signs and included one of them below.

After a lengthy departure from Tennessee (and unplanned overnight stay in Atlanta, GA), I returned home and had about six hours to unpack, do laundry, repack, and head back to the airport where I headed off to San Francisco/Berkeley where I was privileged enough to go to the deYoung Museum and see Pulp Fashion, an exhibit of garments (and more) made from paper . . . and the Balenciaga exhibit ( a definite must-see if you’re in the area).  The dear friends I attended with allowed me unique insight into a truly stunning collection which is augmented from its previous exhibit in New York City.  How Balenciaga designed and constructed garments was inspirational and I’m looking forward to getting back into the studio to work on a multitude of ideas.  By the way, I knew California was a fertile ground for growing many things . . . but, a garden of pink flamingos was unexpected and brought a huge smile to my face.  It was an elusive crop . . . shortly after being planted, this prolific crop was harvested . . . but, the image below serves as evidence of this humorous agricultural event.

My most recent textile adventure took me to College Station, TX to teach at the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas (CHT) 2011 conference (where I was not only blessed to teach, but deliver the keynote address and judge the fashion show).  The experience was life altering and profound . . . and one of the best experiences of my life . . . although, I was so busy and I didn’t take any photographs.  Just trust me . . . it was a stupendous event.  The host guild, the Brazos Spinners and Weavers Guild, did a marvelous organizing a conference that will live on fondly in the memories of all of those in attendance.


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