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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.

 

 

Contributing Artists
Melangell
EM

Friday, September 01, 2006

See You at the Fair

Each year, with the advent of the State Fair, comes, for me personally, enthusiastic anticipation. Anticipation of cooler weather, which is a big deal here in the south, opportunity to visit the animal barns, which is my one of my favorite activities and, of course, the opportunity to share my craft with others, either through exhibition or demonstration and/or education.

For the past 7 years we, my fibre sister and I, have been asked to demonstrate spinning and weaving in the Arts and Crafts exhibition building. We take advantage of the circumstances, season and atmosphere, conducive for this old craft. There would be less interest in this kind of fibre craft if the weather was warmer so the timing works in our favour and the audience, pulled to anything crafty delights in viewing something atypical for this area, not to mention era.

Children seem especially curious. They will sit crosslegged on the floor watching the wheel spin, or murmur one word sentences like "cool", "wow" and "neat" as the fibre twists into it yarn, asking scores of questions on everything from what kind of animals can fibre be used, to what kind of articles can be made from the different looms. Adults, too, will stop and remark on the wonder of the craft and even comment how they once thought they would like to learn, unfortunately, when pushed, they always amend the comment with "but I just don't have the time to learn".

After 7 years of offering workshops, not at the State Fair alone, but also at our local library, schools, churches and even knitting groups, only a few individuals have taken us up on our offer to go beyond demonstration and instruct them in the art of spinning, weaving, natural dyeing, felting or any other fibre craft. Of those few even fewer have perservered. Yet, happily, we continue to offer demonstrations because we love the craft enough to attempt to keep it alive, if not, for their part,in practice, at least in interest through education.

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