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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Demonstrating at the SC State Fair

Each year, for the past 6 or so, EM and I have been invited to demonstrate various stages of our craft, namely spinning but on occasion I would bring one of my looms as well.

This year we both had an extremely busy week prior to the event and it was obvious, once we arrived and began setting up, that we were not as prepared as we would have liked to have been. The essentials were there but left behind were little things like oil for the spinning wheels. While both of us had oiled our wheels recently, the day of the demonstration was cold and rainy so the wheels started stiffening up as a result, and neither of us brought a niddy noddy, fortunately there were extra bobbins and finally I neglected to bring a single finished project, Where was my head? Fortunately EM brought a few of her fabulous bags and shawls. So all in all we had enough to offer to present a good demonstration.

Even though we would have liked to have been better prepared, the crowds showed real interest, they especially enjoyed being able to touch the various examples of fibre we displayed, which included Coopworth and Merino wool from sheep, Mohair from Angora goats, Llama fibre, Angora from Angora rabbits, and even dog hair, along with examples of dyed fibre and handspun examples of each. The children, as usual, loved sitting and watching the wheels spin, asking all kinds of questions. They are always our best spectators.

I also brought the Tapestry loom that dh recently built for me and offered some demonstration on that as well. Even with the good lighting we had in the building I had to don my +3 magnifying glasses. While I still feel a little strange wearing them, especially in public, they are a wonderful tool for working with some projects, especially when knitting lacework.

One special young girl took a sincere interest in watching me weave, she told me she had enjoyed some weaving in a school project. She asked the appropriate questions, ever so politely and watched intently. I can only hope that anything I communicated to her either vocally or visually while she watched, will encourage her to explore her fibre interests. I had a special feeling about this beautiful young one, I imagined her to be what people mean when they talk about "old souls", She had a stillness deep down, no need for chatter and fidgeting that goes with nervous energy. I suspect she will have a lot to offer whatever she does with her life. This is what brings EM and I back each year, as well as accepting other invitations to demonstrate this craft. Not to show off our skills, but to educate and do our part to keep this craft alive.

Since the fair, but not necessarily due to this particular demonstration, EM and I have had conversation with others interested in learning to spin. It is our hope that we may actually have a guild represented at next year's Faire. This would not only help take the some of the load of my fibre sister and I, trying to do everything between the two of us, so that if one of us forgets anything chances are someone else will have it. It will also offer a wider range demonstration in Fibre arts, such as knitting, needle felting, inkle weaving, to name a few.



Anonymous Stephanie Hauser said...

Where were you at? I have never seen anyone with a wheel there. Whenever I go to the fair I have to look at every fiber related entry. I'm sorry I missed seeing you.

Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 1:20:00 PM EST  

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