Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Northern Wefts

Mid-West Weavers and Spinners held their biannual conference at Finlandia University in Hancock, Michigan. Twelve or more weavers/spinners from our guild attended the conference, learned from the experts in the workshops, and shared their joy of playing with fiber.

Hancock is a small peninsula town built into the side of a mountain with its sister city, Houghton across the canal. Needless to say, we got a fair amount of exercise, running up and down those "hills". Some of us were housed on Michigan Tech's campus in Houghton. It was fun just to watch the lift-bridge between Hancock put on its daily show as we navigated to campus each day. I was amazed at the number of spouses and families who tagged along to enjoy the beautiful, albeit, cold, wet and foggy Keweenaw peninsula. They took tours to nearby towns, visited mines, art galleries and breweries, went hiking and enjoyed the area. And the Sun did finally come out.

Our guild was one of 14 guilds or study groups to provide an exhibit, ours was entitled Dancing Spirits. Although we didn't win a prize, we did receive a rather decent score, 27/30, from the judge, Anita Mayer. She made some very positive comments, but did note that our shabby guild sign distracted from our elegant display. She would just love our guild house...

More than 25 weavers from the Rug Interest Group met over lunch and shared many incredible rugs.

One of the highlights for me was a two-day workshop on dyeing warps. We each prepared warps of protein or cellulose fiber. After sampling the different colors, shades and fibers as part of the basic foundation for dyeing, we began dyeing warps. We painted designs, blended colors,and applied color theories.

Discharge dyeing over a completed handwoven table runner was one of the exciting challenges from this class

Other than always being a little wet and a lot shabby ourselves, it was so enlightening and laughed a lot. I must admit showing up at the fashion show with blue nails wasn't my idea of a fashion statement.

Craft Guild of Iowa City was well represented in the Individual Awards.

I think I speak for all of us, wonderful week in a wonderful place.


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