Sunday, June 24, 2012

Wonderful Fiber Arts program, Frame, PATV18

"There is a revival going on. Almost on the tipping point of a revolution. The populous is questioning the place and importance of mass consumerism by relearning ancient arts or consciously purchasing those hand-crafted gems from artisans. In this episode of frame, we learn about the ancient art of spinning and weaving and the tools used to create hand-crafted wares. Learn what modern day equipment is based upon the design and operation of a Jacquard Loom. You will also discover how quilts are actually made plus examples of contemporary and historical quilts. Learn about the role that quilts have played and continue to play in our communities and families. Oh yeah, we have a surprise celebrity special guest. Tune in." This is quoted from the online version of Frame, a production of PATV18. Great job, Kudos to Jeanette, and your assistant Jill. I didn't succeed when I first tried to learn to spin...UNTIL a friend suggested Janette Ryan-Busch. She is a soft-spoken, knowledgable and incredibly patient teacher who brought me full circle, from hating my wheel to loving it. It is the most relaxing thing I do. Anyone with an interest in fiber arts should check out this link.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fenner's Workshop:

MarySue Fenner conducted am incredible workshop over the weekend with members of the weaving group. It began with handwoven fabric each weaver had produced, in some case, "commercial", and finished into a jacket. < It began with the typical..."oh my, how do I want to lay this out..." Next is the pinning the fabric appropriately and cutting it out. Handwovens act differently than commercial fabric because they are usually lessly closed sett. Careful attention must be paid to grainline, plan for finishing and any curves within the pattern. After the cutting and the sewing, the most crucial step...THE FITTING. Anyone who sews, knows this is also the hardest part. This is what differentiates homemade from coutier crafted. Diane used commercial silk, after completing her jacket took it home to dye it. This is the results! Rather remarkable, I'd said. Here are some of the other almost finished products...(l to r) Margaret, Betty; Bev, Linda; Deb, Stephanie; Well Done, Ladies. Our thanks to Mary Sue Fenner for the excellent program.

Friday, June 8, 2012

State Fair Time...

Deb, the state fair advocate from the guild, wants to remind everyone that it's that time of year. There are categories for most of our fiber arts, and the deadlines are fast approaching. Our guild always makes a good showing, but it would be great if more individuals could be involved. If any of you have items that you want to enter in the fair, the Fine Arts deadline is less than 2 weeks away. The Basketry deadline is the same as Fabric and threads, July 1. Basketry is in the Creative Arts Division and does require a separate entry and $5 fee. Contact Deb Z, if you have questions about either of these categories. Deb is working on the piece below as one of her Fine Arts entries. Wow, looks like a blue ribbon winner to me!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Reviving "Ancient Fiber Arts"

The youth of today are bombarded with technology, cable, hulo, dsl, pc, smart board, ipod, ipad, droid; and the fiber arts are often overlooked as things they did in the "old days". The spinning wheel is shades of sleeping beauty in ancient fairy tales. And yet, children can be excited about the arts, about creativity, about esthetics. Members of the craft guild participated in the Iowa City Art Festival to introduce children to the various fiber arts. In the first photo, Stephanie, Julianna and their two youth volunteers as they prepare for the art fair. They will assist youngsters with some hands-on activities. This first experience is often the stimulus to learn more. My daughter's fifth grade class has a weaving/spinning day as part of their social studies curriculum. These fifth graders become silent and attentive during the demo. It never fails that at least one child wants to learn more, and the rest simply are amazed as that cloud of fiber becomes strong strands of yarn and that they made their "strands" turn into mug rugs. I've always had trouble with drop spindle spinning. Its probably a combination of lack of patience and simply practicing the technique. These young ladies seem to have mastered the drop spindle. Do we see a few new spinners on the horizon? Thanks, Stephanie, Julianna and the other volunteers who helped keep the "Ancient Fiber Arts" alive.