Weavers Guild of Miami Valley

Weavers Guild of Miami Valley


For 70 years, the Weavers
Guild of Miami Valley has crafted a community
of talented artisans. Here’s their story. ♪ gentle music ♪ The Weavers Guild of Miami
Valley encompasses any person who is interested in weaving,
interested in spinning. Most of our members are
weavers but not all. We have people that are
involved in knitting, quilting, fiber arts in general,
you name it, they do it. [Carol] This is our
70th anniversary and so we have been celebrating by having displays
at various libraries and historic
societies in the area. [Julia] They’ve put exhibits in
all of the libraries to give people a chance to know the
Guild is here and thriving. [Carol] And then, of course, we’ll be at the Wool Gathering. [Julia] The Guild sponsored
the
Wool Gathering originally and Young’s Jersey
Dairy took it over, but the Guild started
that and it just grew. [Carol] The Wool Gathering
is my favorite because of all the vendors
that attend the Wool Gathering. Bring your pocketbook. I guess, if you
asked each member, they’d have a different
answer as to what they get from being a member
of the Weavers Guild. But our primary
purpose is education. We would like to teach
weaving, spinning to those folks who are
interested in learning. In addition to that,
I believe personally that it is a way
to preserve a craft that is not predominant today
as it was once in the past. [Cay] The days of learning
from
your mom, your grandma, Aunt Sally, those days are gone and we’re not raised
with it right next to us. So, an organization
like the Guild allows us to get the instruction,
get the support and keep the love
of weaving going. [Carol] People who think it’s
really simple and fast, quick, easy to do, it’s not. So, I tell people, it is
a time-consuming craft, hobby, endeavor, and so they
need to be made aware of that. The weaving part is not
that time consuming. What is time
consuming is planning. Planning your colors. What fibers you’re going to use. [Julia] The advantage of weaving
is the way you juxtapose the fibers creates a
particular hand in a cloth, and that’s where all
the difference is in a hand-woven piece as opposed to a
machine-woven piece. And, there’s nothing wrong with
machine-woven pieces either. It’s just there’s a
difference in the hand, and the design
and the creativity and it all goes into how
a weaver uses the fibers. [Carol] I enjoy working with
cotton or cotton blend. I have worked with other fibers
such as wool and synthetics. The items I like to weave are
scarves and household items, towels, placemats,
table runners. My goal eventually is
to weave a coverlet and maybe I’ll
get there one day. Most of my weaving when
I worked was yardage that I would then
make into clothes. So, a lot of my inspiration would be things you saw
in stores, in magazines and you would say, oh, well,
they did this and this, I could do that and
then try it from there. The scarf I did at a workshop. Several years ago,
a new theme came out that was called
iridescent weaving, and that was using yarns
that if you move the item, they would show different
colors, they would iridesce. It’s a very simple
weave structure. It’s just that the colors
play with each other, against each other and
that’s the finished effect. The weaving I do is primarily
for the wall or collages. So, it’s a different process. I will work with any fiber. In a collage, you can use any
material that you find lovely. [Carol] For me, it’s a
way to express myself. With the spinning, it’s
a way to just relax. [Cay] Craftmaking is
very relaxing. It regenerates your spirit. And, there’s
something very musical about just doing the
same thing over and over and it just, it calms you down. We do have a monthly meeting and at each monthly meeting
there is a program presented. [Carol] Someone will come
and discuss weaving, dyeing, some topic that has
to do with fiber. People attending the
meeting will bring something that they’ve just finished
and show and talk about what they did and yarns they
used and that sort of thing. “This is my first weave
without doing it here.” [Julia] The show and
tell is primarily to encourage the Guild
members to keep working. [Cay] Sometimes that will be
followed with a workshop in conjunction with
a presentation. There are probably five or six different workshops
during the year. I think it’s amazing
that this Guild has lasted as long as it has. I’ve been members in other
groups and organizations and they kind of come and go. People chose different
interests, avenues, paths, life interferes and they
don’t have the longevity that the Weavers Guild has. I think the thing to
remember from all of this is the Weavers Guild,
while being 70, is still very young at heart. Is still doing new and
challenging things. We stay on the cutting edge and we’re constantly
bringing new ideas, inventive ideas to the Guild
and age is just a number, it’s how you feel,
young at heart. And, I think this group
is very young at heart. ♪ gentle music ♪

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