Saturday, October 11, 2008


This weekend is Thanksgiving. It is also the weekend we "lost" Peter Collingwood. I'll miss his dry wit and encyclopedic knowledge about all things thread.

I've also been thinking very consciously about all the things for which I am deeply thankful.

With the passing of Peter Collingwood, I've been thinking a great deal about all the teachers that have touched my life. I think the workshop that Peter led here in Prince George was the third workshop I took.

My first weaving teacher, Elain Genser, was not primarily a weaver but a fibre artist. She gave probably the most valuable gift of all when she insisted that none of her students "copy" anything we saw in a book or magazine but draw upon our own personal creativity to design our projects.

At the time I was a pattern person. If I didn't have a pattern to follow I didn't know where to start. Elain showed us how to begin with a design inspiration and follow it with our own creative spark.

Some of the teachers have faded into memory, but some stand out for the value of the lessons they taught - not always about weaving, but also about how to be a creative person. Diane Mortenson, Lilly Bohlin, Allen Fannin, Dini Moes, Morfydd Roberts, Mary Bentley, Jack Lenor Larsen, Jane Stafford, Linda Heinrich, Madelyn van der Hoogt - the list goes on.

Others have taught through their inspiration - Noreen Rustad, Eileen Shannon, Jane Evans, Robyn Spady, Syne Mitchell. Some have taught through their friendship - Darlene Wainwright, Sheila Carey, Betty Bell, Teresa Ruch, Karena Pollard, Lynn Heglar, Loralee Schultz, Kerstin Fro:berg. Last, but certainly not least, some have taught through their example - mom, dad, my brother and Doug.

All of these people, and so many more, have contributed to make me the person, the weaver, I am today.

It is one of the reasons I am so supportive of WeaveCast. Syne has worked hard to bring us the people behind the writing and the designs, allowing us to get to know them in a way that we couldn't otherwise. Syne interviewed Peter Collingwood for a recent 'cast - link is to the right in my list of links. For even more information, Complex Weavers produced a DVD interviewing Peter and touring his studio.

So, at this time of the year, with the leaves turning colour and winter sending chills down our spines, it is good to think about all the things we have to give thanks for. This year, of course, my primary gratitude is simply for life itself, and the opportunity to go on being a creative person, playing with thread. :D

(Email me for info on my Thanksgiving "Special" on Magic in the Water; wet finishing handwovens.

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