Monday, June 24, 2013

25 Years

This year marked the 25th ANWG conference.  Weavers from all over the Pacific Northwest and western Canada have regularly gathered to celebrate textiles.  Long before the internet, weavers, spinners and dyers had to communicate via mail or in person at such gatherings as regional conferences like ANWG. Mid-West. MAFA, and so on.

While the internet has 'shrunk' the world and allowed us to be in close contact with other like minded individuals all round the world, there is nothing quite like meeting in person, being able to shop in actual physical 'stores' and, best of all, touch the textiles that others are creating.

I was delighted to see that my friend Betty Bell had won a People's Choice award for her lovely cotton napkins with supplemental warp and weft borders.  Unfortunately the photo is a bit out of focus - I was trying to include the award 'ribbon' as well as the lovely display in the exhibit.

There were many interesting items in the exhibit.  After 35 plus years of weaving, it is being able to actually see and (whenever possible) feel the cloth that inspires me.  Since Betty is a friend I had fondled,  handled the napkins when I last visited with her.  ;)  There were white gloves provided so that people could touch the textiles, but I didn't avail myself - not being able to touch the cloth with my hands didn't appeal, although I certainly understand why - hands contain oil and hundreds of hands touching the textiles mean that quite a lot of hand oil would be deposited onto the cloth.  (There were 500+ people attending the conference, plus people who came for the day but hadn't registered for the conference proper.)

The fashion show garments were also on display and those had handling pieces that one could touch without the gloves, so I had a good grope of those.  :D

There were instructors from round the world - Bolivia (yes I managed a short chat with Laverne Waddington), Australia (ditto Kay Faulkner), the east and south (Darryl Lancaster, Liz Walker, Marg Coe, Bobbie Irwin - and more I didn't get a chance to visit with) and of course, all round the ANWG region.  Attendees came from the eastern seaboard, California, Minnesota, beyond.

The campus was interesting architecturally, Cindy White had initiated a 'storm' of yarn type landmarks helping to identify the buildings with classes, and so on, and the rain even let up for a few days.  They don't call it the 'wet' coast for nothing!

I have lost count of the number of ANWG conferences I have attended, but it has been quite a few of the 25 (held every second year).  I am looking forward to the next one, and meeting 'old' and new friends again, in person, in two years.

Currently reading Black Dog by Stephen Booth


Sarah Nopp said...

I am glad you got the chance to come teach. I didn't get to meet you this time, but maybe at the next one. I hope the drive home was uneventful!

Laura Fry said...

Hopefully next time. ;)