Image Above: Winnie Nelon has a large collection of batik and ikat textiles she has accumulated through her travels in Asia. She will discuss textiles from Borneo in her presentation in May.
Prince George Fiber Arts Guild
Prince George, British Columbia, Canada
Reading through the website of the PG Fiber Arts Guild is enough to make a fiber artist want to move to Prince George. The range of activities they have had for more than 40 years seems to cover every need anyone might have: classes, exhibits, conferences, newsletters, meetings, movie nights, resource referrals, and equipment buying, selling, and renting, all covering the range from serious to light-hearted. And now, with so many activities on hold, they have filled in the gap with COVID Fibre Projects and Sunday Seminars – which is what this post is about.
When guild member Laura Fry started thinking about services the guild could offer while everyone was staying at home, like the rest of the world her mind started Zooming. The more she thought, the further afield her ideas went, until she finally realized that it did not matter where her speakers were, if they were connecting electronically they could be anywhere! And suddenly the guild speakers were coming from all over the world!
In addition to Canada and the US, the list includes speakers from and/or talking about Peru, Guatemala, the Shetland Islands, Borneo, Sweden, Turkey, and more, as well as both current and historic textiles. Or if you are more attracted by luminaries, the list of those yet-to-come includes: Deb Robson, Winnie Nelon, Stefan Moberg, Janet Dawson, Robyn Spady, Diana Twiss, and Christina Petty. It’s like a walk through a living textile museum. The cost is just Can$15 plus tax for non-members, $10 for members, and videos of the programs may be viewed for 30 days after the program is over. Pretty good deal in these non-traveling times, with even more details than one would usually get from a personal visit.
We who work in developing countries are intensely aware of the difference between weaving production for economic survival vs. the luxury of weaving for fun, learning, exploration, and the heART of it. The two are worlds apart, and equally important. Supporting indigenous textile cultures and production is an active goal of WARP, and learning something about the cultures those art forms grow out of is a useful first step. So go to the Prince George Fiber Arts Guild’s website and check it out. You just might want to join!
The Fleece and Fiber Source Book by Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius takes a deep look at the various sheep breeds and the quality of fiber they produce. Deborah will talk about Shetland fibers and the isles for her presentation in April