The Sunshine Coast Spinners and Weavers Guild celebrated their 25th anniversary at the Fibres Plus show and sale at the Seaside Centre in Sechelt last weekend.
There was hand dyed fibre, spun wool, woven, knitted, felted and needle work items in wool, mohair, silk, ribbon and any other material you can think of, in every colour of the rainbow — a feast for the eyes.
The guild was started to bring spinners and weavers together to share information, learn from each other, pool resources to bring in guest artists for workshops, and socialize with others who shared their interests. They have been very successful.
Today the guild offers its members an impressive array of services and events. There are two monthly day-long spin-ins, a weekly weavers circle with a master weaver in attendance, a weekly Fibre Social and Fibre Fridays.
The guild’s website lists a lending library, equipment loan cupboard, buy and sell page, events page, links to members’ websites, links to retailers of everything for the fibre artist and more. There is also a constitution and standards document that clearly outlines the guild’s purpose, goals and strict standards for show and sale of work.
If you ask a guild member when they joined, it usually coincides with the month they moved to the Sunshine Coast.
Elizabeth Nordlund, a full-time fibre artist, sat spinning with a top hand spindle.
Her finished works reference her past in anthropology, and are inspired by the colour and design of foreign cultures. Nordlund dyes her fabrics and fibres with natural plant materials, spins, quilts, weaves, knits and crochets in her Gibsons studio. She joined the guild last year, in the first month she moved to Gibsons.
Upstairs at the Seaside Centre was the 25th anniversary trunk show. The name started decades ago when weavers and spinners would get together for a workshop, and the presenter would open their trunk of goodies. Inside would be materials needed for the workshop and samples of finished and in progress items. The trunk displays at the anniversary show were spectacular, showing family heirlooms and fibre works of every type in stunning colours. Each was a treasure chest.
When asked what makes the guild work so well, three members were unanimous.
Shirley Hall, an 18-year member, Muriel Prior, a 17-year member, and Birgit Rasmussen, a four-year member, sat side-by-side, Hall spinning on a double treadle wheel, Prior dry felting, and Rasmussen spinning on a hand treadle.
“Our guild works because we get to meet other people who share the same passions. We get help in developing new skills. It is very sharing. There is no competition,” Hall said.