Sunday, September 25, 2016

Hands On Weaving at the South Valleys Library

Members of the Reno Fiber Guild have caught the "weaving bug" and everyone seemed to get a big kick out of sharing it with the public at the South Valleys Library. In the photo below, Eva shows the young weaver the next treadle to push for her weaving pattern.
 This year we added Kumihimo Braiding to our "hands on" activities.  The public was introduced to this wonderful technique through both foam discs and also the traditional Japanese braiding stand called a Marudai.  Along with the actual experience of making braids, there were many examples of completed jewelry pieces and braids to examine. Karen watches closely to help smooth the path for this budding braider.

 We want very much for everyone to have a chance to make something wonderful.  Here Pati gives a very little student a helping hand.

Shelley watches as a new weaver checks out the Mountain Loom and learns how to operate the levers to change sheds.
The rigid heddle loom is an inexpensive place for many people to start a weaving journey.  Kathy is helping this woman experience the joy of weaving on one of these versatile gadgets.
Franco is new to the Reno area, but not new to weaving.  He likes to show people how they can weave without having to buy expensive equipment.  This loom is one he fashioned himself from dowels. The design is a work in progress, so stay tuned for more innovations. (photo by Franco)
Rachel is another weaver who uses simple tools to weave cloth.  She brought her backstrap loom on which she weaves cloth for clothing.    Although the loom is simple in design, it takes time and practice to learn backstrap weaving and Rachel learned her skills from indigenous teachers in Guatemala and Mexico. (photo by Franco)
Sarah brought her 8-shaft table loom to this year's event.  She is weaving a complex design with two colors of yarn in both warp and weft as Rachel and Anni admire the pattern.
Hands On events are a lot of fun - both for the public and for the guild members who volunteer their time, looms and materials. This post doesn't come close to showing all the people who made this day a success.  A big thank you to everyone who participated.  Also please visit Franco Rios' blog for additional photos

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Hands On Weaving and Demonstrations at the South Valleys Library

The Reno Fiber Guild has a long history with public weaving demonstrations.  In 1972, a couple of women had their looms at the Nevada State Fair and found that the public was so interested in what they were doing that they decided to form an organization devoted to spinning and weaving.  The result of their efforst was originally called Northern Nevada Spinners and Weavers Guild. Members found  so many interesting things to learn and do that involved fiber so eventually the guild changed its name to Reno Fiber Guild.  Today, the guild's main emphasis is weaving, although we are still interested in other fiber activities such as dyeing, braiding, beading and surface design on cloth.

On September 24th, Reno Fiber Guild partners with the South Valleys Library in Reno (15650A Wedge Parkway) to give the public a chance to try their hands at the ancient art/craft of weaving.  Between 11AM and 2PM  the whole family is invited to watch and participate in what we are doing.  The guild plans to have several looms for hands on weaving, an inkle loom, some rigid heddle looms and a couple of people demonstrating on a Japanese braiding stand called a Marudai. Plus there may be a few more surprises like a backstrap weaver who learned her skills in Mexico.

For our young at heart group (that would be kids of all ages) we will have a cardboard loom kit and helpers to demonstrate how easy it is to weave a small tapestry piece. Your woven piece and any materials left in the kit will be yours to keep. 

There will be an exhibit of handwoven items and several knowledgeable weavers who will be able to explain processes and answer your questions.

Please join us to learn more about weaving and experience the thrill of making cloth appear on the loom.