For several years, the Reno Fiber Guild has been bringing the art and craft of handweaving to public locations and letting everyone get first hand knowledge about how cloth is created. In January, we were invited to participate with the Nevada Museum of Art at their second Saturday "Hands On" event.
There was lots of preparation involved to get enough of our cardboard loom kits made because the museum draws far greater crowds to this event than the guild is accustomed to handling. Luckily, the museum was a great partner and helped us with many details including help making and assembling several hundred loom kits.
The morning of the event found us bundled against the freezing Reno temperatures. We headed up to the third floor of the museum with warped looms, kumihimo stands, display pieces and boxes of cardboard looms. Everyone pitched in and our display and loom set ups came together in an hour, at which time we started receiving our first eager visitors.
Throughout the day, kids of all ages worked their way around the weaving stations. Many started at the cardboard loom table with our able volunteers helping them to get their yarn over and under the warp threads. After that experience, the next choice was a warped loom. Each loom had its own mentor to show the public about shuttles, treadles, weaving patterns and much more.
A real attraction was the Kumihimo braiding station. Who knew you could use a little foam disc to make colorful and elegant braided cords?
We have had plenty of heartwarming stories to share since our day at the museum. We were exhausted after our six hour adventure, but satisfied that everyone had enjoyed themselves and also learned something they didn't know about weaving.