Artists of the Month – September
Chilliwack Spinners & Weavers Guild
In 1974 Mildred Renz believed that it would be a great idea to form a group with the goal to study and practice the art of weaving. Beginning with informal instructional meetings twice a month, then expanding to workshops and events, membership quickly grew. The group coalesced into the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild Society, dedicated to the preservation and continuation of spinning and weaving. These crafts, so long a daily part of life, have been studied and passed along for the last 43 years by this group. Through workshops and study groups, the members of the Guild have stayed true to Mildred’s original vision.
The Guild’s current home is at the Chilliwack Activity Centre (50+) on College Street in Chilliwack. In this space, members enjoy a room filled with looms of all sizes with a project being busily created on each. The creative process is in full bloom as visitors watch the members in action, working on tea towels, scarves, blankets, tapestries or weaving yardage to create a jacket. Materials being woven range from cotton, wool, and silk, to even rags! Some of the yarns have been spun by the members themselves.
Community members are encouraged to drop-in on a Thursday from 10-12 a.m. to meet the members and see their creative process first-hand. The Guild meets on the first and third Thursday at 1:30 p.m. at the Activity Centre. Membership is $35 a year. As a member one can learn to spin and weave and discover everything he or she needs to know about the craft!
As proud members of the Chilliwack Community Arts Council, the Guild has been privileged to be able to participate in many community events over the years. It has been the members’ great pleasure to keep these wonderful crafts in the public eye. Various school programs have invited the group to demonstrate and members are always happy to attend the Atchelitz Thresherman’s Small Engine Show in May and the Valley Classic Car Show in July. The members’ participation in the Arts Council’s Chilliwack Christmas Craft Market is one of their biggest and most anticipated events of the year.
Keeping the arts of spinning and weaving in the public eye has allowed the Guild to continue its goal of preserving and passing the art forms along to the next generation. The Guild has members who spin, some who weave, and some who practice both crafts. In September, members host an annual Spin-in at the Rosedale Traditional Community School, combining 75 spinners, a great lunch, and craft oriented vendors into a great Saturday experience. All members love to take the opportunity to show community all the wonderful forms that these fibre arts can take.
Learn more about the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild by visiting chilliwackspinnersandweavers.wordpress.com.
*In addition to being our honoured Artists of the Month, the talented members of the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild will showcase their creations during their Art Room Gallery exhibition, Fibre Flair!, on displaying from September 15 to October 16, 2017. Meet the artists and purchase their work, alongside special guests: Green Pear Designs and Bath Scents Handmade Soap, on September 15 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the CCAC. Learn more.