A recent visit to the Textile Museum of Canada for the Sheila Hicks: Material Voices exhibit was an exciting and colourful foil for our grey Toronto January weather. The entire third floor of the facility was hung with her monumental bas relief fibre pieces.
Perpetual Migration, 2014 – 2015
Baoli Chords/Cordes Sauvages Pow Wow, 2014 -2015
Predestined Color Wave I and II, 2015
Mandan Shrine 2016
The museum provided audio and video background information on individual work, as well as dvd loops on the development of major permanent installations at the Ford Foundation in NYC and MGIC in Milwaukee. For more go to sheilahicks.com
Marian, Barb and Jill met at the Arboretum at the Royal Britannia Gardens to walk the trails of Cootes Paradise. The Lilacs were in full bloom. It was a beautiful day and the scents and sights were amazing. What a way to inspire creative juices. Image a lilac tinted dyepot to enhance the beauty of our spinners yarn or to colour some carded merino for felting. Isn’t there a poem that says at a certain age in life we can all wear purple?
(Jill took the top two photos and Marian the bottom one. Barb’s husband Paul edited Marian’s photo. The dogwood was also in bloom which is a bright contrast to the lilacs.)
The trio then headed to Waterdown for coffee and lunch at the Copper Kettle. They also checked out the Harrington Lane Farm store where they are running out of our cards again and have sold Carole’s red tea towel. Maybe next time the tea towel could be in lilac!
People say there is nothing to do unless you are in the city. This guild member proved that exploring her neck of the woods can really fill your day!
“Saturday was a beautiful day for a road trip. We started at the very south part of Hwy 6 at the Royal Botanical Garden’s (RBG) Native Plant sale.
We then headed north on Hwy 6 to Wellington Fibres. Donna did an excellent tour of the processes and the machines used to produce the yarn from her goats and customer’s sheep fleeces.
The colours in the shop were gorgeous and tempting. The babies in the barn were very cute. It was interesting that one of the female goats kept trying to get into another pen to attack another mother.
After the open house we headed to Elora for lunch and a view of the gorge.”
Our traveling weaver spent time exploring Granville Island and discovered some wonderful pieces at the Studio Store. Here again are her comments and photos.
“Thirty years ago Diane Sanderson established the Silk Weaving Studio Store on Granville Island, Vancouver BC. Always worth the trip downtown. I bought a bit more silk; finer this time, 2/30 “
One of our guild members is currently touring out in BC and Alberta. She recently attended a textile exhibit. Here are her words….
“Rust has really come into its own as a mordant for natural dyes of late. My first inkling of this was the guild experiment of rolling up some steel wool, salt and vinegar with tea leaves in silk scarves which, when left overnight in a warm place wrapped in plastic resulted in stunning transferred patterns.
This early version of ‘Eco Printing’ was expanded last summer at a guild member’s cottage with rust cloths prepared by immersing old sheeting wrapped around rusty farm implements in an acid bath overnight. Cotton cloth soaked in the resulting rust water was then laid out and covered first with a pattern of leaves and with then the rust cloths and a layer of saran. Once rolled around a dowel and sealed tightly with packing tape and twine these scrolls were boiled for several hours. Again the transferred pattern of the leaves was stunning.
Recently at the ‘Mended’ exhibition by the BC Surface Design Association I was interested to find the following two rusted works.”
One of our guild members spent this winter in Florida. Kathleen is a novice basket maker. She attended the Stowe Basketry Festival for the first time three years ago and has taken to this craft like a duck to water. Below is her summary of her winter in the south along with photos of her finished work. She is a novice no longer.
“I spent the winter in the northwest corner of Florida and worked on pine needle coiling. I networked with other coilers, basket makers and foragers. Everybody was warm and welcoming to this “Northerner” who was exploring the area and what it had to offer. I was lucky enough to attend the Mobile Alabama Basket Makers monthly meeting and was taught a few new tricks of the craft. I went out into the “wilds” of Alabama and foraged for my own pine needles and was thrilled to find some up to 22″ and even 24″. And look at the size of the pine cones.
What an adventure that was! We were in the middle of nowhere and all of a sudden I heard a gunshot. Yep! I was deep in the south!”