Some time ago our guild rented the OHS 100” loom for a year and wove a series of coverlets threaded in a pattern taken from Dorothy Burnham’s Keep Me Warm One Night. This beautiful book had been issued in the 1970’s in connection with a ROM exhibition of C19th coverlets from eastern Canada.
This November, the ROM partnered with the U of T Art Department to revisit Burnham’s legacy as weaver, curator and scholar, with an international conference entitled Cloth Cultures.
Four guild members braved the transit system and the weather to attend one day of this event. There were 15 presenters that day. What a wonderful chance to see how cloth and clothing are slowly and carefully investigated and assigned a place in time and space. The range of historic and ethnographic investigation ranged widely from Finish nettle fibre to Nova Scotia’s plant dyes and from Amazon Shilbo textiles to Anishinaabe strap dresses. Truly amazing.
And there was more to see. The lobby of the ROM Eaton Theatre where we revived ourselves with mid session coffee and snacks held a display by the Etobicoke guild’s Burnham study group. That by the way is also the present location of the Henry Eaton statue we saw as children in the downtown store. As a bonus, our seminar admission gave us entrance to the Viking exhibit where we were inspired by some beautiful bronze wire work and jewelry.