A Wonderful Saturday Morning

Sunday, August 22, 2010

What a wonderful Saturday morning I had at the Spinners and Weavers Festival!

I woke up early, the sun streaming through my window. I can already feel the changing of seasons and that Fall is not far off. After a leisurely breakfast with friends I packed my tote bag and headed down the road to the other side of the county.

What ever thoughts I had about summer not coming to our area quickly disappeared as the thermometer in my truck rose above 80. It wasn’t even 9am. When I pulled into the festival venue I was surprised and delighted all at the same time. An abandoned elementary school had been transformed into an arts center. Each classroom was divided into individual artist studios. There were potters and sculptures; painters and of course weavers. It was exciting to see such a great reuse of a building that could have turned into a dilapidated mess, with graffiti scrawled over the walls and vandals destroying anything in sight. But it was full of life and talent and art.

As I made my way through the rooms I recognized some of the artist names from art walks I had been on around the area. But the real treat, the real reason I went was to see the weaver’s guild. Their studio took up a multi-purpose room, and was much larger than the rest. It was full of looms strung with yarns of all colors and projects in various stages of completion. There were tabletop looms for weaving scarves and larger horizontal looms for shawls. The yarns were all hand dyed in deep rich hues of greens and purples; blues and teals, and an array of natural tones. Seeing them stacked on the shelves was like its own piece of art.

The vendor booths were set up on the grass areas between the classrooms and in the back parking lot. Many of the vendors were selling hand dyed rovings in wool, alpaca, angora and rabbit. Some vendors had spun yarn while others offered raw wool, leaving the pleasure of dying it to the buyer. There were vendors with spinning wheels, drop spindles, drum cards, hand cards, books and patterns for making your own creations. It was fascinating to see all the ways the artists found to show their creativity.

After a few hours at the festival I was ready to head home, to the simplicity and quite of our little farm. My eyes were opened a little wider today. There are many ways to express ones artistic talents. Some mold clay into pottery, some lay paint to canvas, some take dirty raw sheep’s wool and transform it into gloves and hats; scarves and shawls that keep us warm all winter long. And some, like me, take a small suburban homestead and turn it into a patchwork of gardens and orchards and flowerbeds. This is my palette.

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