Last Wednesday our WOW! Group was back to full strength with the return of Bill and Larry. They had just returned from a transatlantic cruise from Copenhagen to Ft. Lauderdale, with some stops in Ireland and New York City.
At their stop in Ireland they toured a flax spinning and weaving mill which Bill found fascinating. In passing he mentioned to the mill tour guide that he was also a weaver. After taking several pictures and being the last to leave the room, Bill was surprised when the tour guide gifted him with the hank of unbleached linen she had been showing during the tour. You can see it the above photo. It has a grayish color not unlike old barn wood.
Flax is a plant and the thread produced is made up of the fibers from the plant stem after the flesh has been beaten away and called linen. That is a simplified version of a longer process. The whole process is discussed in the Nov/Dec 2008 issue of Handwoven on page 64. The thread is actually quite thin and certainly fits the term fibrous.
Bill is one of our two guild representatives to IWC (Intermountain Weavers Conference). IWC is a regional association of western weaving guilds that holds a weekend conference every other year in the year that Convergence is not held. The conference consists of two and a half day workshops, over Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings, with a style show, and juried and non-juried gallery shows of fiber related works. The past two conferences and the one in the summer of 2009 will be held in Durango, CO, on the Ft. Lewis College campus.
Each participating guild usually donates some “favor” to be distributed to the attending conference members and leaders. For the 2007 conference our guild wove about 200 book marks 1 ½” X 6”, made on 6 looms passed around our guild through out the year.
Starting last year our guild has been doing cardboard weavings making small purses for the 2009 conference, as Bill is working on in this photo at WOW. The small weavings could be used as coin purses or business card holders. The purses are closed with a loop going over a button. The variety of purses has been quite interesting. Bill is hoping to accumulate over 200 by June. He is over half way there now.