Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Skagit Valley Weavers Guild Fieldtrip

The weather in January is often very unpredictable in this area. The Skagit Valley Weavers Guild meets in the evening, making a bad weather situation even worse. The guild takes a break in January and plans a field trip during daytime hours instead. In past years the field trip has consisted of a studio tour of various guild member's weaving studios. It is a good chance for fellow members to see different looms and how they work. Since the looms are often too large to cart around, we go to the looms.
This year was a bit different. We are very fortunate to have Anita Luvera Mayer living in our area and such a large part of our guild history. We had the delightful privilege of visiting her studio as a guild.
For those of you who do not know of Anita, she is a teacher, tour leader, weaver, writer, and fiber artist who lives in the Pacific Northwest. She has written a few books and has contributed articles to Handwoven Magazine. In addition, she teaches all over the country at schools and retreats such as John C. Campbell Folk School, and Madrona Fiber Arts. There are at least two universities who have her garments as part of their permanent textile collections.
I could go on and on listing her many contributions to the weaving world. Just putting her name in the Google search engine turns up several pages on her alone!
Anita's studio is on the complete upper level of her home. She has a room for weaving and creating her wonderful wearable art pieces, a room for dyeing, and a large office to manage her business affairs. After greeting us all we settled into the main part of her studio and she showed us her latest pieces.
Anita is a charismatic speaker and wonderful story teller, and her work reflects that. She knows how to touch on subjects that concern women in our society with grace and dignity. I know that I am not alone in my enjoyment of her many programs and workshops that I have had the pleasure of attending over the years. The studio tour was a real treat. After a bit of time exploring the rich gathering of art, artifacts, and fiber arts, a large group of us adjourned for lunch at a local restaurant.
Before I post this entry, I would like to leave with the following thoughts: Although I am a lady of middle age, I am on the young end of the age spectrum of the women who attend the weaving guilds. One of the wonderful side benefits to belonging to weaving guilds is the association I have been able to have with women who are ten, twenty, thirty, and even more, years older than I am. They have all been my mentors in so many ways. We just don't have very many opportunities in our society to socialize, learn, and work with many people of different ages. I feel very fortunate to have stumbled across this society of weavers!
Well, off to weave, and if you ever have a chance to take a class or hear a program by Anita Luvera Mayer, I would highly recommend it! -Renee

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