Sorry for today’s delay! I have been busy this week working on the guild Library report. It’s a lot of data to sift through even with a second year of reduced book borrowing due to covid. I do a report in December for the city grants then one for the AGM in May. It’s not the same data since the first covers the Year (2021) and the second covers the library term From the AGM in 2021 to AGM 2022. I have a fabulous library team working with me but I write up the report and then send it to Ann to spell check and make a synopsis since I tend to be very thorough. It usually takes a week to get the data into charts then analyzed a bit then written up into the report. The main data is dropped in the appendix (21 pages) and the short tables go into the report (5 pages). I am only missing one bit of data to finish it but here is the extremely short version (not I am not going to show you 21 pages of charts!!)
- Library team: 6 regular members and 3 assistants this year, for a total of 9.
- Acquisitions: 69 new items From Donations, Bequests, and purchases
- Circulation: Total items; 249 (1 item out for repair)
- Format of items in circulation: BOOKS 208, MAGAZINE 21, DVD 18
- Accessibility: 238.5 hours in the library, plus the hours from March I still have to add.
1 The Felting Section of the Guild Library
2 Part of the Guild Library Cabinets
I also got a note off to the newsletter about the next Library day. We have been having members email their book requests to the library and we pull, sign out and bag the books. The members come to the library, knock on the window, hold up their name signs and we grab their bag of books and meet them at the side door to give them their books. It has been working quite well over the last 2 years.
3 books pulled ready to bag
4 books ready to go out to members.
2 months ago, we got word that we could have more people in the studio space, where we have the library. We would need to have only 2 people browsing the books at a time, proof of vaccination and wear a mask at all times. Last month we were allowed 4 people at a time looking at books and they could self-administer the health questions, but still had to wear their masks. This month it looks like we may be able to have the regular capacity and no symptoms of ill health for ourselves or assonated people but still keep the mask. We hope that the books can finally visit with the guild members in a more personal way.
5 Ann Ready for in-person book sign-out, for the first time in 2 years!
So if we can have library happening in a more normal way Demos of spinning weaving and felting cannot be far behind. I have been doing demos for the guild since the 1990s, first weaving then adding spinning, and finally adding felting to the options for demos. I’m not sure what my first demo was but it may have been weaving at a sheep to shawl demonstration at the experimental farm. My first time spinning at a demo was at a tractor pull competition with another spinner Clara (she was very good). In the morning, she spun and answered questions. By the afternoon, I was spinning and talking at the same time too!
At first, I carried a folding Leclerc table loom either a 2 or 4 harness. They didn’t feel heavy at the time but after quite a few years they seem to have gained weight. I was sometimes also bringing a wheel or two depending on the demo. For the Carp Fair demo I could fill a small station wagon with equipment and display stuff (they gave us a 20x 20 tent to set up a four-table display, it was a challenge that we filled each year.)
6-7 weaving at the same demo (it’s a super long warp!)
8 We let anyone who wants to have a try. It means we get many interesting variations on the pattern we thought we were doing!
Over the years, I have learned a lot of demo tricks. one of the best is if you think you will be on damp grass or it might rain (we have had sudden small rivers appear in tents we were demoing in when it rained), bring a plastic under bed box or low sided storage bin that your wheel will fit into as well as your feet. Spinning in a plastic box will keep your feet and wheel dry. If it’s just morning dew to worry about bring a rubber-backed kitchen matt that is big enough to fit under your wheel. They roll up and take up little space to bring with you. I also have a folding wagon that can transport wheels, looms, wool, a folding table… from the car to the demo spot if I cant get the car close to unload.
9 One of my Friends demonstrated the weight capacity of a folding wagon
10 a Plowing match demo with a tarp to keep the dew off the wheel
11 Manotick demo in a tent in the rain.
12 in a tent, raining at the Richmond Fail (trundle box is tucked under the table.)
Another sneaky thing I do at demos, now that I am also felting, is I have a couple of pieces that I save to work on only at demos, that are works in progress. I have found that when I am just starting out with a picture or sculpture there is a lot of mild curiosity. However, if I have something underway to the point you can make a good guess at what I might be doing, I tend to get more interest and questions. “Is it a dog?” gets kind of boring until someone says very hesitantly “….is that.. a ..polar bear?” “YES! It is!!”
13 Polar bear finally looks a bit less like a dog.
14 Makers fair demo
15 Demo at Wool Growers Co-Op, Carlton place
When you demo you don’t have to know everything, so don’t be afraid of questions. It’s fine to say “I’m still new and don’t know that, but we can see if we can find out”. If you are demoing in a group ask the others who are demoing, if you are by yourself, refer them to your guilds email to ask. There are also breed specific organizations you can find many of the contacts at sheep 101 on the internet.
Second, don’t worry that you’re not a master weaver, spinner or felter. There are not a lot of masters out there and they all started somewhere not being masters. If you enjoy what you’re demoing, your enthusiasm will be contagious. In addition, if you’re just beginning, it shows others they can do this too. Watching someone make fluffy fibre stick together it’s like magic! Watching someone make perfect fine lace weight yarn is a bit daunting, If it is a slubby functional yarn, that may actually be much more approachable. It’s amazing how many times someone will ask, “What happens when it brakes?” then you accidentally brake it and show them how it reattaches.
Once I took my Ashford Traditional out to a demo. It is a lovely wheel, the golden retriever of wheels! “Is that fibre? Can I spin it for you?” anyway I had the drive band brake and had repaired it but only had blue crochet cotton so I had a blue drive band and was spinning white wool. You can see where this is going I am sure. After having a man stand staring at the wheel for much longer than most people stop and just stare, he finally asked.
“How does the wool go from white to blue, then back to white?”
“Good question!” so I stopped the wheel and showed him the path for the yarn through the orifice and on to the bobbin and the path of the drive band and how the treadle and footman turned the wheel.
I hope we will be able to demo again soon. It is a lot of fun and you may find others who didn’t know anyone did weaving, spinning or felting and they have always wanted to learn to do that too!
16 Basket dragon with hand died wings, Carp Fair Demo
I have lots of photos of the demo display and other people demoing. I am usually the one with the camera so these are most of the pictures I have of me actually demoing.
17 1812 was not my best year, the diminutive Great Wheel and the Robiedue wheel went to this demo with me. Demo at Chrysler for 1812 battle asked to demo in costume.
18 Demo at Carp Fair
Have fun and keep felting (hopefully soon in public!)
19 One of my long-term-in-progress-demo pieces.