I belong to the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild. Every year we do demos at various fairs and events. This last week end we where at the Carp fair, http://carpfair.ca/ It is a typical fair with rides and concerts but it is in the country so there are horse shows, both western and english, as well as competitions for cattle, pigs and sheep. There are the quilt competitions and other domestic arts and the best corn, squash and forage contests. After you’ve seen all of that and you make it to the back on the fair there is the antique section with old cars and farm machinery on display and being demonstrated. That’s where we are, in a tent with the antiques. We don’t mind, the men who run the machinery are a great bunch. The only other woman we see demonstrating is the blacksmith.
Here are our display tables. You can see tractors through the windows.
That’s our demo loom on the end. Lots of people give it a try. It has some very interesting patterns on it.
Here I am demonstrating how to make a needle felted sheep. That’s my coffee in the foreground with its wool felt cozy. You will notice I am wearing long sleeves, my felt vest, my wool cape and some fingerless gloves. When we set up in the morning it was about 10 degrees celsius, or 50 fahrenheit. Once the sun came around to shine on me I started to warm up and shed layers. You can just see the tip on my drop spindle on the table. That’s the other thing I demonstrate.
Here are the ladies spinning.
Jan is out guild librarian and she handles the demo loom and is spinning on a road bug spinning wheel. It is designed to fit on the floor in the front of a van so you can spin while your driver whisks you down the highway.
Here is Linda first carding and then spinning from the rolags she made. She has a Louet copy she bought second hand.
Last but not least is Bernadette who has a very pretty wheel but I don’t know what type it is.
We had a great day together. We met lots of new people , we handed out lots of bookmarks about the guilds up coming exhibition and sale. We answered lots of questions and got a few people interested in joining the guild and learning more about fiber arts. Do any of you belong to a guild or go our demonstrating to promote fiber? I think next year we should yarn bomb a tractor what do you think?
Over the years I have done several outdoor shows and they are great venues. This week-end I did one I hadn’t done before and it should have been a great show. It is primarily an art show with may visual artists, potters and unique jewellers. However it rained all week-end and hardly anything was sold by anyone.
A favourite topic is always booth design; how best to display your products and how best to entice people into your booth. A lot depends on the amount of space you have. Here is a picture of my booth on a rainy weekend in June. For me it feels very crowded with the walls of the tent on. This was during a brief dry period so I could get a couple of things out front.
Although the sale wasn’t great I did get to meet lots of other artists and had time to chat with them. I have been inspired to knit myself a cool shawl. I am not sure how long it will take. I am not a knitter at all but when I get it done I will blog about it.
Here is a shot inside my booth.
I am going to post some more pictures over on the Felt and Fiber Forum if you want to give a long critique or detailed suggestions pop over and have a look.
Well time to look back at the year and see what has happened. There was lots of felting for sale and some teaching along with family, work, farm and farmers’ market. I decide early I wanted to make a nice nuno felt vest for myself. It doesn’t sound very hard thing to do but I never seem to make the time to make things for myself. It took a month to design the resist and find the time to do the felting and I ended up with a not very good-looking vest. As it turns out it was a good thing because it allowed me to become better friends with Linda as she helped me reshape it with her sewing skills. We went on to design jackets for ourselves this summer. I am still working on the jacket, hems on the sleeves and bottom and it needs some form of closure but I haven’t decided what yet.
I managed to try a couple of new shows to sell my work and expand my felting skills with the help from felting friends when we got together for our annual spring fun felting weekend.
One exiting thing that happened was being asked by Ruth to send some felt to her publisher to have its picture taken to be in her new book. So soon I will be able to say I’ve been published. Supporting Ruth while she wrote her book was a real pleasure and an eye opener as to what is involved in getting a book put together.
Starting the new blog and forum with friends from around the world has been fun and hectic as we decided to do this at the busiest time of the year. It really is amazing how the internet has made it possible meet like-minded people, make friends and take on projects with people you may never meet in person and otherwise wouldn’t have met at all. I feel very lucky indeed. Now I need to have a good long think about what I want to get done this coming year.
When we started working on this website/blog, one thing we were all really keen on was having interaction with likeminded people, sharing our enthusiasm for felt and fibres with others and helping each other out.
The website is a great way for us to share and connect with others, but it does have its limitations…So, we started working on building a forum. Now we have a place where we can have more interaction, where anyone can start topics, ask questions, get help and support from a wide community, share great photos, advice and info, meet friends and have fun!
We’d love it if you came and joined us at the Felting and Fiber Studio Forum, and shared your enthusiasm, curiosity, knowledge and photos. Whether your interests are felting, mixed media, spinning, weaving, freeform crochet or something we probably haven’t heard of and need to see, we’d love for you to be involved in our new community 🙂
To register, just follow the link at the bottom of this post, or click the Forum button in the side bar. Once you’ve registered, we just have to ‘approve’ you… don’t worry, it’s just a measure to keep spammers out 🙂