Friday, October 5, 2012

Weaving and Compassion

Dyed warps by Wendy Hayden
The theme of Craft and Compassion in a recent issue of Hand/Eye magazine turned my thoughts  to Ghandi. He wasn't just an inspiration as a leader, but as a person.  His decision to lead in a nonviolent and  non aggressive manner is inspiring and, with the state of the world as it is, and the ever widening mores of our times, I find that to lead ones life that way takes an extraordinary amount of courage. To choose not to strike, whether physically or verbally, when one feels another has wronged you, is not an act of cowardice, but an act of defiance and bravery. Within it the hope that you and I and all of us can communicate with each other in a way that shows regard for each other, and find ourselves in situations where we feel included, not excluded; respected not rejected, embraced, not disgraced, supported, not discouraged. Ghandi spent much of his life trying to free India from the domination of the British. It is a struggle that still plays out in our own ordinary and everyday lives: countries, corporations and organizations try to dominate, control, coerce simply to sustain the illusion of supremacy, superiority, authority through submission, humiliation and surrender. So much of our world is about power over others, and not about empowering others and helping others to empower themselves. More and more, people are finding the courage and the compassion to live a life that brings well being to their spirit, soul, body, and heart, as well as to others.  This blog is about celebrating that, and making the world a better place for others, and not just oneself. Below a link to the magazine:
Hand Eye Magazine on Craft and Compassion:

Dyed warp by Wendy Hayden

Speaking of compassion, there are a number of people registered in the weaving class that are involved in activities that improve the quality of life for others and empowers them. Barb Aikman, is a Master Spinner, presently taking  classes at the Toronto Weaving School, and she assists 'homeless' women with assorted issues, to weave products that will then be sold. All proceeds for these products go directly to the women who are weaving them. Go to the website to learn more about this amazing organziation. It brings to mind the saying by Ghandi "Be the change you want to see in the world".

Kathy Fletcher who has been taking our weaving classes volunteers at Peace Ranch. To learn more about the organization go to  "My life is my message." (Ghandi)

Dyed warps by Wendy Hayden.
In the spring, we learned how to dye yarns using procion dyes. These kinds of dyes are good for plant fibres such as rayon, bamboo, soy, tencel and cotton. I'm planning to offer you the opportunity to participate in other dye workshops over the course of time. We'll have guest instructors and it may be at different location than where we usually have the weaving classes.

I met a number of weavers over the course of the summer, and two of the weavers I met were Christine Shipley and Ann Harrison. Christine teaches weaving in Scarborough at Cedar Ridge through the City of Toronto Parks and Recreation programs. She will be part of a group show at Cedar Ridge and here is the invitation.
Christine showed me this odd 'tool' that she found packed into this mailing tube. The post mark reads 1948. The item was sent from Peter Collingwood to a Mrs. A. H. Crighton in Pickering. She was in her time, considered to be a Master Weaver and when she died her husband, Arthur, started weaving too. When his time came to pass, he had made arrangements to leave all his equipment to the Treadle Trompers in Markham. None of us are 100% sure what the tool was used for and it certainly looks like anyone could have made one from a coat hanger, but I wager Christine could a pretty penny for this historical weaving item on ebay (USA)!
From past and present students:
Laura Dymock sends us this YouTube video on a Navajo Ute First Phase Blanket
Velma Devine from Aurora, herself a masterful spinner, weaver and knitter, sent me this info of small producers of specialty fibres:
cottage craft angora
Muskox & Buffalo yarns
368 rang 14, Adstock
Quebec, Canada
G0N 1S0
418-422 2308 & 422-5708

Sericin Silkworks
124 Erb St. W.
Waterloo, Ontario
N2L 1T5
Donna Kim from Edge of Your Seat was enthralled by this music she heard on CBC radio - "Affairs of the Heart" by Marjan Mozetich

Neil Brochu was inspired by these weaving links:

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