CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Redwood Guild of Fiber Arts

At the guild meeting on September 3, 2014, the officers’ table was graced with a lovely bouquet to commemorate the guild’s 65th birthday. Redwood Empire Handweavers Guild was formed in 1949 by 7 women who wanted to continue studying after completing a two year weaving course taught by Esther Hudson at Santa Rosa Junior College. The guild has met continuously (September – June) since then, initially in members’ homes but, as we increased in numbers, in rental facilities in Santa Rosa.  Currently,we have over 100 members.

Spinning Day at the Farm

Spinning Day at the Farm.

 

Spinning Class after the meeting

Spinning  Workshop with Cecelia Quinn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the mid-80’s a group of spinners, The Rolhags, became part of the guild which was then renamed Redwood Empire Handweavers and Spinners Guild and in 2013 the name was changed to Redwood Guild of Fiber Arts to reflect and acknowledge the wide variety of textile craft interests of the membership.

We belong to Area 5 in CNCH,  the Conference of Northern California Handweavers.

Ginny Gill demonstrating at the County Fair

Ginny Gill demonstrating at the County Fair

 

 

Ann Keller demonstrating at the County Fair

Ann Keller helping a young weaver at the County Fair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Until the conferences grew so large and we had to confine ourselves to one or two main venues we met and set up in such places as Ukiah, Modesto, Sacramento, San Jose, Santa Rosa, Monterey, San Rafael, Chico. In the 70’s and 80’s each guild was responsible for setting up a booth to exhibit our wares. Ribbons were awarded for Best Use of Theme, Best Use of Color, Best Use of Space. We were the proud recipient of more than one ribbon over the years.

 

Outreach at Sonoma County Harvest Festival

Outreach at Sonoma County Harvest Festival

Setting up Fiber Arts display at the Library

Setting up Fiber Arts display at the Library

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Outreach to the community has always been part of our mission. For several years we put on luncheons at style shows with drawings for different fiber related prizes.  One year we packed up our gear and demonstrated weaving and spinning at the long-gone Emporium in downtown San Francisco.  We had exhibits at the Santa Rosa Library and occasionally a show and sale in an empty store front.  We participate in the Sonoma County Fair with a display booth and demos. We also visit (private) schools to show children the art and craft of handmade textiles. And we are active attendees at Convergences.

One day's work for the Natural Dyeing Group

One day’s work for the Natural Dyeing Group

Judith Ashley and Cecelia Christensen mind the dye pots

Judith Ashley and Cecelia Christensen mind the dye pots

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our meetings generally feature a speaker of special fiber skills with, occasionally,  a workshop following and at times we benefit from the expertise of our own members.  At holiday time we have a potluck luncheon with a silent auction to raise money for, among other things, our programs.

Field trip to Elk, CA to visit a handwoven rug studio

Field trip to Elk, CA to visit a handwoven rug studio

 

Making Valentines using an iris paperfolding technique after our January meeting

Making Valentines using an iris paperfolding technique after our January meeting

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In the 65 years this guild has existed members have passed on, moved on, found other interests and yet our group keeps up a steady flow of comings and goings with fresh ideas and new energies as well as the wisdom of age and experience.

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