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

The Humboldt Weavers and Spinners Guild

HHSG members at their yearly Roc Day Celebration

HHSG members at their yearly Roc Day Celebration

Humboldt Handweavers started in 1971 and was incorporated as a nonprofit (501c7) in 1973.  Founding members Henrietta Chizzola and Dorothy Bartlett came together to share information and enthusiasm for hand weaving and hand spinning.  The guild purchased their first loom in 1973 and held their first of many fashion shows in 1975.

Humboldt State University had weaving and spinning classes.  The wonderful teacher hosted many guild meetings and eased students into the guild.  Of course the meetings were inspiring, with books to peruse, show and tell plus textile programs provided by the members.

The guild sponsored workshops and continues to this day to bring great teachers to our area of Northern California.  Our long list of workshops include: Bolivian Band Weaving, Weighted Warps, Ikat, Sewing with Handwovens, Rug Hooking, Woven Shibori, Archeological Textiles, Spinning Worsted Yarn, Charka Spinning, Silk Papermaking, Acadian Weaving, Modular Clothing & Embellishments, Warp Painting, Felt Hat making, Warping Back to Front, Lace Weaves, Moorman Inlay, Exploration of Double Weaves, Overshot Weaves, Synthetic & Natural Dyeing, Silk Marbling and Silk Painting, Rug Weaving, Photographing & Presenting Fiber Art, Sewing Vests, Variegated Dyeing Techniques, Designing Garments with Handwoven Fabrics, 4 Harness Weave Structures, Rep Weave, Back Strap Weaving, Card Weaving and Using Weavepoint software.

We have had study groups within the guild explore weave structures and gather to spin or work on portable projects.  There has also been group weaving exchanges or raffle projects over the years.  The guild has been an active member of CNCH since 1977. Members planned group exhibits, participated in fashion shows and enjoyed the classes and camaraderie during the CNCH conferences.

Our membership now averages about 80. The number of members and range of activities have varied over the years since 1971 with the organization always having an active membership and regular meetings.

In 1984 Humboldt Handweavers added & Spinners Guild to our name to better reflect member’s interests. We had a lot of members with angora bunnies in the 80’s!

We are very proud of the Guild archives which includes a photo scrapbook with a handwoven fabric cover from the 70’s, meeting notes, photos, fashion show documents and our newsletters which started in 1983.  We even have videos of our last two fashion shows from the 90’s. We added a guild website in 2009 to keep up with technology.  Our facebook page followed soon after.

We actively promote the fiber arts in our community. Our meeting are open to the public with a great variety of fiber related lectures or hands-on programs. Every August we have a display and demonstration area during the Humboldt County Fair.

Linda Hartshorn, Sandra Kernan and Connie Anderholm demonstrating at the Humboldt Count Fair in 2013.

Linda Hartshorn, Sandra Kernan and Connie Anderholm demonstrating at the Humboldt Count Fair in 2013.

2015 Fair display and the current warp

2015 Fair display and the current warp

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have members spinning or weaving at the fair for all ten days and end the event with a group sheep to shawl demonstration on the final day of the fair. We are able to sell our dyed scarves and donated creations at the fair as our group fundraising project for the guild. The guild provides fair fiber related cash awards and a yearly scholarship to provide local artistic support.

2016 -dye day- Paula Rhude and Maggie Ramsey

2016 -dye day- Paula Rhude and Maggie Ramsey

 

Dyed scarves 2014.

Dyed scarves 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2016 Sheep to Shawl- Rebecca Salstrom, Ben Cohoon and Debra Pecaut are preparing to card fiber

2016 Sheep to Shawl- Rebecca Salstrom, Ben Cohoon and Debra Pecaut are preparing to card fiber

Members also provide demonstrations sporadically at local schools or other venues such as the Creamery Art District. Long ago, demonstrations were provided at the Redwood Acres Fair, the North Country Fair and even in a local Co-op store. The guild was honored to win the FiberHearts award which included a table loom in 2006. The award was received from Handwoven Magazine due to our history of demonstrating for the public.

Yearly, in September we host a Fiber Circle gathering area within the Natural Fiber Fair event that is held at the Arcata Community Center. The Natural Fiber Fair has workshops, demonstrations, vendors and displays during the weekend fair. The Fiber Circle is a great place to bring your portable projects, relax, check out the fiber display, inspect the guild shawls, visit, learn something & eat cookies!

2015 display of scarves at the Natural Fiber Fair

2015 display of scarves at the Natural Fiber Fair

Our meetings have been held in Eureka for many years. We used to share space at The Ink People Weaving Studio. The looms from Humboldt State University were eventually given to The Ink People after the weaving & textile programs at HSU were eliminated in 1986. Weaving classes continued and it was always fun to see all the projects the weavers were creating.
Sadly, the building was damaged by an earthquake in 2010 and the art and studio spaces were lost. The looms were moved to Winship School temporarily and classes continued. The looms have been in storage since June of 2013, waiting for a functional & affordable teaching space.
The members of the Guild are hopeful the looms will find a home and classes can begin again!

Our group meetings are now held at the Wharfinger Building – Bay Room in Eureka.
We have dye sessions and retreats during the summer as additional great gatherings at member’s homes. We rotate between dyeing scarves, yarn or fiber and using natural or chemical dyes.
Eco printing has been a recent addition. We have an annual pot luck and crazy gift exchange in early January to celebrate Roc Day. It’s great to start a new year with friends and fiber!

 

Websites: hhsguild.org https://www.facebook.com/humboldthandweaversandspinnersguild

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