Room with a Loom

“Some people dream of living in a world without work. But the better dream,” Verlyn Klinkenborg writes, “is that of a world in which everyone has the work he wants.”

When I learned to weave in 9th grade art class and I knew it was the work I wanted. My dream did not become a reality—but weaving is my avocation, a subject I have passionately pursued for many years and which lead, in a serendipitous way, to the textile art I explore in my studio practice today.

8-shaft Schacht loom
My loom in one of its rooms • ©2011 Jennifer Libby Fay

Since medieval times weavers have organized as guilds and this, albeit much changed, association continues to this day. Northern California has a thriving community of weavers, spinners, basketmakers, dyers, and all manner of fiber artists that work hard to further the art and craft of their chosen work. Twenty-one of the area’s guilds belong to the Conference of Northern California Handweavers (CNCH), an organization whose “focus is always to promote the education and the appreciation of the fiber arts.”  In addition, CNCH sponsors an annual conference and produces an online quarterly publication (CNCHnet).”

I have the good fortune to belong to the Tamalpais Textile Arts Guild which meets every month, usually hosts a speaker or workshop, and provides a place for like mined enthusiasts to share their projects and ask questions. A highlight of our guild year is an annual retreat held at the beautiful Bishop’s ranch in Healdsburg. It was at this event that I met CNCHnet editor, Judy Fisher, who asked me to write a personal essay for the Spring/Summer issue of our regional newsletter.

If you are interested in reading about the travels of my loom the link is here:  Room with a Loom

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