What an extraordinary few weeks the Durham Guild has had! We have experiences some awe inspiring activities and there is still more on the horizon!
To start with, on the 21st April we were treated to an amazing talk by Sue Hufton about her experiences and work in Calligraphy. She brought along a huge collection of items for us to see and we were all stunned by the quality and quantity of her work. What an amazing talent she is!
Sue works with a variety of materials; paper, cloth, stone, vellum…..and uses different mediums including stitching. The detail is mind boggling, and what patience she must have. Superb!
The hand painted lettering in her work is exquisite – do take a look at her online gallery of work http://www.susanhufton.co.uk/ .
The works are stunning in the photographs, but to see the pieces close up in person took our breath away. Sue furnished us with humorous and intriguing tales of her working life. What a wonderful gift to the world Sue has given with her masterpieces. Oh to be so talented!!
The following weekend there were quite a number of us at the Maker Faire at the Centre for Life in Newcastle.
We spent the Friday afternoon setting up our stall with anticipation – our display of goods looks impressive, especially when compared to other stands nearby. We were tucked into the corner of the “Dark Zone”! We expanded into the room as much as we dared as we had so much to show the visitors. And, more importantly to all of us, we wanted the children visiting to have a hands on experience. We had peg looms, weaving sticks and wet felting set up and ready to go.
Doors opened at 10am on Saturday morning with an expected footfall of 10k over the weekend. I think that at one point the Dark Zone must have held at least half of those 10k!!
Some of the children who tried some fibre crafts came back time and time again. Some even tried the spinning wheels and lots of people got very involved. The stand was a hive of activity and we were all pretty tired on Saturday evening. Some of our members stayed for the Chilli dinner provided by the centre for Makers.
Sunday felt like a “rewind and repeat” with so many visitors, and again so many of the children came back. Including one little boy who made at least 4 pieces of weaving – his mum ended up buying one of the peg looms for him! He stayed till the very last minute before heading off for his train back home to Liverpool and I am pretty sure that loom was used during his train journey!! What a lovely, charming young man who really got the bug for fibre craft. His mother promised to email us some photos of his products – can’t wait to see his work and fully expect to see him as a fibre artist in the future.
All our guild members taking part thoroughly enjoyed the experience, even if it was a bit exhausting. We felt that if we had inspired just one person to take up fibre crafts, or helped just one person keep the traditional crafts alive then the weekend was worth it!
We gave out lots of leaflets, bookmarks and information so we are hoping to meet folk at our next guild gathering and our Open Weaving Day in September.
Wow, Durham Guild!!! Wow!!
Oh…..and before I forget…….we won two awards for our stall and for our interaction with the public in the hands-on experiences we offered!