Fibers Through Time 2012 is a conference held every two years by the Arizona Federation of Weavers and Spinners. It is mainly comprised of workshops addressing various fiber arts (weaving, spinning, tapestry, basket weaving, among others), which are held over a three day period. Having recently transplanted from California, this was the first time I attended this conference. Typically I don’t sign up for workshops where I have to cart a loom or spinning wheel around since mine aren’t portable. And there is always some other fiber art that has cross-over applications. So the workshop I attended was Kumihimo – A Gathering of Threads. Our teacher was Linda Germain.
There were eight students total – Connie, Jacquie, Jean, Rita, Judy, Helen, Sandy and me. We all had such a good time! Linda is a great instructor, and made sure everyone had grasped the concept before jumping to the next step. Mistakes were fixed, helpful hints provided, and everyone was able to finish their projects.
The first day we learned the basics, and created 3 samples each. We also started on our braid-in-a-braid necklace, by choosing 3 colors and an 8 strand pattern. Thirty (30) inches needed to be completed for class the next day, so we worked feverishly – some of us finishing the last inches as “homework” after class. This class was such a joy and the time flew by – everyone clicked. It didn’t take too long for us to be joking and prodding our way through class. “I think I’m going crazy.” “Well, I’ve been there and back again – is there anything I can help you with?” is a sample of the fun exchanges during the class.
And what a lot of talent. I am always amazed on how a core sample of tools and supplies inspires so many different combinations and approaches from people learning as a group. Of course Linda provided a lot of inspiration from all her samples – quite impressive work!
The second day we learned the mysteries behind braiding within a braid, and completed our necklaces, endcaps and all. Excess cords serve as a visual to our notated patterns. In the afternoon we designed and completed bracelets.
On the last day we learned Anda Gumi, which is the flat braiding version, and can also be executed on a marudai. I will not even attempt to explain any of this process! There are plenty of sources online, as well as local stores that sponsor classes.
Note: Apologies for the poor quality on some of the pictures – not my metiere!