I traveled with my Good Buddy, Pat Williams, to Asheville last weekend for a meeting of Tapestry Weavers South. On the way to the city we first made a stop at SAFF (Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair) so that I could pick up a loom bench I'd ordered some time ago from master craftsman, Walt Turpening. Here's Walt in his booth with a demo underway, telling a visitor about his process:
And, here I am, proudly sitting on MY bench. Walt has a formula for calculating the right height of loom bench for individuals. It is based on one's lower leg length, the height of treadles of one's loom, the breast beam height, and one's elbow distance to a seat. How in the world he uses those numbers to arrive at the best height for a loom bench for a person is beyond me! But this is the second bench I've had him do (the first one was for a different loom) and I know it works. I'm looking forward to using my new bench with my Macomber loom sometime in the near future.
Later in the evening about a dozen of us met for dinner at a local restaurant. The next morning, Betty Hilton-Nash invited us to her house for brunch where she laid out lots of goodies... unfortunately, we'd filled up our plates one or two times before I thought to photograph the spread. It was all yummy, to be sure.
We had nice conversations among those who came to brunch... I didn't get photos of everyone, sorry folks... but here are a couple:
The current membership of TWS is around 80, according to the membership chairperson! It's wonderful to hear that. The inkling of an idea for a regional group that began in the fall of 1996 has blossomed through the years. In fact, during the meeting we talked about how we will celebrate the 20th anniversary in 2016. We had a lovely members' retreat, mini-workshop and informal clothes-pin exhiit for the 10th anniversary at the same place where the initial meeting 1996 was held.
Although the group is called Tapestry Weavers South, membership is open to anyone, anywhere. Annual meetings, workshops and/or retreats have been goals of the organization from the beginning, as has staging tapestry exhibitions. Add a newsletter (now online) and a website and you'll see that this quite an active group--and all things that happen are done through volunteer efforts.
Support, fellowship, networking... all those and more are valuable benefits of getting together with like-minded folks! TWS members--THANKS!