Saturday, January 14, 2012
Spinning & Weaving at the Multicultural Festival
Once a year I pack up my trunk and head down to the Chandler Multicultural Festival. I attend with my guild, the Telaraña Weavers and Spinners. This year I brought along a special guest, my son Wes. Wes does one service oriented project each month as part of his education. The festival provided a great opportunity to be out in the community, spending time with others and sharing our love of the arts, in this case fiber arts!
I should refer to Wes not as my guest, but my secret weapon. You see, I always take a bunch of wool and drop spindles to this event. I spread a blanket out on the ground and sit at kid level. I want them to know it's okay to touch and play. After all, there's no better way to pass on the joy of your craft than by teaching the next generation. When other kids saw my son sitting with a lap loom weaving, it really got their attention. I think it made them feel like it was okay to ask questions and try out the loom and spindles for themselves.
I spent a wonderful afternoon, surrounded by boys and girls and their parents. At one point I had two brothers and a sister all learning how to work drop spindles together. Whenever it was time for the kids to leave, I would unwind the yarn they had spun and give it to them as a little keepsake. So many people asked me if I teach classes. I don't have any official classes that I teach, but I gave them my card. If someone really wants to learn, I can't say no to that! There aren't many yarn shops or community centers that offer classes just for kids. It's a shame especially when you seen how interested they are.
It has been a fulfilling day of teaching and sharing. Days like this are rare treasures. Why can't every day be multicultural day?