Listening to my new CD Out in the Storm, as I type…
I cranked up CBC radio on my drive north on Highway 2. Fen, of the Custom Woolen Mills, had asked us to bring our own bowl, plate and cutlery, (I forgot) so I stopped off at the WIN store on the way. For five dollars, I left with a finely crafted porcelain plate, a hippie bowl, a crystal wine goblet and three pieces of silver, a fork, knife and spoon. Then I was on my way.
Artist, Megan Samms, was celebrating the conclusion of this past summer’s artist-in-residency program with an exhibition of her hand crafted textiles.
These next two photographs, shared by Wendy Lees. Megan explained that her patterns here, were patterns almost contemporary with the equipment found in the mill.
In the front of the mill, Shibori dying was undergo,
(The following Shibori Photographs taken by the world’s greatest connector, Wendy Lees)
…potluck feast was being munched upon
(Dancing Goat Cheese promoted by both Wendy and myself…photos to her credit)
…and fantastic music provided by Ruth Purves Smith and Dave Holloway and Brian Sovereign was pumping up the large group that was happily in attendance.
I guess when I step into that world…and I wish that I did it more often, I am overcome with a sense of history, industry and family. Some of the equipment is stuff that I grew up with in the Magrath Wool Card and Spinning Mill, but I realized only last night, that I really didn’t ever take a good look. Last night I did. With dates of manufacture going back to the late 1800s and the places as far away as Massachusetts and Philadelphia, a person can only feel in awe.
Click any of the images below in order to see them larger.
That feeling of amazement transferred into my conversation with Megan, as well. I thanked her for learning and keeping alive, the hand made craft and industry of textile creation. In a world of manufacturing, it is good to remember what the hands can do, along with some very primitive, but dependable pieces of equipment.
Thank you to Fen, for the invitation. Thanks to the mill staff who made the mill look so absolutely beautiful for last night’s event. Everything in the place showed a special touch. As per usual, when I write of such things, at the keyboard, the morning after such magic, I weep, warm tears of gratitude. Thanks, for the music, Ruth. The very first song, for the children. There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea! As an military family, traversing this great country so many times, my mother and father’s voices lifted together and made the miles around Lake Superior go quicker, singing our road songs. And this one…one of the entertaining ones. Who wouldn’t want to learn all those words?
I hope that my readers will connect with Megan’s work. I hope that you will listen to Ruth’s Music. And most of all, before winter passes, I hope you will head up to the Custom Woolen Mills and stock up on warm goods and supplies for your own hand making.
Thanks, Wendy, for sharing the drive through the light of a full moon, fog, and conversation.
I have so many photographs this morning, that I really don’t know how to present them. My children have told me no one reads this blog (wrong), so, it’s irrelevant, I guess. This, more a journal of the magic of my life, than anything else.