Weavers Guild of Buffalo
By Carol S. Wolf
I think we all have been looking forward to May. Warmer weather and summer is coming. The month of May has some interesting holidays.
May 1– May Day, World Lyme Day
May 2– Holocaust Remembrance Day, National Day of Prayer
May 3– Saint James & Saint Philip Day, World Press Freedom
May 4– Kentucky Derby, Star Wars Day
May 5– Cinco De May, World Laughter Day
May 6– Start of Ramadan
May 7– National Teacher Day, World Asthma Day
May 8– Yom Hazikaron (Israel)
May 9– Yom HaAtzma’ut (Israel)
May 10– Military Spouse Appreciation Day
May 12– Mother’s Day
May 15– National Chocolate Chip Day
May 17– Norwegian Independence Day
May 18– Armed Forces Day
May 19– Billboard Awards
May 20– National Rescue Dog Day
May 22– International Biological Diversity, World Goth Day
May 23– World Turtle Day
May 24– National Brother Day, Red Nose Day
May 25– National Wine Day
May 27– Memorial Day
May 28– National Burger Day
May 30– Ascension, World MS Day, World Otter Day
May 31– World No Tobacco Day
May’s observance is also National Bike Month, National Physical Fitness and Sports, National Mental Health Awareness, Lupus Awareness, and Lyme Disease Awareness month.
When I was at the Amherst Senior Center, someone handed me the flyer for the Weavers’ Guild of Buffalo, described as “A network of individuals who come together to exchange energies, information, and philosophies about weaving and other fiber-related arts for the purpose of keeping a craft we care about alive, as well as sharing it with others.”
I had never heard of this group and thought maybe some of you reading this might be interested. I called the President, Karen Modlich, and set a time to meet her and member Mary Jo LaClair.
I asked Karen to tell me about herself and how she got involved with the Weavers’ Guild.
She said, “I joined the Weavers Guild in 2005. One of my co-workers would bring in her woven scarves and other items to show us. I was totally dazzled by how beautiful they were. She invited me to come with her. I started going with her, became a member, and have been going ever since.”
I asked her what she weaves. Karen said, “I weave a whole variety of items and many for gifts, from baby blankets to scarves to wall hangings and tapestries. There are many different kinds of fabric- silk, wool, etc. You have to have a loom to weave everything and you have to have accurate thread count. You have to thread the wire strings and other fabrics through the reeds. You can weave with bamboo, cotton, and all kinds of threads and make something of it. Weaving can be done with sticks or anything.”
Karen told me they have a variety of programs. She said, “We have lectures from people who tell us what they are doing and how and what they are creating. We had a man who talked to us about using hemp products. We have basket workshops, weaving, and we do baby blankets, scarves, towels, all kinds of things.”
She also told me about the many exhibits they are having in WNY. She shared that they have been invited to various places since it is their 50th anniversary. They have an anniversary exhibition at Fox Run’s Higgins Art Gallery, One Fox Run Lane, Orchard Park, NY 14127 called Golden Web: A Creative Textile Exhibit, running from March 3-May 30.
Member Mary Jo then told me about a very complicated piece that was designed based on Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.
When they start in the fall, they usually do a potluck supper and then a show-and-tell to display the works that people have made over the summer. They do felting and knitting as well as lectures and a three-day workshop.
In the spring, they do an exchange where they pick a pattern, make four towels, and then exchange at their picnic. In the winter, they hold a spinner challenge. Mary Jo said, “We pick a fabric and make something. You can even weave with wire. Some of our members have done wire weaving. You can weave with many items.”
The history of the Weavers’ Guild of Buffalo began at the YWCA in 1956 when Laura Hutton served as the teacher of small craft classes. In 1968, the Weavers’ Guild met there for the first time with 19 charter members. In 1971, membership was limited to 25, and only by invitation, but the following year it was opened to anyone interested in weaving. The first exhibit was hung in 1972 at the Erie County Savings Bank as “Fiber to Fabric, An Educational Exhibit of Weaving.”
After a variety of meeting locations, the Guild moved to the Amherst Museum in 1995, which is now the Buffalo Niagara Heritage Village.
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|Carol Wolf is a writer, speaker, storyteller, and leader of workshops and retreats. She is retired from 35 years in health care administration and co-hosts a TV show called Challenge for the 21st Century for the Network of Religious Communities. She is the author of Journey into Prayer and Biblical Storytelling in Youth Ministry. She has been married to Dick for 58 years and they have two sons, four grandchildren, and one great-grandson.|
Carol wrote this book as part of her two year Master's program in the Academy for Biblical Storytellers. It has just been published and is available for $10.00. Carol is an author, speaker and leader of workshops meditations and conference.
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