Sometime early in the year 2006 – someone said "have you thought of the fact that we will
be 10 years old next year?" Nobody had. End of discussion.
Next time somebody else said the we could have an exhibition, or something. Just to show that we had existed for 10 years, you know. On the other hand – making exhibitions is hard work. And to find space for them... Not much more was said at that meeting, either.
In March we had thoughts about a touring exhibition. After all, a touring exhibition is not that much more work than for just one? Maybe we could dust off In the bower again?
At the AGM we discussed several ideas. When it was over, we had decided to have one exhibition in each of the 8 municiplities of our county during the year 2007. What to exhibit we still had to decide on.
In June we decided that the 8 exhibitions should be different, but all to be on the theme "party" – we did celebrate our 10-year anniversary, after all! We had found, and booked, locations: all municipalities had some sort of "exhibition hall" in or near a local library.
Now was the time to decide: which parties? We were agreed that is was important that the exhibits should be different, to show as many aspects of handweaving as possible. We decided on some preliminary names: winter party (with outerwear), masquerade (to accomodate all "wild ideas"), easter party, picnic, garden party, "twilight hour", New Year celebration.
Ad now it happened! Ideas started to crop up – rug with a ski track? Masks woven in
shape? Egg cartons? Serpentines?
At the next meeting we saw samples of the ski track rug, there was a "snowfall", a hula-hula skirt, several serpentine ideas... The egg carton apperaed (sorry – not a six-layer weave, it is sewn...), we had bananas and oranges from left-over upholstery fabric, a fruit bowl woven in one piecr (pulled warps)... And there were ideas, ideas and more ideas. Maybe one could make a pair of clown pants from a blanket (without cutting up the blanket!)? Two shawls could be sewn together for a dress! "I have a rug with waves – we could have one party on the beach?" The picnic was immediately placed on the beach – we could use a couple of our old room dividers as a bathing hut... and... and... At the moment of writing, we had no beach ball (as you know it "appeared" in time), but the parasol was halfway done.
The point of this little story is to show how ideas are born. How one word gives the next, how one idea follows the other – it gets to be a challenge to to think of something, not necessarily "wild", but at least something one has not done earlier. Especially if the something is what "they" (the non-weaving public) not normally would associate with handwoven...
An important side effect is that the group members gets to know each other better.
The risk is of course that it can be more difficult for new members to "join the
gang" – but probably that is compensated by the fact that all of us have become
more open. If you are open to wild ideas, you are probably open to new people.
As if that was not enough, all of us have learnt something new: used a new material, a new technique, learnt to sew, to build exhibitions.. And to find our way to all of the remote corners of our county!
Our guild, Vi KronobergsVävare, is one of the smallest guilds in the Swedish National Guild for Handweavers, with our 25 members. If we can make 8 exhibitions in one year – how many could one of the bigger guilds do?