Sunday, 1 January 2017

Lethbridge Handicraft History

We are fortunate to have many opportunities in our community to engage with the tradition of creative making and craft.

Since 1951, when weaving became a popular activity in the Lethbridge Handicraft Guild of Weavers members practiced their art, taught others how to weave, and shared their pieces with the public through shows and sales.  Initially, 16 box looms were purchased from Eaton’s for everyone to use.  In 1954, Guild members saved labels from soup cans and when they turned their labels in to the Campbell Company they received $165 to purchase a floor loom. Local carpenters Dr. Frank Harper, Fred Russell and others also made looms.

Knowledgeable local artisans taught adults and children the art of weaving, spinning, and dying.  The Guild has always operated as a co-operative and owned all the looms which are set up with a common warp for all members to use.  Guild members work together to plan group projects bed coverlets, tea towels and place mats.  Historically, members signed up for a designated period to weave on a project then the next person continued on the same warp to make her or his piece.  The project would end when the warp reaches its end and then all the pieces are cut from the loom. 

In 2005 the Guild received international recognition from Interweave Press when it won the Fiberhearts Award for their unique plan to develop a mentorship program that continues to this day. 

As a destination for makers of all ages, the Galt Museum & Archives is reprising the Top 5 Family Programs of 2016 during from Tuesday, January 3 to Friday, January 7. With the support of the Green Acres Kiwanis Club of Lethbridge visitors can drop-in anytime between 1–4 pm.  Adults are to attend with children. Registration not required and includes exhibit access the Kids Celebrate! exhibit that closes on January 15, 2017.

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