Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Wild and Rare Fibers

Last night was our live video conference with the Jawaja artisans - it was a pivotal event but before we get to that post we need to catch up on a couple of lecture reviews.

Wild Fibres
Linda Cortright

On Thursday October 22, Linda Cortright gave her lecture Wild Fibers. Linda focused on cashmere goats and her travels to the Himalayas. She gave wonderful detail on some of the social aspects of the animals - few of us knew that goats were kept from freezing to death through the addition of sheep to the flock. Linda also told us everything we wanted to know about the fibers themselves - down to the width in microns. She talked about her travels generally, about offers of live goats to take home, about how many cups of butter tea she could drink to be hospitable and about how to stay warm in the desperate cold. Linda also explaned how she started Wild Fibers magazine - the very first issue of which focused on qiviuk - the subject of the next evenings lecture ...




Working Across Hemispheres: Arctic Fibre and Peruvian Weaves
Fernando Alvarez

On Friday the 23rd the hall was filled again to hear from Fernando Alvares. Fernando was born in Peru, moved to Canada, and saw an opportunity to interact with the Inuit to collect the downy underhairs of the Arctic musk ox known as Qiviuk. These he took back to peru where he met with traditional Andean spinners and knitters to spin the fiber (sometimes in combination with guanaco and vicuña). During the question and answer period Fernando introduced Marcelina Charri and Maria Lima who travelled from Peru to teach their workshop. The audience asked: given how many fibers the women had worked with, which was their favourite? The answer without hesitation - qiviuk.



Warped up ...

Tonight Elizabeth Barber delivers her lecture - Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years. (sold out) and tomorrow night we are pleased to present Bridging Cultures Through Design: The Importance of Place with Mimi Robinson.

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