SURREY — Remember when everything was made by hand, and lanterns lit up the dark? Of course you don’t. We live in Tesla’s world of electricity and its benefits. Clothing and its fabric is made in monster factories, and if we need light or power for those factories, we flip a switch. I don’t disparage all our mod cons, but it’s nice to know some people are preserving the skills and techniques of the made-by-hand product. Now we call them fibre artists.
Peace Arch Weavers and Spinners Guild, founded in 1966, is one of the many guilds that preserves and promotes the art of weaving and spinning. Home base is at the Surrey Archives building, at 17710 56A Ave., Cloverdale. Guild members pride themselves on excellence of work and often offer workshops and demonstrations to the community. There are monthly meetings for interested weavers and knitters. Catch a demo at Semiahmoo Library on Tuesday, Sept. 20, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. The day and time probably limits the number of people who can attend. Ah well, this demonstration is just to advertise their big event of the year, Fibre Flare.
Imagine starting with a sheep, getting the wool “carded,” spinning it out into continuous thread, then weaving the thread into a fabric. That’s the simple explanation. Go see the demo if you can, and mark Fibre Flare on your calendar, on Nov. 4 and 5 at South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre. There will be felted, handwoven, handspun and basketry products from local artists all on sale. In the meantime, visit Peace-arch-weavers-and-spinners.org for news about current workshops.
Meantime, Surrey Art Gallery invites everyone to a creative, fun, family and free evening of art-making, on Friday Sept. 30 from 8 to 11 p.m. It’s called inFlux, and you can participate in making origami lanterns (might need this skill if the power goes out), selfie boxes, and other wacky electronic contraptions. So here we are the modern technology with a hands-on experience. Perfect.
Jay Bundy Johnson’s sound mural of deconstructed consumer products is on display in the gallery’s TechLab, offering inspiration for the electronic gadget you get to make with the help of the artist himself. If you opt to make a giant origami lantern under the guidance of internationally-known origami artist Joseph Wu, you can light up the night with it later at the beautiful Bear Creek Garden Light Festival on Oct. 18. High-tech or ancient skills, it’s your choice.