Archive for February, 2009

Festival du Voyageur 2009

February 22, 2009

Once again the Sashweaver attended the St Boniface, Winnipeg annual winter celebration, the Festival du Voyageur. The sash, an important article of clothing for the men who transported trade goods into and out of the Great White North in the days of the Fur Trade, the sash still holds significance to Canadians.
Snow sculptures at the entrance to Voyageur Festival Park depict voyageurs portaging their canoe, and the voyageurs always wear a sash

snow sculpture at the entrance to voyageur park

snow sculpture at the entrance to voyageur park

And another snow sculpture

Another snow sculpture, carved from a giant block of snow

Another snow sculpture, carved from a giant block of snow

I’ve been busy with fingerweaving workshops and demonstrations:

Basic fingerweaving workshop, participants create a 'friendship bracelet"

Basic fingerweaving workshop, participants create a 'friendship bracelet"

Stationed in the temporary museum at Festival Park, I talk with the public about weaving and other skills commonly practiced in the early 1800’s

weaving at Festival du Voyageur

weaving at Festival du Voyageur

Simple set up for illustrating the basic structure and technique

Simple set up for illustrating the basic structure and technique

Satisfied customers

Special order loomwoven sash

Special order loomwoven sash

sash specially woven for a re-inactor who depicts Métis life

sash specially woven for a re-inactor who depicts Métis life

Special order loomwoven sash

More school pictures

February 18, 2009

More photos from that visit to a local school:

students learn about weaving

students learn about weaving

Carol works with a student

Carol works with a student

student weaving

student weaving

February Workshops

February 7, 2009

The Winnipeg Public Library requested a series of workshops for interested members of the public. The first one was held on Thursday, Feb 5. In two hours, participants mastered the basic technique, and learned to finish off with a fringe.

Participants at the St Boniface Library workshop

Participants at the St Boniface Library workshop

The workshop will be repeated Saturday, Feb 7 and a third time on Saturday March 14.
Local schools who have invited me for the month include École Saint-Joachim, École Héritage Immersion, Viscount Alexandre, John Taylor Collegiate and École Sainte-Anne Immersion. The University of Winnipeg, Materials Culture Class will host me on Friday the 13th where I’ll talk about distinguishing loom woven from fingerwoven.

On Louis Riel Day, Febr 16, I’ll give a fingerweaving workshop in Maison Chaboillez, inside the Festival du Voyageur park.

Spring Travel

February 2, 2009

I will be attending the Society for Arts in Healthcare annual convention in Buffalo in late April. It occurs to me that the Great Lakes Region was a hotbed of fingerweaving two hundred years ago. I’m scouting out possibilities of visiting sashes in collections along the way. Already I’ve contacted the Royal Ontario in Toronto, Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls, Rochester Museum and Science Center in Rochester, and the Buffalo and Erie County Historical Society. I’m still in the planning stages, but have to firm up plans soon. At present I’m still open to suggestions for places with interesting sash collections, fingerweaving and sprang.

School Visit

February 2, 2009

Bruce Middle School hosted me last week. I brought along my display of sashes to help explain the variety of patterns.

Students then were given the opportunity to practice the basic method in fingerweaving, each creating for him/herself a ‘wrist sash’.

students learning the basics of fingerweaving

students learning the basics of fingerweaving

I brought along fingerwoven sashes

I brought along fingerwoven sashes

Photos thanks to the students of Bruce Middle School.