So... moving forward... I've purchased several pairs of socks for the SOCKS FOR JAPAN project and was pleased to get more than I expected because GAP had them on sale and I had a gift certificate to use! WIN, WIN! The idea is to send socks for people living in the shelters in northern coastal Japan who have been through so much tragedy and include a personal note in each ziplocked bag pair. All socks are sent to an American man, Jason Kelly who lives in Sano, Japan and so far, has delivered over 10,448 pairs of socks to survivors in Ishinomaki and Onagawa in Miyagi Prefecture. He has thousands more to deliver. He writes about it in his blog. It's just one small way to help. We can't do everything... but we can do something!
In an effort to always keep learning... a couple weeks ago I had the pleasure of attending a SCAD (Savannah College of Art and Design) program on Mayan weaving. Beginning with an interesting lecture on Guatemalan Mayan handwoven clothing on Thursday night by expert anthropologist, Barbara Knoke de Arathoon, I spent Friday afternoon with Barbara and the Mayan weaver Nancy Tuche she had brought with her to teach students the technique. (I should mention that Barbara wore a beautiful white on white handwoven huipile from the district of Coban. It was such finely woven elegance! Unfortunately, I did not get a photo of it. On Friday she wore a brightly colored purple huipile while Nancy was clothed from head to foot in spectacular pieces that she had woven herself!)
The courtyard at Pepe Hall, SCAD's fiber department, was full of students and backstrap looms that had been pre-warped with a couple inches of supplementary weft designs. The looms were tied to the antique iron fence that surrounded the courtyard and students sat on chairs, not on the ground as typical. (Barbara explained that our American bodies aren't used to sitting for long periods of time on the ground.) Nancy patiently went from student to student showing them the process while Barbara translated. I tried whenever possible to be helpful explaining the process to students who were on the other side of the courtyard. As a special bonus we were all treated to delicious Guatemalan refreshments. This whole event was the idea of a SCAD student Leslie Nanne from Guatemala who arranged the entire activity with the Events Department staff.
Several Fiber Guild of the Savannahs members attended. We all ordered backstrap looms (only $26 for a 12" fully equipped backstrap loom and $36 for a 15" loom) We hope to have a day of exploring the weaving technique in the Fall at Oatland Island Wildlife Center. What fun! Here's a video that shows some of what happened that afternoon: