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
And another snow sculpture
I’ve been busy with fingerweaving workshops and demonstrations:
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
More photos from that visit to a local school:
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.
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.
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.
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’.
Photos thanks to the students of Bruce Middle School.