Dorset Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers
Special Exhibition for Dorset Arts and Crafts Exhibition 2011
Our County - Coast to Countryside
Each year the Dorset Arts and Crafts Association holds an exhibition at Bovington and this year the Dorset Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers was invited to create a special exhibition, which they entitled 'Our County - Coast to Countryside'. It was not just a display of items made using the Guild crafts but an interpretation of the beautiful county of Dorset created through the three crafts of the Guild: weaving, spinning and dyeing.
Many members contributed to making this exhibition a success, whether by producing the items, demonstrating or stewarding at the exhibition, but Pene Blogg, Sally Mottram and Annabel Wilson deserve special praise for creating the actual displays. A great deal of imagination, artistry and hard work went into producing a stunning result. In addition, within the exhibition Kath Sanderson and June Chessell set up their own beautiful display about the rare breed of Portland Sheep.
Briefly the exhibition was divided into two sections - wild and natural Dorset, and cultivated Dorset: man's interaction with his surroundings. Starting with natural Dorset, three of the seasons were represented by items of clothing and soft furnishing, which were chosen for their colour and texture. The Jurassic Coast came alive with fossils and the harbour scene showed pebbles, lobsters, seagulls and fish all made with hand-spun wool or hand-dyed fleece. Moving across to cultivated Dorset there was a lovely beach scene, two colourful deckchairs and a real feast of knitted sandwiches, cakes, pizzas and fruit. There were informative displays on natural dyes and weaving with linen. Nora Webb displayed her smock for which she spun the yarn, wove the linen, made up the smock and decorated it with Dorset Feather Stitch and Dorset Buttons - it was exquisite work!
The Coastal Jacket, created by the Blackmore Vale Group of Spinners and designed and knitted by Marilyn Chown, was truly inspirational and a real centrepiece for the exhibition. Created from start to finish in a matter of just under two months, it was a fine example of how teamwork can operate really effectively.
In addition to the special exhibition two Guild members were prizewinners in the main Dorset Arts and Crafts Association exhibition, most notably Mildred Cox, who this year won the Champion of Champions Award. Last year Mildred won The Lucas Challenge Cup for Weaving and so was eligible to submit another piece of weaving this year, which was judged with all the other prizewinners from last year. Kath Sanderson won The Hallet Challenge Rose Bowl for her knitted shawl made from hand-spun yarn.
There was a most fitting tribute to Joan Nicholls, a member who died earlier in the year, in the entrance hall, set up by her family. It showed examples of all the crafts that Joan was skilled in, and there were many! In all she strived for perfection and achieved it.
Please click here to see a review and photos of our FibreFocus exhibition at Sturminster Newton in 2010.