Research travel yarns…

I had the pleasure of visiting the Norfolk Arts Centre this week in preparation for an upcoming exhibition and research project that will take place in the fall of 2016. The current exhibition at the NAC includes an exhibition that celebrates the 30th year of Norfolk’s Own Needle Arts Guild. On display was a wide variety of needle based craftworks.


Upper Gallery exhibition Space at Norfolk Arts Center.

I was fascinated with the many forms of needle work in the exhibition, however I was taken by sculptural qualities of Kim Smit’s Entrelac Pot made of felted wool from the Andes.


Kim Smit, Entrelac Pot. Design, Melanie Smit.

After viewing the exhibition at the NAC, I visited with members of the Norfolk Fibre Arts Guild at their studio, located in the Backus Heritage Conservation Area.

Backus Heritage Conservation Area

Backus Heritage Conservation Area. Location of the Norfolk Fibre Arts Guild studio.

I presented images of my work to the Norfolk Fibre Arts Guild and there was much discussion about craft and the fine art world. I learned a lot of weaving techniques on and off loom that will be valuable in my practice. I also learned some historic information about early fibre use in Canada and Norfolk County. I didn’t get a chance to take any photos of the Guild’s studio or looms at Backus (bad Andrew), mainly because of the lively discussions, demonstrations and information sharing.  I’ll be visiting with the Norfolk Fibre Arts Guild again in the near future as we will be collaborating for the upcoming exhibition at the Norfolk Arts Center in 2016.

On my way home I was excited and filled with new ideas for the studio. The Norfolk Fibre Arts Guild was kind enough to give me some mill ends, seen below on the GO train, that I’ll use in the next few weeks to produce a new weaving.

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