“Little did I know that when I learned to weave, it would take me to Africa! I first tried weaving in 8th Grade art class and enjoyed it. Many years later, my husband Lawrence and I witnessed a floor loom set up in someone’s living room. Now that was notable! I loved fabrics and sewed many of our clothes, and the loom impressed me. But life moved on. Family, farm life, and community kept us busy in challenging ways.
While enrolled in an extension course, I spotted Dorothy and Harold Burnham’s book, Keep Me Warm One Night. I bought a loom, learned to weave, and started a small weaving enterprise, which eventually led my husband and me into development work in West Africa.Thus began a new venture, broadened horizons, and many experiences.
One day, a group of people dropped by the Weaving Studio in Gambissara, where we were living, to discuss how travelers might experience the culture and crafts of the Gambia. The Burnhams’ son, who worked with his parents on the book, was a member of the group. You can imagine my amazement and delight to meet him!
Our visits to neighboring countries where we witnessed beautiful examples of weaving were truly memorable. We watched young boys weaving intricate patterns on ground looms, while skeins of dyed cotton threads hung all around the compound. Now the Desert Sage Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild in Oliver B.C. keeps me inspired and challenged with workshops.
Weaving has adjusted to all stages of my life, even now in retirement, relocation, and downsizing. My Mighty Wolf 36″ 8 Shaft Floor Loom is versatile, compact, and easy to warp. It is a treasure and gives me many hours of creative and challenging planning and weaving.”
Ann Slind was a finalist in our Personal Stories Contest. Look for additional posts about other finalists here. The grand prize winners will be featured in upcoming issues of Handwoven and Spin-Off.