Meet our members – Chris

Hello, I’m Chris.

I have been a member of ESGWSD for the past five years. I took up spinning as a hobby after having lessons with Daphne (another guild member). I borrowed a spinning wheel from my next door neighbour of  27 years, Ruth. Ruth, who sadly passed away this year ten days before her 100 birthday, had been spinning for the past 40 years. Whenever I popped round to see her she was either in the garden or spinning on her Ashford spinning wheel that she had brought back from one of her many trips to New Zealand. I soon decided spinning was for me, and then I heard about dyeing – wow! What wonderful experiments you can have with an old saucepan, some dyes and washed fleece; this was truly satisfying. I soon had various hats and scarves in wonderful colours all spun and dyed by me!

Merino rolag hand-dyed using goldenrod

Merino rolag hand-dyed using goldenrod

Two years ago, I decided it was time for me to have a go at weaving and I joined Val’s weaving class at Clayton. Val lent me a loom and off I went (or should that be wove!). Now, weaving is a lot more complicated than spinning and dyeing; there are ‘Rigid Heddles’, four shafts, eight shafts etc, warps, wefts, raddles etc., etc. So for me, weaving has been a real challenge, with assorted pieces of poorly woven, if interesting, pieces of fabric! But finally, I am getting ther – I have made a few scarves and cushions. A hand bag (fingers crossed) will be my latest creation, which I hope to exhibit in our Exhibition.

My new loom

My new loom

Being part of East Sussex Guild has been a real inspiration to me; not only have I learnt to spin, dye and weave, but I have met some wonderful truly talented people. This year I organised our stand at the South of England Agricultural Show, with a lot of help from Sheila and Val, and we won ‘Third Prize’ in our section – amazing!!

A table runner woven using Japanese Washi (paper), which you can wash at 30 degrees centigrade!

A table runner woven using Japanese Washi (paper), which you can wash at 30 degrees centigrade!

So come on, visit our Exhibition, join our Guild and make lots of wonderful friends and learn some exciting skills.

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Meet the Trader – Owena’s Farm Produce

In the next installment in our series with the traders who are supporting our October exhibition, we meet  Owena Lewis from Owena’s Farm Produce (www.owenasfarmproduce.co.uk)

Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Baulcombes Barn produces wool from my Shetland and Jacob flock on a small care farm at Hamsey, near Lewes, East Sussex.

What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

I shall be selling locally produced wool supplies;  I shall have brown and black fleeces from my shearling Shetland sheep; natural coloured knitting yarn, sliver and roving for spinning, felting, knitting and weaving; peg looms.  Plus some lovely tanned sheepskins.

What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

I am looking forward to being at the fair surrounded by lots of wool and wool products!

See you in October, Owena!

Meet the Trader – Textile Garden

Today,  we meet Marguerite from Textile Garden, who will be among our traders at our exhibition in October.

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Hello, please could you tell us about your business?

Hello, I’m Marguerite and I’ve been running www.TextileGarden.com for 8 years.  I attend events around the country where hopefully I may have met a few of you.  My aim is to offer beautiful buttons, etc., many that aren’t available elsewhere in UK.  My new website will be up and running late summer.   I visit most of the factories that make buttons for me.

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What can we look forward to seeing at your stand at ESGWSD 2015?

Since the last ESGWSD I’ve got a lot of new buttons etc.  The majority of my stock is from European producers who make designs for me in colours I select, so not seen elsewhere in UK.

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What are you looking forward to most about the event and/or visiting Lewes?

I always look forward to the Lewes event as the organisers manage to create an atmosphere that is friendly and welcoming for both exhibitors and visitors.  Lewes is an interesting town with lots of independent shops and good transport links.  The other big plus is that unlike other events, I can go home in the evening as I live nearby in Steyning.

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See you in October, Marguerite!