Synergy



This quote is attributed to Greek philosopher Aristotle and suggests that a group of things is more effective than individual things.

So it is with a conference.

If you took one or two things at a conference, you wouldn't have the complete experience.  To do it all provides so much more in terms of knowledge acquired, inspiration, creativity.

Our theme Confluences references this concept in part, recognizing that textiles are made up of parts and only by bringing all those parts together do we benefit completely.

Michelle BoydFour Fine Fibres, Four Fine Yarns15
Tien ChiuColor Courage: Color and Weave Structure15
Janet DawsonGamptastic!20
Maureen FaulknerElements of Design for Textile Artists10
Abby FranquemontAndean Backstrap Weaving20
Alison IrwinLet It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow12
Bob KeatesFibreworks for Multi-Shaft Weaving24
Mary LessmanColours from Nature12
Kim McKennaThe Distaff10
Syne MitchellWoven Shibori on the Rigid Heddle Loom12
Coleen NimetzSilk: the Temptress Unraveled20
Elizabeth SchatzFair Isle Knitting12
Robyn SpadyExtreme Warp Makeover15
Jane StaffordHuck of a Good Time12
Laurie StefflerNuno Felt and Dye Painting Workshop12
Bernadette ThompsonShibori10
Diana TwissColour Exploration12
Sarah Wroot

Our workshop instructors embody our theme in their personal textile practice.

I don't know all of the skills they have, these are just the ones I know...

Michelle Boyd - dyes, spins, knits, weaves
Tien Chiu - dyes, weaves
Janet Dawson - spins, knits, weaves
Maureen Faulkner - crochets, weaves
Abby Franquemont - dyes, spins, weaves
Alison Irwin - spins, weaves, braids
Bob Keates - supports weavers by creating weaving software 
Mary Lessman - dyes, spins, weaves, novice bobbin lace maker
Kim McKenna - dyes, spins, knits, weaves
Syne Mitchell - dyes, spins, knits, weaves
Coleen Nimetz - dyes, spins, knits
Elizabeth Schatz - knits, nalbinding
Robyn Spady - weaves, braids
Jane Stafford - weaves, dyes
Laurie Steffler - felts, dyes
Bernadette Thompson - sews, dyes
Diana Twiss - spins, knits
Sarah Wroot - spins, sews

And that's just our workshop instructors.  We also have some that are doing seminars only.

A conference such as ANWG offers every second year generally covers all of those listed above and sometimes others.  The range of weaving alone can be further broken down to tapestry, or velvet, or draw loom.  But it is rare you can find All The Things at any given conference unless it's a very large one.

So we chose instructors and topics we felt would be interesting.  Some are uncommon - like the workshop on spinning with a distaff.  Some are more common, but not everyone can make it to every conference, nor may they have access to workshops.  So again, we looked for a broad range of topics and skill level accessibility.

But a conference is more than the scheduled events.  It is also the social interactions that happen during the unscheduled times - meal time, coffee breaks, viewing the exhibits.  This is the time people can put faces to names, talk to people face to face, connect at a deeper level.  At times friendships spring up out of these chance encounters.  Sometimes, it's just an inspiring story.  Like the time I chatted with Dorothy Burnham and she shared how nervous she was at the thought of talking to 2000 fibre artists at the Convergence keynote in Toronto in 1986.  I assured her that we were all 'family' - and she seemed to take some comfort from that observation because she mentioned that interaction when she began her presentation.  I've never forgotten how she shared her vulnerability, felt the fear...and did it anyway.

If you've never been to a conference, this one is a good one because it's relatively small and class numbers have also been kept relatively small.  It is taking place in a small geographic area, in buildings that are accessible.  The week of the conference is just prior to the summer solstice, so our daylight hours are long.  On June 11 the sun will rise at 4:39 am and set at 9:41 pm.  Our weather is generally temperate, but we suggest layers.

Workshops are beginning to fill, so I hope people will take a look on the website, choose workshop/seminar topics that appeal, then go to the registration site and come join us for Confluences in June.

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