July 25, 2018
Glenwood Springs, Colorado offers a main drag for trinket shopping, a few quirky shops, and adorable houses. Hubby and I happened upon a little
farmer’s market in a tiny city park where we bought hand made soap. The warm day made us seek air conditioning, so we browsed places selling artful dust catchers. Life in an RV removes the temptation of buying most objets d’art. Where do we put it? How fast will it jump off the wall and break? What’s it weigh? Oh never mind.
Hoping for a bright spot in the afternoon, I looked for a local weaving or yarn shop. If it went well, I’d spend a few happy minutes with my tribe. The Google has a way of suggesting crazy or at least off-the-mark stuff, so when “weaving” turned up Art on 8th, I thought, “Great. It’s an art gallery that has one funky wall hanging made of cat hair and tin foil.” Still, I can’t leave some stones unturned.
Art on 8th’s downstairs has pretties – jewelry, trinkets, artsy creations – and fabulous woven towels and garments. As a weaver, although a new one, I recognize quality in consistent work and the beauty in functional twill towels. It turned out there was a weaving studio upstairs, the shop lady said, where I could observe the process. Squee! Must see the looms and talk to weaving kinfolk!
There were three looms on the stair landing, one being used by a silent, studious-looking man. Shh, mustn’t disturb him. At the top of the stairs, left, right, and around the corner were looms, looms, looms! At least five people were weaving their hearts out, and a couple more hovered and assisted. I didn’t get full details, but evidently there is a local effort that gives folks with disabilities the opportunity to learn to weave and to earn money from their work.Assistants handle dressing the looms, but the clients choose colors and weave yards and yards of gorgeous fabric. One gentleman weaving fluffy rugs proudly told me he had been doing it for 20 years. A woman weaving luscious yellows and golds worked so fast and beat so hard that it made me a teensy bit jealous. (I love to beat the hell out of weft shots and often have to hold back. Not her!) These people may have disabilities in some arenas, but where weaving is concerned, they’ve got skills.
I only wished for a guest loom where I could sit, weave, and enjoy their company. To the assistant who answered my questions and said she only dresses the looms but has yet to weave – oh honey! You gotta do it!