I wondered that myself. Just another committee, more meetings, more potlucks. What can I contribute and what will I gain?
I was not sure I was in the right place at first. The monthly meetings were geared more towards the hobbyist not the craftsperson. And the ladies there were well acquainted with each other and it felt like another click. I was wrong, but I had to stick with it a while and let them get to know me as I got to know them.
It’s always harder to join a group and remember all their names, especially as I get older. For the group, they only have to add one member at a time to their memory bank – much easier. Over time a couple three of the members began to reach out and connect.
I’ve learned a lot from those ladies, especially the spinners and weavers’ group. The guild has formed a few specialty groups – needle works, knitting, spinning and weaving. Since I weave baskets, I thought it best to join the spinners and weavers group and I was right. They are a dedicated group of craftspeople and some sell and some do it because they love it. It’s this group that rescued me.
Last winter I tried several avenues to keep me off the streets and out of City Hall. None were really the right fit. Some harked back to my Congressional Aide days, but I’m not the same person and I don’t have the stomach for the politics. Some were calling me to help other women in various ways, but that group was absolutely dysfunctional. It was a lead, follow or get out of the way situation and I’ve done my part over the years in running groups.
I decided I’d try the subgroup of spinners and weavers and it was the right choice. They meet every Thursday at the public library, but I try to get there every other Thursday to keep Tracy happy. We’ve doe a sheep study- were each member drew a breed out of a hat and then did a short study and a tiny bit of knitting using yarn made from the wool.
Most of these ladies’ spin and weave. Their tiny creations were “from scratch”. Nevertheless, they are a great source of inspiration. I was stagnant in creating new baskets for our Art Show Shop – until one of the ladies gave me an 8” piece of their inkle woven shoelaces. I wove it into a basket, and they’ve been well received.
When the group put together a gift basket for the Intermountain Weavers Conference (IWC) earlier this month, they asked me to create a basket for the basket. Rita gave me several inches of shoelace and I wove a basket. It was fun, it was invigorating, and it’s caused me to create my own.
Why join a guild? You’ve find people from all walks of life that like what you like, do it differently, and you can learn from each other. I’m not sure I can give as much as I have already received, but I’ll try.