Growing a Guild: How to get started?
|Kate Phillips meets many fellow spinners by selling fleeces at a local farmer's market. Photo courtesy of WindSong Fibers Farm.|
Most of the spinning and weaving guilds I learn about while sleuthing guild news for this blog are well established, lasting organizations. Guilds can provide a support network for members to explore and develop their artistic selves, while having the opportunity to meet others following similar paths. Many spinners don't have easy access to local guilds and spinning groups, so I am always excited to hear about new guilds just getting started.
Kate Phillips of WindSong Fibers Farm was about an hour away from the nearest guild. She has been spinning for about ten years and raises Border and Bluefaced Leicester crossbred sheep in southeastern Indiana. Kate is a regular fixture at her local farmer's market, often spinning in her booth. Many local spinners would see her and inquire about spinning groups in the area. This year, she decided to put a sign-up sheet in front of her booth for those interested in starting a new guild. At the end of the first day, she already had twelve names. By the end of the second week, the list had nearly doubled. The B & B Fibers Guild held its first meeting in Hartsville, Indiana, in July and had eight new members in attendance.
The River Cottage Farm Fiber Circle meets at the River Cottage Farm in Rockfield, Kentucky. Debbie Apple and her children manage this unique, sustainable acreage. As part of their diverse farm, the Apples raise Romney, Cotswold, and North Country Cheviot sheep, and sell fleeces and handspun yarns. In an effort to build further community at the farm, Debbie started the Farm Fiber Circle. Learn more about the daily workings of the farm on Debbie's blog, Hearth to Harvest.