The Yadkin Valley Fiber Room, which opened last fall, already is making quite a name for itself. The Fiber Room, an offshoot of the Yadkin Arts Council, played host to weavers from all across the country last week by offering a Master Weavers course with instructor Jean Curry of Olds College in Alberta, Canada.
“This is the first time the course has been offered in the U.S.,” Curry said. The course is a continuing education class for master weavers, the course includes multiple levels that when completed result in artisan designation diploma from Olds College.
The 11 women in the course hailed from around the state of North Carolina as well as from states including Ohio and Minnesota. The women spent a week at the Fiber Room which included 30 hours of instruction time as well as time to practice and perfect the new skills they learned. They will go on to complete 100 hours of homework which must be submitted to the school in order to move on to the next level of the program.
“The point of this is to build on their skills,” Curry said. “It’s a really new program we’re just getting it underway.”
Olds College is an agriculture school and the weaving course “came out of fiber week, which was a program for farm women in the ’50s and ’60s, and now they have a master spinner and master weaver program,” Curry explained.
The weavers in the class said they had enjoyed the program and Yadkin Valley Fiber Room Director Leslie Fesperman said she, too, was excited about it.
“I’m delighted that the program’s here and part of wanting them here is to grow weavers in the southeast and all across the country, wherever we can, so we are just so thrilled and excited,” Fesperman said.
“This is a wonderful thing for Yadkinville and Leslie has done a tremendous job getting this program here,” said Loretta Tucker, one of the weavers in the class.
Pam Howard, another student in the class, said she was very impressed with the Yadkin Arts Council overall.
“It’s a sweet little arts council. I live in a small town, but I am so impressed with the art happenings, you’re really lucky,” she said.
For more information on courses offered at the Yadkin Valley Fiber Room and other arts council events and classes, visit www.yadkinarts.org.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter @RippleReporterK.