How String Changed the World - May 2019


"Without a doubt, presenting the keynote lecture How String Changed the World  to the Michigan League of Handweavers was a highlight of my month.  Ancient sandals, an Incan rope bridge, quipu, and a Roman slingshot were woven together with Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs and much more! It  was great fun to research and share with others "   ~ Cameron Taylor-Brown

Cameron Taylor Brown presented the keynote at the 2019 MLH Conference after her lecture Cameron asked participants to share "How String Can Change 'Our' World."  The following are how people responded:

The Ann Arbor Fiber Arts Guild has a project at University Hospital in Ann Arbor - in the Cancer Center.  We have three looms, seven weavers and on hat maker. And one person (weaver) who sews pockets in bags. We give away hand woven hats or bags with handwoven pockets to the cancer patients.  One of the looms is designated as a teaching loom.  We weave in a lobby / waiting room.  We talk about weaving and teach weaving to the patients and their loved ones who are waiting.

Singles are not as strong a yarn as a plyed yarn.  Each person must work with others to make the strong connections. Support your guilds, teachers, yarn stores, and everyone who has fiber in their hands. Only by supporting with time, energy and even money (dues) will a network of string rope be made. Without this our heritage and future may be extinct.  Be Active, Be Verbal, get off Technology and be personal.

Teach someone and encourage them to teach it forward - don't "own" the idea - share it.

Strings - Guilds, Study Groups, Public Presentations, are important out reach to weavers and spinners.  They form a community of like people.

Hold an auction for your guild.  All auction items are donated by guild members.  Especially good for new weavers.

I will demonstrate this summer at local art events.

Support Warp - Weave a Real Peace

Work with local Boys and Girls Clubs

I have been teaching simple surface design techniques to seniors and they love weaving their scarves.  Also spend time with my grandkids passing along fiber art projects.

Teach a friend to weave.  Donate a weaving book to my weaving guild.

I think if we wove a large net and threw if over all of Capital Hill.

I will be facilitating a community weaving project at a yoga retreat in August.  A large frame will be set up and warped.  Participants will pick/collect/find/invent what materials they weave into the piece.  It will be displayed in the yoga studio.

String Changing Lives.  Teach 3rd graders to weave a simple bookmark to go with thier words for 3rd's dictionary. Words for 3rds is a nationwide program sponsored by non profits who give each 3rd grader in their area a dictionary  Find a Grange near you at National

How can we use string to change the world? Tie a bi rope around our politicians and throw them in the ocean. Or better yet a volcano (an active one, preferably)

Plan an event on National Spinning and Weaving week in Early October.  Invite a friend to visit a meeting of your guild. Demo in the Library. Gather spinners, felters weavers etc and have a demo in a historic location in the community, offer a chance to try these arts.  Go Talk to a girl scout troop and their mothers.

Put a rigid heddle loom in a home for disabled women.  Make connections with them by teaching them how to weave on it.

I volunteer at the Greenfield Village Weaving Shop. When someone asks how long it takes to weave something we say about approximately one foot an hour.  Think about how much time it would take to make your clothes versus how much we have.

My use of string will be to reach out to the younger people and teach them to knit and weave and crochet.  Hopefully they will pass these skills on to generations to come.

Cooperation to achieve a goal

Make available a 3d printable ridged heddle and shuttle for teaching narrow band weaving.

Our community library, in conjunction with the high school art teacher is putting together a program for the community of art classes to be held in the evening at the library, free of charge, but for materials.  I was approached to present fiber related classes in spinning and weaving.  I am seriously considering doing it.  Also, as a member of the board of MLH, I am banding together with fellow weavers across the State of Michigan and neighboring states, to make available resources to all levels of "fiber" people, with our conferences and exhibits, our learning grants and hopefully, other venues as wove into the 21st century. 

My connecting the threads has been to maintain my friendship my Swedish penpal for 32 years.  We have made "matching" quilts that "Cover"  two different continents.  We keep the bonds strong by strengthening the threads of our connection often. I've also recently joined a group of young women who come together as "makers" who are enjoying our friendships, spanning the generations, understanding each other and our different social needs.

In many ways the "Weaving and Fiber Arts" groups on Facebook have connected us around the world.  Where else can one go to talk about our "string" with people all over the world.  Facebook may get a bad rap, but without it we would never be able to experience what others are creating with their "string".  It has become a way of connecting and sharing and hopefully change all of us to become more acceptable of each other. 



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