Pat, Krithia and Alison travelled down to mid-Wales to attend this biennial gathering of the Welsh Guilds of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers. As it's such a long way, we all set off the day before and stayed overnight: Pat in her trusty Romahome, and Krithia and Alison in the Corris Hostel - a tale in itself: we were the only guests, and rattled around like the proverbial peas in a pod. However, we did have the advantage of not having to rise at first light to get to the Minerva Centre in time to put up our display.
The results of the "Challenge" on the theme of recycling (we made teacosies out of recycled fibre) were rather variable this year, but the best-looking board was from the Meirioneth Guild - all black, gold and reds. The best individual item was undoubtedly a spinning wheel made of old wood and a bicycle wheel.
Krithia mounted our display of general work, assisted by Pat: Krithia's great idea was to bring the branch of a Twisted Willow tree on which to hang things - it looked great, and attracted a lot of admiring comments. Whoever puts up the display next time will have to work hard to come up with an even better idea!
The trade stands and the Guild secondhand stall provided us with great browsing opportunities, and we were relatively good about not spending all our money - just a little fibre, a pair of secondhand carders and one extremely nice book (on Ecodying, by India Flint).
The highlight of the day was the very entertaining talk by Cefyn Burgess, who described his odyssey through the chapels & textiles of Wales and of the Welsh diaspora in Liverpool and Pennsylvia. He conveyed vividly his memories of Chapel life and his passion for the culture of Wales. While some aspects of this culture are fading - communities lost, and only an occasional teacup in a junk shop to show for decades of Chapel Teas; textile mills closing - others are surviving in the face of heavy odds. (Look at links to Trefriw Woollen Mills, in the family of one of our own Guild members for 150 years, & Melin Tregwynt). Cefyn showed us his architectural embroideries of chapels and his glorious woven breadspreads with reverse appliqué in colourful Welsh flannel, and his "work in progress" quilt in shades of grey. His commitment and dedication to the hands-on approach to domestic textiles shone through his whole lecture. The travelling exhibition of his work is due to open shortly in Bangor, and his new shop is open in Ruthin Craft Centre.
All in all, we had an excellent day in Llanidloes, and returned home tired but happy! Thanks to all of you for providing such lovely examples of work for display - many compliments were overheard. We enjoyed meeting old friends, and seeing the work of other Guilds, and we're looking forward to the next event in 2011.