We are currently working on our first annual artists retreat coming in April 2018. We will have a vast array of skills to learn, in the genre of a John C. Campbell’s Folk School. We will have classes on dying, paper making, soap making, weaving on a Scandinavian Double Shot Reed, chair caning, and so much more! Check out our website at turningofthetide.org for all the information.
The Guild this year has decided to have a yearlong project of creating an Artisan’s Journal. This includes several learning experiences for our members, and using the different talents of our members, as well. When we take on big projects like this, we often find hidden talents in our members, and exposes other members to new skills they may find they really enjoy.
This year has been a great year of learning amazing skills. One of the skills we were able to have a hand at was working on a lathe. We turned pens to make to go with our books, and even made the ink!
Another fun thing we did was get out the inkle looms of the members in our guild that had them, and wove a bookmark. Those of us who had never done it enjoyed the opportunity to experience that and have some great results. Thank you to all that loaned out your looms and taught us to weave on them!
Yes, there is more, lots more! We also made our own handmade paper, from unusual ingredients. We gathered onions skins, bamboo leaves, corn husks and silk, as well as other things from our gardens. Together we cooked them to make a pulp, and hand dipped the pulp onto screens and made the paper. It took most of us together to make all the paper required for the group. It was truly a joint effort.
We also dyed the leather for our journals, which was a new skill for most of us. It was a fun but messy experience:
Our goal is to have an Artist’s Journal that is made from our own hands, from journal, paper, bookmark, pen and anything else that goes along with it. The end product is wonderful, but the experience in putting it together will be the most memorable for most of us!
The Artisan Guild of Southern Illinois has been very busy in 2016. We planned a theme for our Heritage Arts meeting: The Bread Basket. We made many items using many different heritage arts. These items included making strawberry jelly, forging condiment spoons, while we learned some blacksmithing skills, weaving a basket for our bread, and of course, making our own bread. We had such a good time this past year, and we look forward to working on our next project: The Artists Book.