For the past fifteen years members of the Northeast Iowa Weavers and Spinners Guild have been demonstrating weaving and spinning during visits to schools. The program was initiated by long-time member Karen Kitchen and has thrived over the years with the help of dedicated volunteers from the Guild.
Karen explained, “We provide six pre-warped two-harness looms for each art teacher to have in his or her classroom for one month each year as part of the elementary school art curriculum. Each child weaves a mug mat using looms and yarn provided by the Guild. At the end of the month, the looms move on to the next school.”
Many students look forward to the program, having learned about it through older siblings or friends who have participated and enjoyed the experience. The students ask excellent questions and are excited to get their hands on the loom and weave their own mug mats.
This year the number of students who have learned about fiber arts through the Weaving in the Schools Program will reach five thousand. This is an important way the Northeast Iowa Weavers and Spinners Guild fulfills its mission to honor and promote the fiber arts.