Rock Day

2017 Rock Day

Rock Day 2017 was full of surprises! A snowfall caused us to delay the big event by one week. This change in plans affected attendance for some folks. Even so, we had a good group that was able to come and enjoy the day together. A delightful surprise was that Michelle and husband Bill were able to stop by on their way through North Carolina to visit parents in Ohio. We have missed Michelle since she retired to Georgia!

We enjoyed our traditional beef stew and a variety of breads. Our good cooks brought in scrumptious deserts to go with mulled cider and hot tea. We all enjoyed good conversations around the table. Then it was time to share our challenge projects.

This is the time we all love! It is so exciting to see what others have been doing to meet the same challenge. We have such a creative group! The guild challenge for 2016 was “Precious Little Pouches.” The final project had to be 6 inches or less and highly embellished! The idea was that we would make something small so we could focus on embellishment. Our only rule is that the projects must be fiber, so any fiber process is acceptable. We have such multi-talented fiber artists that we never know what we will see! To see pictures of our members projects, please follow the link to 2017 Rock Day Pictures, and click on the pictures to see them in greater detail.

The results were diverse! It seems like everyone had a different take on the idea of little bags and pouches. There was a wide variety of embellishment techniques. Some were felted and embellished with many colors, beads and embroidery. Others used knitting techniques such as intarsia, lace stitches, bead knitting, or illusion knitting. Some were woven using leno or tiny rag strips of kimono fabric. Add-on embellishment techniques included embroidery, beads, braiding, ribbonwork, i-cord, pom-poms, buttons, even a necklace.  Most combined several techniques to produce mini-masterpieces.

2017 Guild ChallengeAfter the show and tell of our projects, the Guild Challenge for 2017 was revealed. Next year we will be focused on “Jazz Up Your Closet!” We will pick a garment already in our closet and create an accessory to make it a more stunning ensemble. It is not to be a remake of a garment, but a separate piece – an accessory – that will enhance and “kick it up a notch!

Thank you, Linda, for the photographs and another spectacular day.

Members enjoyed another a great get-together at this year's Rock Day celebration.

Members enjoyed another a great get-together at this year’s Rock Day celebration.


2016 Rock Day

On Saturday, January 9, the Sandhills Handweavers Guild celebrated Roc Day. Traditionally held on the day after Twelfth Night, it was the day when, in medieval times, hand weavers, spinners and dyers had a final fling before heading back to work after the Christmas holiday. In recent years many fiber guilds have revived Roc Day, and we hold ours on the first Saturday after Twelfth Night.

Our celebration might seem pretty tame compared to those of yesteryear, but for us it’s a fun-filled way to wrap up the old year and welcome in the new one, with a burst of creative energy.

We gathered at Linda’s house just outside Robbins, and this year it was bigger than ever.  Twenty of us sat down to a delicious lunch of Linda’s beef stew and breads and desserts provided by our members—yet another Sandhills Handweavers Guild feast.

After lunch we dispatched the Guild’s business as quickly as possible and then got right down to the Show and Tell portion of our program. Last year we had been challenged to be inspired by a map or a trail, and some of the interpretations were truly inspiring. Attached to this article is a gallery of pictures with captions of many of our “Maps & Trails” projects.

For me, the real “aha” moment came when Michelle explained so perfectly the evolution of her idea and all the twists and turns it had taken along the way. (So many of us go through the exact same process without ever being able to articulate it.) It was a great affirmation that creativity is alive and well in the Sandhills Handweavers Guild.

And then came the all important announcement of the 2016 challenge—this year we are challenged to make a small pouch. There are only two requirements: First, it must be less than 6”, and secondly, it must be heavily embellished.

This should be fun. Good luck everybody!

It’s always hard to say “goodbye” after such a great get-together, but the time had come. With any luck we’ll all do it again next year. That is if we haven’t worn Linda out—all those dishes! Yes, real dishes, not a plastic fork or a paper plate in site!

What a great day! Thank you, Linda, for a wonderful Roc Day 2016.

Group Shot

 


 2015 Rock Day

Rock Day is the pivot point of our creative year—a time when we bid farewell to 2014 and welcome in 2015. Because it is the closest weekend to Epiphany, we held our “Best Yet Rock Day” at Linda’s house on January 10th this year.

We started our annual celebration with lunch: beef stew and all the fixings. Let’s face it, there is nothing more satisfying than getting together with good friends around a table laden with good home cooked food.

Then on to the business part of the day: Last year’s challenge was to select a piece of art that would inspire us through its use of color, design, texture or mood.

As each of us did our “show and tell” about our challenge projects, Linda’s library buzzed with creativity. Perhaps that’s why every year I say it’s “The Best Yet.” Once again, those who had accepted the challenge had kicked it up a notch, which goes to the very heart of why we challenge ourselves annually. Because we have had to explore new media and dig deeper into our own creative spirits, we have become better artists.

The interpretations were awesome. Please click on the link to take you to our 2015 Roc Day pictures page where you will see all the masterpieces that were inspired by the Masters.

No Rock Day would be complete until our Guild challenge for the coming year has been revealed: This year we are to be inspired by a map or a trail. As Linda was explaining it to us, you could hear a sort of communal groan—that was going to be challenging with a capital “C”! So we took a few minutes and tossed around some ideas. It turns out that there are all sorts of maps that can inspire you. It might be a Tartan Map, an antique map, or a scenic map, or it might be a craft trail in mountains of North Carolina, the Appalachian Trail or even the Silk Road. The possibilities are endless.

And suddenly, the challenge didn’t seem quite so daunting. But, as always, it will make us think, dig deep and look forward to doing it all over again next year.


 

 How we celebrate Roc Day

Roc Day (also known as Rock Day and Distaff Day) is a holiday unique to fiber workers of yesteryear. The day after Twelfth Night, spinners and weavers celebrated the end of their Christmas holiday with one final fling before returning to work. Please click on the link above to learn more about the origins of the name.

It is a tradition that fiber guilds have revived recently. Since 2006 on the Saturday closest to Roc Day, the Sandhills Handweavers Guild has gathered at a member’s home for a beef stew luncheon, followed by a “Show and Tell” of last year’s challenge.

Each year at our Roc Day celebration we are issued a challenge to be completed (sort of) by the following year’s Roc Day. Nothing makes the creative juices flow like seeing how each of us has interpreted the previous year’s challenge.

In the past we have been challenged to interpret a book rich in imagery; to use roving in a project inspired by the textile traditions of another country; to meld a combination of elements such as a time period, a type of fiber and a specific color. And the list goes on.

In 2014, we were challenged to interpret a work of art of our own choosing. At our 2015 Roc Day we will all, once again, be surprised and delighted by the incredible creativity and talent that resides within the Sandhills Handweavers Guild.

 

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