Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Profile of a Weaver: Pat Bing

Ten years ago, someone at Pat Bing's church wanted to give away a loom. It was the start of a new chapter in Pat's life, who'd always loved fiber, and had long been curious about weaving. The loom looked like an eight harness, but had two sticks for harnesses, holding 400 string treadles. After a lot of research and perseverance, Pat made the loom into a functioning eight harness loom. She heard that Ellen Cain was teaching weaving at the Center, and took lessons there.
Pat soon became involved in the Center, as a member of the weaving group, a member of the board and now, as a member of the Education Committee. In only ten years, Pat has become one of the Tuesday Weavers' guiding forces, someone to come to with trouble in a warp or the world.
But before that, Pat had a love of all fibers. Growing up in the small community of Timnath, Colorado, the daughter of the head of the school district, she lived a life out of Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House on the Prairie. Her father was the Principal, Teacher and early morning stove lighter of the school. For part of his pay, his family lived in the Teacherage, a home on one acre, where they raised a garden, chickens, a cow or two and "bummer lambs," lambs that were orphaned by their mothers. Pat was active in 4-H, the farm activities as well as the domestic activities. She learned to sew, and with that, learned to love fibers.
One of Pat's joys to this day is walking through a fabric store to run her hands over the different fabrics. It was this love of fiber and fabric that led her to become curious about weaving. During her first lessons in weaving at the Center, Pat's first warp was wound on a warping wheel, rather than a warping board, something she remembers describing as "a spiritual experience!"
Pat became a member, after learning to weave, of the Foothills Craft Guild, a juried guild formed for the marketing and selling of craftspeople's goods. She demonstrated weaving initially by warping a small loom and letting children weave a section. Each section was labeled with the weaver's name and address, and afterwards, Pat would cut off each section and mail it to the weaver. They had a sample of their weaving to keep. But she felt there should be an easier way to initiate people in the joy of weaving. Her niece, Heidi Welch, an art teacher, told her about straw weaving, a simple loom of drinking straws and yarn. They got together and made kits up for the next guild show, and it was a hit. Now, Pat demonstrates straw loom weaving, and is always busy each Fall guild show.
Pat recently sold her eight shaft loom to Sharen, one of the Center's newer weavers, and took home the twelve shaft LeClerc loom from the Center that she'd been weaving on. It sits in her lovely stone-floored weaving room, ready for its next project.

And below, her Harrisville has the friendship afghan from another group she belongs to, the Clinch Valley Handweavers' Guild. Carol's weft is on the loom, in the pattern Pat's selected, Gothic Cross.

After a lovely lunch of yellow pepper soup, homemade bread from Pat's husband, Dan and a gorgeous strawberry-rhubarb pie, Pat gave me a trunk show of her weaving.

One of the most interesting things that
Pat is making are these lamp shades, woven directly onto the lamp shade frames. Click on the photos to see the details; they are lovely.
Weaving is now an integral part of Pat's life, as she is an important part of life at the Center and the lives of the Tuesday Weavers.


Anonymous said...

So good to have Pat's path to weaving written down! Always have admired Pat's weaving ability and glad she's always up for a new challenge! Always did like those lampshades!

LA said...

What a lovely article! Thank you for sharing with us.

Tina said...

Pat, I love the lampshades! I may have to try that too! Thanks for sharing with us Maggie. I am loving the series.

Bonnie said...

I really like those lamp shades. When they are finished she will have to bring them into the center.

Theresa said...

How clever on the lampshades, but I wanted to reach out and touch that beautiful white and taupe/grey banded work of beauty.
Such a wonderful series of profiles! Pat, you rock. Hope we get some peeks at what you'll be doing with that new loom!