There are those we love as individuals. The woven leather banded steam punk bracelet was my first introduction to Kate Ohara. Then I found her helping those who brought their first rigid heddle loom to the Philadelphia Guild house’s pre-Covid Portable Fibers. She learned how Zoom could keep us vibrant and connected during the lockdowns. Her dumpster and postage stamp collections inspired us to think out of the box.
Like a pied piper, Gigi Matthews’ soothing voice and Gentle Yoga prepare you for her exciting adventures not only at Portable Fibers Zoom, but throughout MAFA Virtual. She taught us how to blend and spin unique fibers, promote sustainability, chill out, follow sheep around the world and the list goes on.
And when these two united, it was like a cosmic collision giving birth to galaxies. Using Zoom they started Movie Night with the Philadelphia Guild, then NY wanted one too. These merged and that union enriched the discussions around famous artists that we learned about. MAFA Movie Night followed and folks beyond the mid-Atlantic region and our country’s borders heard about it and joined in.
Kate Ohara, left, and Gigi Matthews, right.
Leave it to Kate to weave technology into something fiberlicious. She started contacting guilds around the country documenting what she learned on Google Maps. It includes guilds, organizations and galleries that guild can leverage and guides us on a virtual tour. Leave it to Gigi to suggest museums be included. The result is the U.S. Fiber Arts Guild and Resources map.
Hello HGA, oh yes, this fiberoptic duo is now doing Thread Talks at Spinning and Weaving Week 2023, showing others how to start their own movie night and how to use the interactive fiber arts map of U.S.
And now that we are able to travel into space, the sky is not the limit for these pioneers. I’m blessed to call them friends.
-- Margie Gale