Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners
The purpose of the Guild is to: Encourage an interest in handweaving, spinning and dyeing amongst its members and in the community. Provide opportunities to increase skills and artistry in these crafts by sharing of experience and by providing opportunities and services. Assist those practising these crafts in any appropriate manner
Affiliated with: The Ontario Crafts Council The Toronto Arts Council The Ontario Handweavers and Spinners Neilson Park Creative Centre
The Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners Guild gratefully acknowledges the assistance of the City of Toronto through the Toronto Arts Council.
EHS Meetings and Studio Drop-Ins
Guild meetings are held on the 1st Tuesday of each month from September until June. Time: 7:00 pm. Location: Studio C, Neilson Park Creative Centre. Our spinning group called the Fibre Flyers, meets on the second Wednesday of each month, September through June. Time: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm. Location: Studio C, Neilson Park Creative Centre.
EHS Member Activities
- Monthly meetings
- Guest speakers
- Sharing of experiences and projects by members
- Craft information exchange
- Open library time
- Regular newsletter
- Field trips
- Displays, demonstrations and sales
We are affiliated with the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners, and participate in the Bi-annual Conference & Central Region Seminars and Ontario Handspinning Seminar. EHS members are Exhibitors at galleries, and have sales both privately and through the Guild. We provide speakers and demonstrators for the Guild and the general public at various times and locations, including the Ontario Science Centre and the Royal Winter Fair. We participate in demonstrations and exhibitions throughout the year to provide the community with opportunities to see, feel and try out the crafts of spinning and weaving, in addition to community service.
Our Community Project at present is weaving tiny baby blankets for the neonatal nurseries at local hospitals. These help the preemie babies feel cozy and give a cheerful appearance to the nursery for both parents and hospital staff.
EHS has an extensive collection of reference and sample books, pamphlets and publications on the fibre arts that can be borrowed by members on a monthly basis. The library is open before and after each meeting and during our Studio C drop-ins.
The Guild works with the Board / Executive Members of Ontario Handweavers and Spinners, the Ontario Crafts Council, the Ontario Handspinning Seminar, and Neilson Park Creative Centre.
Members in good standing may rent Guild equipment for weaving, spinning and dyeing. This includes table / floor looms, spinning wheels, large dyepot, etc.
A Short History of the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners Guild
In September of 1966, ten west end weavers met to form the Etobicoke Handweavers "to encourage an interest in handweaving" and to "promote...workshops in the area". By 1973 they had rented a 90" wide loom, put on displays and held their first sale. With increased interest in handspinning, they became the Etobicoke Handweavers and Spinners, or EHS. With the help of grants received as a member of Arts Etobicoke, the Guild bought a loom and spinning wheels for use in demonstrating fibre arts in schools and communities. EHS has had many shows, demonstrations, and sales over the years at venues such as the Etobicoke Civic Centre, the High Park Autumn Festival, the Hobby Show, and the Royal Winter Fair. EHS participates in the annual "Sheep to Shawl" Competition at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in November, in which fleece is spun, plied, and woven into a shawl, all in a few hours. Our main show of the year is held in the Hallway Gallery of Neilson Park Creative Centre in early March, where EHS shares the Fibre Studio C in with the Etobicoke Quilters Guild and the Heritage Rugcrafters of Etobicoke. We host open house exhibitions at Neilson Park Creative Centre to show our art/craft to all the community.