The Southern Nevada Handweavers
and Spinners Guild, Inc. was founded in November, 1967, for the purpose
of promoting interest in educating and uniting persons interested in
spinning, weaving, and dyeing through workshops, classes. exhibits and
demonstrations in the community. The organization was the inspiration
of Paul Mercer, an avid crafter and Edcil Zoller, a professional artist.
The Guild was almost immediately
involved in national and international fiber events. In 1969, the Guild
served as host for the Hand Weaver’s International Festival at the
Stardust Hotel, which included workshops, vendor’s displays, speakers,
and exhibits. This festival was the forerunner of Convergence. The
Guild hosted the Interweavers Conference at the Alexis Park Hotel in
In 1970, the Guild received a
grant from Channel 10 for a handweaving series and taught weaving
classes in conjunction with the series. The Guild sponsored an award at
the Jaycee State Fair for the winner in the weaving category from 1967
- 1972 and for the winner of the fiber category at the 1977 Clark
County Art Roundup.
Community exhibits and
demonstrations are central to our purpose of educating the public about
the fiber arts. Over the years members have participated in
demonstrations at the Jaycee State Fair, 1969-1972., various
conventions, shopping malls, schools, and at the Flamingo Library for
National Spinning Week in 1985. In 1978, an exhibition was held at the
Las Vegas Art Museum of works by members of the Guild. More recently
the Guild has participated in the annual Farm Festival at Horseman’s
Park, an exhibit and demonstration of farming techniques, animals,
fibers and other agricultural activities for the elementary school
children of the Clark County School District. In June of 1979, the name
“Fiber Arts Guild” was added as an AKA to the Guild’s title to
encompass all of the fiber arts. The Guild hosted a knitting class in
1996 and crochet class in 1997, both presented by the Yarn Council at
the Reed Whipple Cultural Center. In September of 1998, the Guild
hosted a lecture and display by Park Bench Patterns at the Sahara West
Library. The Guild has been an annual participant in Festival in the
Pines to benefit the Spring Mountains Volunteers Association.
In 1981, the Guild participated
in Enchanted Threads, a juried show at the Reed Whipple Cultural
Center, Fiber Arrivals in 1980, Art Affair at the Flamingo Library in
1990, Fiber Then and Now in 1992 and Fiber and Clay in 1993. A fiber
arts show featuring works by members of the Guild, were held at the Las
Vegas Art Museum, 1993.
The Guild has been called to
provide fiber-related exhibits for the public libraries of Clark
County. A fiber display at the Spring Valley Library Gallery for the
Salute to the Fiber Arts in 1986, a weaving display at the Sahara West
Library and in 1999, a two day trunk show of hand knit items featured
in Vogue Knitting Magazine held at the Sahara West Library.
From time to time the Guild
sponsors events to promote the sale of its member’s creations. The
Guild operated a shop at Old Nevada from April 1977 to April 1978. In
1995, the Guild had a booth at the Holiday Festival at the Charleston
Heights Arts Center. The Guild had a booth at the Lobster Fair and
Celebration of Nevada Arts and Crafts on October 2000.
In 1996, the Guild members wove
two blankets of Harrisville yarns. One was donated to the Intermountain
Weaver’s Conference for their raffle and the other was donated to the
Festival of Trees and Lights for a raffle to benefit the Downs Syndrome
Organization of Southern Nevada. Many Guild members regularly attend
the Biennial Intermountain Weavers Conference (IWC). Two of our members
serve on its Board of Directors. They are elected for four year terms..
The Empty Bowl is held yearly at
the Green Valley High School for the benefit of Catholic Charities. The
Guild donates hand crafted items that were sold in a silent auction.
For the Helldorado Parade, in
Las Vegas we designed a float. On the float were members in pioneer
dress demonstrating our crafts. In 2008 the Guild won a trophy for the
Best Presentation of the Parade Theme.
We take part in an event called
Something Scottish where the public learns about the heritage of the
Scottish people. We have a booth at their annual fair which is held
every fall at the Rainbow Library. The fair is put on by the Saint
We take part in the Summerlin
Art Walk where our members sell their weaving and knitted items and
demonstrate spinning and weaving. We have kits made up for young people
to try spinning and weaving under the supervision of our experts.
In October we take part in the
Renaissance Fair at Sunset Park where the public see some of our
members spinning and weaving. The Guild demonstrate at the fair every
At the Spring Mountain Ranch in
the fall, we demonstrate spinning and weaving in pioneer dress.
We demonstrate at the Old Mormon
Fort for Nevada Days. We are dressed as Pioneers.
In May of 2010, the Guild was
awarded 50 mini-cones of yarn from Halcyon Yarn as acknowledgment for
all our efforts in community outreach and creating new weavers.
The Guild has a study group that
meets once a month. We pick a project and follow it from planning
The Guild donates a project to
IWC for sale to benefit their scholarship program. We also make an item
to be handed out to all members attending IWC.
In 2010 we sponsored a weaving
workshop conducted by Marge Coe, a well known weaver. The Guild was
able to acquire a grant from NAC which helped cover the cost to the
paticipants. .The Guild is steadily growing in membership. Membership
is open to all who are interested in fiber and working with fiber.