Sam Golden, age 6, and his CD spindle. (Photos courtesy of Lou Grantham.)
Local artisans and craftspeople representing all the fiber arts will show their wares during the first annual Oakland Fiber & Textile Festival will take place this Sunday, June 27, at the Splash Pad Park, along Lake Park Ave, between Grand Ave and Lakeshore Ave.
Fiber enthusiasts will demonstrate crafts such as knitting, spinning and weaving, and the fiber-curious of all ages can try their hands at crochet, needlepoint, felting and more at make-and-take tables.
The free, family-friendly event is the brainchild of Bente Petersen of Piedmont Yarn & Apparel and Lou Grantham, owner of San Francisco Fiber. Grantham, a Grand Lake resident, runs a business that specializes in selling looms, weaving accessories, spinning supplies and books. With more than 30 years experience, Grantham also teaches private lessons and classes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area in the textile arts.
Petersen opened her store on Piedmont Avenue as a way to continue the tradition she brought from her native Denmark where she descends from generations of knitters. Her shop offers classes in many textile arts plus supplies that are affordable and sustainably produced. Those who walk by her store of an afternoon will see a gathering of budding artisans engaged in their craft. Additionally, the store sells one-of-a-kind finished apparel.
Rather than retreat from trying new ventures, Petersen and Grantham thought that a recession might just be the right time to encourage more people to make their own clothing and gifts, while developing their talents. Their concern for children whose opportunities to study the arts have been diminished led them to include kids in their plans for this event. Because it is free, it also a good time for families to come and learn new skills together.
The fair will provide a venue for artisans to offer their wares to the broad public who uses and enjoys the Splash Pad Park. Also on hand will be teachers to demonstrate their skills, nonprofits, and guilds which promote the various crafts. Any money raised from booth fees will go to Oakland parks organizations.
Even if you are not thinking about becoming an artisan, this fair will have something for supporters of the sustainability movement and the just-plain-curious. Vendors will offer free demonstrations including how to weave or crochet used plastic bags into an attractive, re-usable grocery bag or how to spin yarn with a discarded CD.
“Where else can you try knitting, crochet, needlepoint, felting, weaving, spinning or quilting all in one day and for free?” Petersen asked.
For more information, visit www.oaklandfiberfest.com, Facebook, Twitter or stop by Piedmont Yarn & Apparel, 4171 Piedmont Ave., (510) 595-9595. Lou Grantham can be reached at San Francisco Fiber, (510) 893-2015.