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Weavers celebrate Roc Day in Cape Coral

By Staff | Jan 11, 2009

Fiber art takes patience and practiced skill, much like any art form. Just like any art form, patience, skill and talent can bring amazing works of art.
Some of those pieces are on display at the Cape Coral Library, where the Weavers of Char-Lee held their annual Roc Day event Saturday, where experienced artists demonstrated weaving, spinning, dyeing and felting.
“I’m wowed by it all the time,” said Rose Young, creator of various fiber arts including “Mermaid’s Lair,” which is on display at the Cape Arts Studio. “It’s just amazing what people are doing. There are experts with this as much as there are experts with any other type of art form.”
Young, a member of Weavers of Char-Lee, was at the group’s Roc Day event Saturday, using a foam core board to demonstrate how to create a necklace without the use of the loom, a typical tool of the craft.
“You don’t have to limit yourself to just small things, and…to a loom,” she said.
Roc Day is an international celebration of fiber arts held each January on St. Distaff Day. A roc is the distaff on a spinning wheel which holds the wool or flax for spinning.
It’s a way to carry on our tradition and heritage and it’s very fun,” Young said.
Young has been a fiber artist for approximately 40 years, before which she was a painter.
“I’ve always had a draw to fibers,” she said. “It was kind of a natural jump from painting.”
The Char-Lee weaving group of about 35 gained several members Saturday. To join costs about $15 annually, and while equipment and looms can get pricey, the group is willing to loan, give or sell looms that were donated to people who are interested in learning the craft.
Additionally, if they’re worried about cost, there’s lots of yarns at thrift stores, Young said.
The craft isn’t limited to a certain age group or demographic, either.
“I think it’s a wonderful thing for young children,” she said.
Children came to Roc Day in past years to learn about the art, and enjoyed it,Young said.
This year, local 9-year-old Kathleen Magoon decided she wanted one of Young’s works to hang on her bedroom wall. The woven quilted work was called “Eye of the Hurricane.”
“I just thought it had cool designs,” Kathleen said of Young’s work. “You don’t see that many colors mashed together and that really made it unique.”
Kathleen comes to the library every Saturday with her father, Michael Magoon.
“I appreciate all art,” Magoon said. “Our whole house is filled with art.”
Magoon said his mother’s and grandmother’s paintings adorned their walls. His grandmother, he said, was a clothes designer in the earlier part of the 20th century, and designed many of his baby clothes.
“My grandma has a huge shelf of (painting) stuff,” Kathleen said. “I try to use whatevers not dried up. I want to see if I can do the same thing as her.”
Michael seemed impressed with the fiber arts displayed in the library.
“It seems like it’s kind of a lost art,” he said. “It’s mostly people of an older generation.”
Michael said he thought the younger generation might benefit from being
introduced to fiber arts.
“They should go to elementary schools and get children involved,” he said.