The Handweavers Guild of America (HGA) offers certification in fiber arts: Weaving, Spinning, Dyeing, and Basketry. Application who pass the rigorous requirements receive a Certificate of Excellence (COE) in their chosen field. There are two levels of certification: the first requires proficiency in the basic arts, and the second, Master of Specialized Study, requires a focused, specialized study. An overview of the program can be found at http://weavespindye.org/pages/coeoverview.html.
Olympia Weavers Guild was privileged to host the 2013 COE in Spinning. This year, applicants included one in Level 1 and two in Level 2. The program involves a registrar, who assembles the submitted work for review by two examiners. The process is overseen by two representatives from HGA. The OWG chairperson was Lana Schneider, who generously offered her own studio as the site for the examination, which took three days: one to assemble the team and the work, and two intense days of judging and documenting the process. Several members served as scribes, assisting the examiners in documenting the findings, and other members provided food for the committee and lodging for the HGA representatives and examiners.
Photos by Sandra Swarbrick, HGA.
Mary Ann Sanborn, the other HGA representative, gave a very interesting presentation at the October Guild Meeting on Shaker textiles.
Both of the Level II submissions were accepted, and the applicants were announced on the HGA website, and in an upcoming issue of Shuttle, Spindle, and Dyepot Magazine.