Artistic Weavers & Fiber Artists' Club

Mission Statement

The mission of our guild is to promote the enjoyment and education of fiber arts to everyone in our community in a welcoming and open environment.  We focus on weaving, spinning, basketry, and other fiber arts as our members express interest. 

A short history

          A small group of us started weaving at Bell Recreation Center in 1986. About two years later, 25 of us decided to form a second weaving club and were offered a room to share with another Recreation Center club. We carted our looms back and forth every week which got tiresome. We yearned for a place of our own and our teacher, Muriel Chapman, had a plan. She approached a local funeral home and asked about using their extra meeting rooms. Muriel promised them that she would have them do her funeral if we could use the room at no charge. (She kept that promise when she turned 100.) 

          It was a room of our own which we appreciated but the lighting was not appropriate for weaving. So, we approached the Recreation Center Board about having a room of our own. We attended several meetings to state our case. After many weeks, they agreed to let us have the Men’s Shower Room at Oakmont since it was no longer being used. It was great fun watching them tear the room apart to make it ready for us.

          The year flew by and, in 1990, we became a chartered club with the name” Weavers’ Web” which was eventually renamed “Artistic Weavers” thanks to Muriel.

          Now, with our own room, we needed equipment. The Recreation Center gave us seed money. As a group, we approached the Fiber Factory in Mesa and ordered 12 Dorothy looms and one floor loom. Needless to say, we were on a roll! Members of the group continued to donate small equipment items as they were needed.

          Muriel started a Beginners’ Weaving class and everyone was involved in one way or another making mug rugs, placemats, runners and more. The group soon became good enough that an intermediate class was formed. In that class, we learned how to weave floor rugs, and clothing. 

          As a group, we were growing to the point that we ran out of room. There was a small Social Hall next door which was seldom used so we went back to the Recreation Center and asked that the adjoining wall be removed in order to double our club’s work space. The Board agreed! That sent us scrambling to find more floor looms. Our first Gilmore was an auction item we won for a bid of $100! More donations followed and we continued to grow.

          Next came the question of, “What are we going to do with all our woven items?” The group decided it was time to apply for a booth at the Fall Arts and Crafts Festival. We began with five tables. Muriel made clothing and hung items on racks that we placed outside our booth so people could try things on. (The Fire Department had not yet gotten involved.) We sold out!!

         And we’ve never stopped going since. Basket Weaving came next, Spinning, Coiling, Inkle and Rigid Heddle weaving followed. We have become so busy that finding times to schedule classes can be challenging. What a wonderful problem to have! Over the years, the original 25-member club has grown to well over 80 members. It’s a wonderful club. We’ve made great friends and are very proud of our club’s contribution to the active lifestyle of Sun City.

Georgene McKenzie