COLUMBIA — Every year, hundreds of Missourians gather to attend the Columbia Weavers and Spinners Guild's Weaving Holiday Exhibition and Sale. The exhibition, now in its 19th year, will take place this weekend at the Boone County Historical Society Museum.
Coordinator Paula McFarling said the exhibition was started to make the group more visible in the community and to encourage appreciation for handmade items.
Jenny Chicone, who has been involved with the event for 15 years, said the number of people attending has increased over the past decade as the work of the members has evolved.
"I think our sale has become more sophisticated and diverse as time has gone on because we've learned more techniques and different ways of doing things that is reflective of the items at our sale," said Chicone, whose handmade baby blankets and kitchen towels will be for sale.
McFarling said she expects no fewer than 500 people to attend the event this year.
WHAT: 19th Annual Holiday Exhibition and Sale, Columbia Weavers and Spinners Guild
WHEN: From 6 to 9 p.m. Friday, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday
WHERE: Boone County Historical Society Museum, 3801 Ponderosa St.
ADMISSION: Free. Door prize drawings will be held every half-hour on Saturday and Sunday.
MORE INFORMATION: http://cwsg.missouri.org/HES.html
Irene Livingston, a former elementary school teacher and president of the guild, said this will be her 13th year in the exhibition and sale. Livingston mainly sells handmade rugs. She said she usually makes rag rugs but this year has made 13 alpaca rugs. Another member of the guild, Ann Mayes, has an alpaca farm, from which the fiber comes.
“I sell a variety of things. My rag rugs are usually the most popular, so I'm excited to see how my alpaca rugs will sell this year,” Livingston said.
Amy Preckshot is another longtime guild member who has participated in the annual exhibition for more than 18 years. Every year, she sells 24 types of hand-woven miniature wild animals. Preckshot said she weaves the fabric to resemble the skin of the animals. The animals are sized in relation to each other. For instance, she said, a giraffe will be 16 to 18 inches tall, whereas an armadillo will be 5 inches tall.
“They sell so fast, I can’t keep up with them,” said Preckshot, who said she sold between 30 and 50 animals within 10 minutes last year.
She has a new addition to her menagerie. “This year I have made baby pink elephants,” Preckshot said.
Leandra Spangler said she specializes in “non-functional decorative” items made out of paper, which she has sold at the exhibition for about 12 years. This year she plans to sell 165items, including cards, lamps, journals, bowls, ornaments and jewelry — all made out of paper.
Spangler said she first started making paper in 1986 when she was inspired by a workshop she attended while working as an art teacher. "When I first started the workshop, it was like, 'This is it,' so I kept taking classes, experimenting and trying to think of many different ways I could work with paper," Spangler said.
Spangler, who has been a member of the guild for about 15 years, said she will sell ornaments and earrings displaying a new design she has made for this weekend's exhibition.
"This year I am doing some folded papers that are called Moravian stars," Spangler said. "The design is a very old traditional basketry technique, but I've made them out of paper instead of bark."
Beaded jewelry will also be for sale. Karen Schultz has items including earrings, bracelets, necklaces and pins, as well as pocket mirrors made with beads.
Schultz said the weekend is a special occasion. “People come to shop," she said, "see the show, and just make a day out of it.”