Passion for spinning leads to national event

Steve Kennett.
Steve Kennett.

An Amberley man with a passion for spinning and weaving is behind a national exhibition of work at the Weald and Downland Museum.

The exhibition at Singleton features work by the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers of which Steve Kennett is vice-chairman.

It opens on Monday July 16 and runs to July 27, spanning the Rare Breeds Show weekend.

Steve said: “This is a very exciting event. Forty Guilds from all over the country have submitted work for selection and we will be showing the best and most interesting of them. Besides the formal entries, we challenged Guild members to send us work inside a six inch ring - 470 responded!”

The rings will form an outstanding and colourful display and will be a valuable addition to the exhibition, where there will also be demonstrations of weaving, spinning and other activities, with visitors encouraged to vote for their favourite exhibit.

The idea for the rings stemmed from the exhibition coinciding with the Olympics and all the rings will be hung, creating an opportunity for all Guild members to display work.

“It was also a challenge on interpretation of the idea. The result is a wonderful celebration of an amazing creativity amongst Guild members,” said Steve.

Steve was taught to spin by his godmother, who was head of crafts at Bromley College of Art. She had learned her skills from Ethel Mairet, one of the Ditchling community. The Association’s logo was designed by Eric Gill, also at Ditchling.

He said: “ I have been spinning and weaving for some 40 years as a hobby. I run spinning and weaving workshops for beginners and improvers.’’

The exhibition will showcase the best work selected from 114 Guilds