Weaving away the weekend
BELINGTON – A total of 65 basket and seat weavers convened at the Belington Volunteer Fire Department Friday and Saturday for an annual weekend weaving class hosted by the Mountain Heritage Basket Weaver’s Guild.
While a portion of the weavers were local, many others traveled from homes across West Virginia. Some even made the trek from other states.
“I like the finished product,” Sigrid Skidmore of Ohio said Saturday about why she is interested in the craft.
Skidmore said she attended the event both Friday and Saturday. She was already using the basket she created Friday, bringing it with her Saturday.
Mikki Summerfield of Elkins said she likes to weave baskets because it is very relaxing. She said in past years, the event was hosted at the Barbour County Fairgrounds as part of the Barbour County Winter Fair. This year, however, it was hosted separately by the organization, utilizing a large open area at the fire
Mountain Heritage Basket Weaver’s Guild President Laura Lawrence said attendance for the event has been holding steady at 60-plus people in recent years.
“The last few years have been good,” Lawrence said, adding that much of the advertising has been done through social media. “We have it built up.”
Vendors were on hand from Sickler Farms, Bears Leather Shop and KB Enterprises for the weavers to buy something special to aid in their craft.
The Belington EMS prepared and served food for guests and crafters at the event.
“I think they just enjoy making something with their own hands,” Lawrence said of the participants. “It’s a heritage craft they want to continue.”
The event included basket and seat weaving with help and instruction from members of the Mountain Heritage Basket Weaver’s Guild.
Materials were made available to the participants. Some of the bases for the baskets featured the shape of West Virginia in the design. Weavers would start at the base and build the basket up from there.
“I like something that starts very small, and as it develops, it grows,” Carol Edge of Barbour County said.
The event happens one weekend each year, but those who are interested in joining the guild may contact Lawrence at 304-457-2375 for details.
Contact Melissa Toothman by email at email@example.com.