Somerset Guild of Spinners, Weavers and Dyers

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The Somerset Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers aims to encourage and promote the skills of weaving, spinning and dyeing amongst both members and the wider public.

Latest News

  • The Somerset Guild had six items in the selected section of the National Exhibition 2016, see photos in the Gallery page
  • The Guild now has a Facebook page and members are invited to contribute https://www.facebook.com/SomersetWSD
  • See new Foundation Certificate in Spinning under Certificate of Achievement. This is a course for new spinners
  • Details of the Association Summer School are available now – click for full brochure  AGWSD Summer School 2017 Brochure
  • Our Guild Annual General meeting will be held on 21st January 2017. Although visitors are welcome, only paid up members have voting rights. The annual Guild subscription will be payable at this meeting

Joining Our Guild

The membership subscription is £24 per year payable in one instalment in January or in two instalments of £12 in January and July. Postal membership is now £10 and the visitor charge is £3. Our meetings are held on the third Saturday of each month except for August and December when we do not meet. Meetings are held at Hatch Beauchamp village hall, commencing at 10.30. In the afternoon, there is usually a speaker or a workshop which starts at 1.30.

Please follow the link to download the membership application form:

Guild Subscription Form

A programme is issued at the beginning of the year giving information on the monthly meetings, competitions and whether there is a fork lunch or soup and bread lunch. The Programme Secretary welcomes any suggestions for future events or speakers.

Meetings usually consist of an informal morning, where members bring along their spinning wheels, portable looms or knitting. This is an opportunity to socialise, exchange tips and ideas and share skills. Tea and coffee are available throughout the day for a small fee. After lunch, at approximately 1.30 pm. we have a speaker whose talk may be on a subject other than just our three crafts. Some of our meetings are ‘skills days’ where members are invited to demonstrate their own particular specialisms and expertise to small groups.

We produce a Newsletter four times a year giving information, adverts and reports on meetings and Guild activities. Books and videos may be borrowed from our comprehensive library for one month. There is no charge for books but if they are returned late there is a fine of 25p, which goes up in subsequent months.

The website is available for members’ advertisements, information on the Guild, local courses and exhibitions and so on. There is also a sales table which displays any goods members wish to sell. A commission of 10% is charged on anything sold, which goes to support Guild activities.

We hold exhibitions in our area. The Guild has three trophies awarded on an annual basis: the Quantock Weavers Memorial Trophy for weavers ; the Morfudd Roberts Memorial Trophy for spinners  and the Dyeing Trophy.

Below are the guilds current policies. Please click on the link to view them.

Guild Policy Documents

Our President John Arbon

John Arbon was nominated by members as President and graciously accepted the role. Below is a little information about John but do have a look at his website because there is so much more to learn about this facinating man. www.jarbon.com

John, together with wife Juliet, has a woollen mill in South Molton and a shop near his home at Lynton in North Devon. He supplies yarns made from Alpaca, Exmoor Blue-face (a cross between Exmoor Horn and Blueface Leicester sheep) and Ice-landic Merino. John has rescued many old wool processing machines and lovingly restored them to process fleece and fibre at the mill.

He attends many national fairs, including Woolfest and Wonder Wool amongst others, selling fibre, socks and yarns plus Alpaca woven bags and rugs, knitting patterns and kits all of which can be obtained from the shop in Lynton.

John gives Guild members a 10% discount when puchasing items from him. All you have to do is show your Guild membership card so make sure you get one when you renew your subscription. John also has a members club at the mill. members have a secret page on his website and receive advance offers of new products. Mill members who go in pre-arranged groups of 4 or more will receive 20% discount on purchases at the mill.

The Association Of Guilds Of Weavers, Spinners And Dyers

The Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers is the national organisation to which the Somerset Guild is affiliated. This means that we are in touch with other Guilds throughout the country leading to an exchange of ideas and sometimes new friendships. The Association has five main points of contact with the Guilds.

  • The Annual General Meeting is held every year and all member Guilds are invited to send two people, a delegate, who will speak on behalf of their Guild, and an observer. We can make propositions concerning the running of the Association and the delegates vote on them. At the AGM elections are held, when applicable, for members of local Guilds to join the General Purposes Committee (the ‘civil service’ of the Association) and the Journal Committee.
  • The Journal For Weavers, Spinners And Dyers is published quarterly. Members who order it through their Guild (in January) pay a reduced rate. Articles are always welcome, particularly those of a practical nature. The Journal is always full of interesting and informative material. It is a good buy whether you are a beginner or more experienced weaver or spinner.
  • The National Exhibition is held every two years at different venues around the country. Guild members are invited to submit, through their Guild, a maximum of two articles for inclusion in the exhibition.  Articles need to demonstrate the skills of weaving, spinning  or dyeing somewhere in their construction.
  • The Summer School is held in alternate years to the exhibition. Courses are run in all three crafts and in techniques associated with them. Details are available from our Guild secretary and are also published in the Journal. The Summer School is also the venue for the judging of entries for the Certificate of Achievement submissions. Details can be obtained from the Secretary.
  • Conferences and Study Days are run by the Association. The Secretary will have details.

The Somerset Guild has a fund donated by the Quantock Weavers. Bursaries are available from this fund for assistance in payment for courses either at the Association Summer School, or any other course connected with our craft. Our Treasurer can supply further information. All we ask in return is that you write a short outline of how you used the award for the newsletter, and perhaps bring your work to show at a Guild meeting.

…….and finally……

We hope this that information will give you an impression of how the Guild and the Association work. Should you need any further help or information, please do not hesitate to ask any committee member (listed on the notice board). We are always pleased to help and advise.

Please note, all text and images on this website are under copyright either to the Guild or the original author/photographer. Please do not borrow any text or images without prior permission!