gerard_vermette@sympatico.ca

My grandmother’s loom was fashioned with an axe by her husband as a wedding present.  It is still in use today, but the string spindles have been changed to metal over the years.

As a retirement hobby 20 years ago, I bought a loom at a garage sale and quickly discovered that I needed lessons.  After signing up with a master weaver, I found out my loom was missing pieces in order to function properly.  I had a long way to go, but persevered and a bond still exists between my instructor and myself as she attends one show every year to view my progress and give me encouragement.

Natural fibres have been my preference from the beginning, but I also weave with polypropylene for floor runners.  Synthetic placemats have shown up in my booth from time to time.  When I was exhibiting at the Carp Farmers Market some years ago, customers from Germany spied my linen tea towels and almost cleaned me out!  They said that in their area of Germany, towels such as mine were not readily available and the German mark made my towels very affordable.

Past member of the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild and a 20 year member of the Ottawa Artisans Guild.  I also participate in Fibrefest in Almonte, and, weather permitting, in the Middleville Fair every September.

My favourite maple memory:

When I was young, my family visited my maternal grandfather’s farm in Clarence Creek when the sap was running.  It was a gathering place as Mom came from a family of 16 children.  What a sight to see – adults catching up while cousins carried buckets of sap to the boiler room, ate taffy and maple butter and helped the adults package syrup to bring home for the coming year.