COSW’s Unofficial Historian
On May 4, 2021, Carole Siegworth, age 89, passed away in Bend, after
recent years of declining health. A member of Central Oregon Spinners
and Weavers since 1975, and its unofficial historian, a special weaver,
spinner, rug hooker and basket maker will be greatly missed.
In 1972 the weaving and spinning guild, Central Oregon Weavers and Spinners (COWS) had a new beginning. There had been an organization of people interested in weaving and spinning in Central Oregon prior to that but interest and leadership had waned. Nancy Landis had opened Wildflowers Fibres in Bend, devoted to fibers of all kinds. One of the people who began teaching there was Dee Ford Potter, a weaver (still a member of COSW) who had recently moved to Bend and a decision was made to restart an active fiber guild.
In 1975 Carole Siegworth moved to Bend with her Forest Service husband, Hal, and she decided she wanted to learn to weave, with Dee Ford Potter becoming her first teacher. A Native Oregonian and surgical nurse prior to moving to Bend, Carole quickly picked up working with wool and eventually spinning and weaving with wool and other fibers. As a new weaver, Carole was eager to learn as much as she could and became actively involved in the new weaving guild.
With a natural ability to organize things, Carole began to keep copies of the guild’s annual membership booklets, newspaper articles related to guild activities and the guild’s newsletters. Whenever someone needed to know about past guild events, Carole probably had that information. Although there was no official weaving guild historian, Carole and Dee were the “go to” people for weaving and spinning information in Central Oregon.
Carole expanded her weaving horizons by also becoming an excellent basket maker and won several prizes for her work. Her weaving also was found in county fair entries of beautiful dresses woven for dolls in her doll collection. Sheer curtains, pillows and rugs designed and hooked with her handspun and dyed yarns were beautiful additions to her home.
Following her death, her husband Hal has given all of Carole’s guild files back to the guild and we are now in the process of creating scrapbooks of the guild’s history and activities, from 1972 to the present.
Hal would also like some of Carole’s spinning fibers, books and equipment to be made available for sale to current guild members and that most of those funds be placed in the education fund to help new and current members continue to grow in their knowledge and use of fiber. Watch for an opportunity to see and purchase these.