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Common Threads Fiber Symposium

Saturday, April 9, 2022
9:00 am4:00 pm
Somerset Historical Center
Interior of the exhibit at the Somerset Historical Center with vendor tables set up selling fiber arts.

Common Threads

Laurel Arts and the Somerset Historical Center are partnering to present the 4th Annual Common Threads Fiber Arts Symposium. This one-day event will take place on Saturday, April 9th from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. inside the unique museum space at the Somerset Historical Center (10649 Somerset Pike, Somerset, PA 15501).

Common Threads is a celebration of all things Fiber Art including basketry, weaving, tapestry, coiling, knitting, crochet, embroidery, lacemaking, rug braiding, rug hooking, macramé, textile arts, silk painting, sewing, quilting, spinning, felting, papermaking, bookbinding, and many creative combinations of those skills. This event offers an opportunity for regional fiber artists to make meaningful connections and share their skills and knowledge with each other as well as the public. Throughout the day, roughly 15 fiber artists will be set up throughout the museum, demonstrating specific techniques, providing hands-on activities to participants, and the artists will be educating visitors when selling or talking about their hand-made products.

For a $5 admission, visitors who attend Common Threads get to meander through the winding museum space to visit each fiber artist’s table/booth. The Fat Squirrel will be onsite outside to provide lunch options throughout the afternoon. Every year, two guest presenters are featured as keynote speakers the day of the event. In the past, presentations have been given on a variety of very interesting fiber arts topics, techniques, fiber artists’ careers, published work, and displays including fashion shows.

Guest speaker is Katy DeMent. Her artwork features handmade paper, collage, cast and environmental sculptural constructions, skinned with handmade papers and vintage ephemera.

Common Threads attracts fiber artists and fiber arts enthusiasts of all ages, skills, and interest levels, and both local and out-of-state visitors. The event is also promoted by the Pennsylvania Arts Education Association (PAEA) as a way for teachers to earn Act 48 credits through participation in this all day Symposium. Teachers who attend are presented with a variety of project ideas, specific techniques, historical information, and new materials which they can take back to their classrooms for the benefit of their students. PAEA has an Eventbrite link set up for teachers to conveniently pre-register for the event:

PAEA Teacher Pre-Register

Both historical and contemporary fiber arts are represented at Common Threads, providing a link from past to present, making this event a relevant and successful collaboration between Laurel Arts and the Somerset Historical Center. One unique quality about fiber arts is that many of the techniques and materials have remained the same for hundreds of years, and most fiber artists have an understanding of traditional methods of creating their artwork. Many fiber artists often choose to branch out creatively, experimenting with ways to move the art form forward, pushing the boundaries by combining techniques, media, and implementing non-traditional materials within their work.

2022 Participants
• Diane Kelly of Firesong Studio
• Carolyn Groves
Joanna Stanek
Underhill Farm
• Loretta Radeschi
• Julie Follansbee
• Erin Mayak
• Kathy Trexel Reed
• Becky Edwards
• Kelly Hanson of Backyard Fiber Company