Fiber Arts in Astoria
In the 1950's six families arrived in Astoria from Finland, bringing their looms. Following Scandinavian custom, they established a communal area were they could weave together. This became the beginning of the Clatsop Weavers and Spinners Guild, which exists today.
After graduating from the University of Oregon In 1988, Margaret Thierry founded the fiber arts program at Clatsop Community College. To assist the program, the University of Oregon gave looms to the college, including looms that originated in the City of Paris department store in San Francisco.
In 1996, Ms. Thierry turned over the program to Iris Sullivan, who managed it until it was closed in 2004. The college disbursed the looms, selling them for $15 each. Many of the salvageable looms were acquired by local residents, and stored away in garages and basements.
The Fiber Arts Academy provides a new home weavers to once again practice their craft in a communal work space.
Photographs are from Finland, circa 1940s.