Her house is amazing. Everywhere you look in the living area, there are swans. Wall cabinets full of figurines, light fixtures, faucets. She says it's one of those collections like I have -- you mention once that you like something and suddenly everyone you know is giving you that thing. For the record, I DO NOT WANT any more Betty Boop things. Here and there amidst all the swans you can spot some modern spinning wheels and the occasional antique fiber tool.
Then Susie led us to the back of the house, where the major part of her collection is displayed in a three-story addition. Wow! There were looms, spinning wheels, reels, spindles, hackles, distaffs, miniatures, and all manner of fiber tools packed in there. Because they're mostly made of wood and many are quite ancient, they vary in condition from crumbling to pristine. Made me realize that a) my collection of fiber equipment is not all that much and b) I really don't need any more spinning wheels. Or other stuff. Except for maybe the electric reel that came last week. More on that some other time.
I'd never met her before but Susie is very gracious and is one of those rare people with whom you feel at ease immediately. She had such interesting stories to tell about items in her collection and how she acquired them. She's in the process of donating most of her collection to the Antique Gas and Steam Engine Museum in Vista, CA. Despite the name, they already have a weaving barn with over 50 looms ranging from Civil War era to modern, and an active group of weavers. It will probably be several years before a new building is complete and exhibits are ready to view, so in the meantime, here is just a small glimpse of her collection. There should be more photos but most of time I was so stunned by everything I completely forgot to take any.
|On the extreme right, you can see the end of a pendulum-type spinning wheel. First I've seen except on the internet. On the left is a barn loom (so named because its construction is similar to that once used in framing barns) used in "Roots."|
|Beautiful matching chair and wheel. Next to are two ivory-trimmed wheels. You can just see the top finials of each.|
|The "blond" reel was used in "Practical Magic."|
|Just part of the overwhelming number of items in Susie's collection.|
|Look at the beautiful painting on this wheel - especially the distaff.|
|And its less ornate but equally lovely neighbor.|
|Just one of several massive aisles of fabrics at Mood.|