In September 2020 the Glenora Farm administration team was approached by Kelly Cotter, a resident of Glenora Farm and her father Brent Cotter, to see if we had the capacity to weave 100 of our famous pillows for a special event slated for May 2021. Each pillow is handmade from upcycled and donated materials and wool from the farm’s East Friesian sheep (processed and dyed offsite), the stuffing is also made of wool from our flock. Each pillow has a unique pattern and is hand-woven by one of the Companions in our weavery workshop. All proceeds from pillow sales directly support recreational and workshop programs offered here at Glenora Farm. These programs give our Companions the ability to create, explore and share their talents, and be part of the broader community fabric.
Our weavery workshop Master Ann was excited to take on the challenge, there was a slight hesitation though, as each pillow takes a Companion up to 5 hours to create. There was the possibility of COVID-19 related delays to consider, as new health and safety protocols had reduced our weavery workshop capacity, the team had to stagger their studio schedules and keep a strong pace in order to keep everyone safe and to get the project done on time. For the last push, we had a pillow stuffing party which was a great fun and a wonderful way to wrap up completing 100 pillows!
We know that you must be wondering, why were a 100 pillows ordered? They are to be presented in the Senate as a gift to honour Senator Jim Munson who will be retiring in June 2021. Senator Munson has been a longtime champion for disability rights. Senator Brent Cotter felt the best way to carry forward the advocacy and awareness work that Senator Munson dedicated most of his political career to was to personally gift each Senator with a pillow woven by an individual with diverse abilities. We hope that this project raises awareness and support for diverse populations and shines a light on what we can achieve, regardless of ‘ability’. The creativity, talent, and craftsmanship of our weavers is truly reflected in each of the 100 Pillows.
We are incredibly proud of our weavers, they have dedicated themselves to the concept, creation, and completion of the project, we would like to share our appreciation to everyone who helped us cross the finish line.
Thank you to Brent Cotter and Kelly Cotter for asking us to partner with them on this project, the past 9 months has been filled with much hard work, and many moments of inspiration, and connection.