Cindy Bass

Cindy Bass holds a collection of self-woven mug rugs.

The second Chaffee Arts free student art class awaits at the Buena Vista Community Center Sunday, Feb. 23: Weaving with Cindy Bass.

“I’ve always been a thread head,” Bass says. “I like things you can touch. Paint’s okay, I still like to paint. I like fiber, the feel of it. I like working with it.”

Bass found her passion for art in middle school.

“When I was in middle school, we had just moved to a new house and I couldn’t find my place in the universe,” she says. “I had an art teacher who was just amazing. She helped me kind of find my voice as far as what I wanted to do.

“Sometimes that’s all you need, one chance to try it and realize you like it and go from there. And if you don’t like it, that’s okay too. At least you tried it.”

For 40 years she worked as a graphic designer, doing work for Harley Davidson along the way. After she retired, she decided to get back into weaving.

She got herself a loom, played with it for a while and fell in love with it.

Travel most often inspires her work. She takes pictures of things she sees, or she sketches them in her sketchbook.

“If I see something that trips my trigger, I’ll draw it up… Most of it’s from what I see around me, most of it’s from nature,” she says.

Bass and her husband moved to Buena Vista a little over a year and a half ago. Since then, she has become a member of both Chaffee Arts and Heart of Colorado Fiber Guild.

She and her guildmates trade ideas and what they’ve learned about different fibers and designing, and they get opportunities to display their works through Chaffee Arts.

“It’s a social thing as well as an artistic thing,” she says.

Teaching art is nothing new to Bass at this point. Last winter, she also taught art to children 3- to 5-years old at Monarch’s kids center between instructing their ski lessons.

When she caught wind of the Chaffee Arts free student art classes, she thought it would be fun to do as well.

“Maybe I’ll connect with somebody that still maybe hasn’t found their place in the universe yet either,” she says.

For this class, students will weave a Navajo-style mug rug on a small frame loom, a quick and easy task to start into weaving. In the event some of the kids are unable to finish their projects, Bass will show them how finish the weave so they can do it from home.

She will also give the kids her number so they can call her for help. And if they would like to pursue weaving further, she could offer more classes and “take them to the next step.”

More than anything, Bass wants the students to enjoy themselves and not feel rushed.

“Just have fun,” she says. “Especially if it’s the first time you’ve done it, don’t expect to bring home a masterpiece. It’s a hand-woven piece.

“Have fun, enjoy the colors, see how different colors look against one another. If you’re doing a pattern, how does that pattern come together in your piece?”

The class takes place in the community center’s aspen room from 1 to 3 p.m.

The class size limit is 12 students. Register at www.buenavistarec.com

All student art will be displayed at the Chaffee Arts May Open Awards Show.

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