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Artisan’s visit looms at Mill Race Center

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A visit to Chris Gustin’s Brown County home offers proof that weaving looms large in her life.

Looms of nearly every variety sit in nearly every side room — and that’s beyond the loom room of her separate studio on the rural property on Hamilton Creek Road.

The Indiana artisan and veteran weaver who sells her textiles worldwide is bringing that passion, and at least eight of her looms, to Columbus’ Mill Race Center this week for demonstrations of her craft.

Her artist-in-residency appearance through Saturday also will give visitors a chance to weave themselves a mug rug — a fabric drink coaster — in about 15 minutes.

“One of the ideas is simply to give people a chance to play on a loom,” Gustin said.

Because many of her looms are not easily portable, Gustin rarely makes community demonstration appearances.

Yet, guests regularly visit her Homestead Weaving Studio to see her do her work. The upcoming Brown County Studio and Garden Tour from May 9 to 18 is one outlet for that.

At Mill Race, she plans to have two floor looms and an assortment of six smaller table looms situated in the center’s lounge overlooking Mill Race Park. While people observe, she hopes to be using a new warp in various tourmaline colors that she eventually will weave into clothes for an Indianapolis show at month’s end.

“I’m simply trying to reach people to show them how art can affect your life in a positive way,” Gustin said.

She added that her week “will be a slimmed-down version of what we do in the studio.”

Two free workshops Saturday give residents a chance to bring fabric or clothing — or even old jewelry — that can be woven into what will be a community wall hanging for the center.

Geri Handley, special events coordinator at Mill Race Center and a longtime fan of Gus-tin’s work, organized

the week. The weaver’s pieces also hang in Handley’s homes in Columbus and in Arizona.

“Once people see some of the basic elements (of weaving),” Handley said, “and once they realize that they can even easily purchase a small loom, I think they will be even more excited.”

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