About

The California Straw Arts Guild was established in 1989 as the California Wheat Weavers Guild (CWWG). In 2009, the name was changed to California Straw Arts Guild (CSAG) to reflect the diversity of straw and methods that are used to create these works of art.

Guild members are engaged in learning about and expanding on an age-old straw art tradition that has roots throughout the world. The organization is comprised of members who have a full range of skill levels, from beginner to talented straw artists, from the State of California and beyond.  Straw is one of the most versatile and beautiful natural materials in the world. Anyone interested in straw art is welcome to join with us and discover the world of straw arts.  Come learn with us!

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In Paris
Designed & created by Tatyana Bychkov
 
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Fantasy Carnival
Designed & created by Linda Downs

OUR MISSION

The Guild was created:

  • To preserve the folk-art tradition and history of corn dollies and wheat plaiting, otherwise known as wheat weaving, as it is commonly referred to in the United States.

  • To teach and share the techniques of various straw art forms.

  • To promote straw art traditions regardless of country of origin.

 

Brief History & Folklore
 

The practice of wheat weaving (or corn dolly plaiting as it is known in England where all grain is called corn) is very old and seems to have been done wherever grain is grown. The designs of these abstract shapes made from straw vary from country to country, but a similar belief in the fertility of the earth underlies them all.  Woven from the last sheaf (or the best) cut from the harvest, corn dollies were a decorative way to store a bundle of wheat seeds so that the spirit of the wheat could survive the winter and be plowed back into the soil in the springtime. They were thought to bring blessing and prosperity to the community and its land.

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Down the Garden Path
Designed & Created by Carol Thompson