Private, semi-private and virtual instruction is available through my studio at The Mill at Shady Lea in North Kingstown, RI.
Weaving cloth is magic! My mission is to share my skill and passion for the vanishing language of handweaving. This language speaks to the quality of life I want to live. I strive to keep handweaving current and necessary. Learn to weave; warping and technical skills; pattern drafting and structure; unusual materials; Special needs and high risk populations; professional development; consultation; loom repair and restoration.
Transforming Tools and Weaving Wonders
Understanding the equipment we use, as weavers, is the first step to changing the way we use it. We will identify way for disrupting the fluid order of warp and weft through closely observing loom anatomy. Then you will learn how to use the knowledge of weaving equipment to achieve fantastic and unexpected effects in your cloth. Contemporary tools such as Open Reed®, Supplementary Beater®, and RailReed will be explored and demonstrated as simple alternatives we can use to transform the traditional grid into a woven wonder. Don’t be put off by the anatomy of your loom — learn it and use it!
Renegade Treadlings on Traditional Threadings
Ms and Os, Huck-a-Back, and Swedish Point : These three traditional weave structures offer weavers the opportunity to explore myriad possibilities for towels, clothing, and accessories. Once we learn what distinguishes these threadings from others, we can expand our treadling vocabulary to create our own voice in creating innovative designs for our cloth.
The stories a Bedsheet can Tell
Indulge for a moment, in the idea of sleeping in linen bedsheets that you have woven! Linen has imperceptible elasticity, incredible strength, and a finish that will last generations. Linen will tell you exactly what it wants and what you have “done to it” if it doesn’t like the way you handle it.
Material objects such as these are not divorced from their owners, inert ‘things’ with no life of their own. Instead, they are invested with meaning – emotional, religious, and even political. This presentation looks at material culture – linen, the history of bedsheets, and the process of making. We will share the inspiration and challenges of our quest to be hand weavers in an automated society.
Paper. Book. Art.
Every aspect of making paper allows for repetition, concentration, discovery and opportunity – just like weaving. Drawing on my experiences in Hawaii and with traditional Japanese papermakers, this presentation will share the various methods of making paper and Hawaiian bark cloth. You will have many samples to handle, explore and question. In a workshop, we will use beautiful papers to explore basic ways to make a treasured book. Guaranteed, you will be giving books all year long after this!
Spinning Paper Yarn
Spinning paper is a dynamic process that has been used for centuries to create textiles from Obi to undergarments to WWI uniforms to accessories. Join me in exploring the characteristics of fibers that create the best paper yarn. We will learn the straightforward method for preparing paper to spin and then, start spinning! We will use familiar and unusual fibers and the results are astonishing.
Textiles: Fashion Smart to Fashion Savvy
(Teen to Adult)
In this project oriented program, we explore the science of Fashion – from fibers to fusing to felting to making and beyond. This program will incorporate new technologies and materials/fibers into textiles using LEDs, conductive thread, insulating and recycled materials, and some programmable units to make our wearables shine with brilliance!
Starting with an introduction into the world of textiles, we will follow through on the concept of fabri-“cation”, e-textiles and fashionable technology while studying the roles of form/function/fun/aesthetics/beauty. Each student will have their own electronic “kits” to work with to demonstrate their understanding of the basic tenants of our textile fashion explorations.
Community Weaving Project
This activity involves the use of large wooden frame looms (typically 4’x6’) that the students help build. These frame looms are free standing and two-sided allowing participants to work from both sides as they weave wide cloth strips through the holes to weave their design.
This project is most successful when students produce designs that have been inspired through earlier classroom discussions on color, pattern, texture, and symbolism. We discuss finger-manipulation techniques, woven joins, embellishments, color choices and finishing.
The Community weaving process takes 8 – 20 hours from start to finish. It is amazing to watch this process! Just when you think it is done, it becomes clear that the weaving could use a bit more fabric here or a touch of color there. It is a wonderful lesson in group dynamics and offers students a chance to interact directly with their peers – they are the leaders in this.