Sunday, October 16, 2016

Summer 2016 Highlights

We had a very exciting and full summer this year with incredible weather for all of our outdoor workshops but a bit too much heat for our indoor ones! At any rate, here is a small showing of some of our more memorable moments!
Jolie Lerner's beautiful Alpaca rugs from locally grown Alpaca.

Caroline Ridout took a week off from being the head chef on the
Maine Schooner - Stephen Taber - to come weave dishtowels.

Jill & Jonny Magi came all the way from the United Arab Emirates
to learn to weave so that they could go back and teach their
Jonny with his cotton sampler.
Elena Hovey was back for a third time this year to weave a wool throw.

Melissa Goetz proudly showing the processed flax from
the Flax Intensive.

Collecting Japanese Indigo for Joann Darlings - Meadows and
Hedgerows dye class.

Mary Lycan's wool throw.
Kathryn Wojciechowski working on overshot.

From our Indigo and Madder Intensive -
Red & Blue
Jane Quimby - Shibori Instructor
Some of the indigo shibori
Some of the madder printing.
Happy weavers from the 19th c. Household Textiles workshop.
The happy dyers from Joann Darlings Mushroom class.

Deborah Livingston Lowe tying up the Draw loom.
Justin unloading the Jacquard head.

Jim Colgan raising the head to rest on the supporting beams.

Marina Contro and Dosia Sanford attaching the harness.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Draft Book of John Hargrove - 1792…..focus on clothing fabrics.

Our second Master Class of the year was to study in depth some of the drafts from the book of John Hargrove   that were used for clothing. We had five looms set up with different drafts and the plan was for each student to weave a length of fabric and then share some with the rest of the group for the sample book.  As things turned out two of our participants had to cancel so that left only Anne Low, former student from Vancover, to weave all the samples herself!  Dosia, Lynnette and Ada also pitched in for some loom time and in the end of the day we had some beautiful fabrics to illustrate these unique drafts.  All were woven out of materials that would have been close to the fabrics of the period ….very fine cotton - 30/2 and 50/2 - fine worsted and a singles cotton.  Anne even valiantly tried to "Nap" our fustian sample as it would have been done in the 18th c.  We hope to continue sampling Hargrove's drafts in the future so stay tuned!
Getting ready to dive into John Hargrove's Draft Book.

Anne weaving of the 8 S Counter Balance fabric -
"Lillipution Stuff"

Close up of Lillipution Stuff - 2/20 Worsted Wool

6 Shaft Dimity

Anne weaving the Dimity on the Cranbrook.
4 Shaft Ducape in 60/2 silk
10 Shaft Rodney's Cable & Cord in  36/2
natural dyed cotton
The 10 Shafts on one of our barn frame looms.
Anne "napping" the Ticksett & Velverett
Before (on the right) and After napping the Thicksett
The Dimity and Lillipution Stuff as finished yardage

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Megan Karlen - our spring work study student - in her own words.

Guaranteed to make you smile.

100% guaranteed to make you smile: go to Marshfield
School of Weaving and take a seat at an 18th century barn loom.

Maybe it’s because I grew up wanting to cut the ropes that separated me from every early-American period room I toured with my very historically-based parents. Ok, maybe. But I had friends visit MSW while I was there and without exception, each person was fascinated with the weaving barn and totally excited when I suggested they sit at the loom and feel what it was like to weave.
 When I got to the school, Kate took me straight to a wall of dyed fibers and told me to pick colors for my warp. And then, she led me upstairs to a weaver’s paradise: a barn loft with magnificent looms and all the tools of the trade. I was now not only in the same room as the antique items I’ve always wanted to touch, I was now expected (happily) to learn how to use them!  
 Kate brought me to a gigantic warping board and taught me how to wind a warp with multiple colors threaded through a skarne. She taught me complicated “cross”: under/over/under/over, thumb in, palm up, put the cross on, loop around the beginning peg and repeat. Winding the warp is a dance with the threads.
 Back at the loom: I beam on. Let it be known that I came to MSW with some weaving experience but beaming on a barn loom is crazy-fun. You end up with curtains of warp threads hanging off weights and winding onto tree-trunk-sized back beams. You are climbing in and out of a 200-year-old hand-crafted loom the size of a four-poster bed. Seriously, fun.
 Master weavers Kate and Justin tutored me on how to speed-thread heddles (lol, ok, ok! I’m still working on it!) And, in the home stretch, I sley the reed, attach the harnesses, tie up the treadles, learn a bunch of new knots and finally, finally, I get to climb onto the built-in slanted wooden bench and begin to weave.
 Everything leading up to this moment is historical, manual, seemingly complicated but oddly simple, but nothing prepares you for the moment that you actually get to feel the loom in action.
 The slant of the bench leans you forward onto the breast beam, your feet feel like they are on a walk as you press each treadle in the order of the pattern, you create a rhythm with your feet and your hands as you let fly the shuttle through the sheds. The beater bar actually bounces as it packs your weft into place.

The whole action is fluid and fascinating. History literally comes alive as this dance transports you back in time.

The Marshfield School of Weaving in April.

A view of the studio.
Hand-dyed yarn for a warp faced stair runner.

Another view of the studio.

The counting chain on the carpet warp.

Beaming on.

The lashing knot.

Carpet on loom.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Past, Present and Future Students -Lemuel & Jessie Hudson….in their own words.

Before handing you over to Lem & Jessie's account of how they came to MSW and how it changed their lives I just need to add that they have also significantly changed ours.  Due to their overwhelming generosity, we have been able to start the "Lemuel and Jessie Hudson Scholarship Fund" to help students in need find a place at the school.  We are honored to have them be a part of the MSW family!

"Marshfield, Vermont. That’s what it said. Marshfield, Vermont. Where on earth was Marshfield, Vermont? Having googled “beginner weaving class” the web had brought me to Eaton Cemetery Road. (I did wonder if that cemetery was where the less than successful students ended up.) I mustered all my courage and phoned to make arrangements for me to take my first class. I was so relieved to speak to a warm and very helpful person who was very glad to accept my registration. My husband had been very supportive of my plans but assured me that he would stay and at home and “tend things” so that I could go. The next day I was calling to change the reservation to include the two of us. “Yes, that will be my husband and myself”, I said. “Oh....not so many husband and wife weaving teams?” Hum, maybe not such a good idea. But we forged ahead. Having braved the New Jersey Turnpike and lived to tell the tale we were nearly giddy as we arrived at the school. Monday morning came and we met Kate, Norman, Lynnette and Justin in the barn and I suspect verified that we were indeed “Southern” in our mind set. We went to work and joyfully have never looked back. Lem was as Kate put it, “like a fish thrown into water”. He wove a wool throw and a baby blanket in his first class. I finished my wool throw and our lives were forever changed. Then Lem found Kate’s stash in the barn. It was filled with old looms that just needed some love and soon we were making plans to return to load our truck with the carcasses of looms that would become projects in his wood working shop. Now we have built a studio on our farm where all those old looms have come back to life. There are several new weavers joining us to learn and explore weaving in nearly every fiber and fashion we can find. Bi-yearly visits to Marshfield insure that Kate and the gang continue to hone our skills for us and everyone at MSW have become like family.
 Why learn to hand weave? Not exactly sure...but for us it was similar to the calling that those early 20th c. proponents of the “Craftsman” movement, or the Shakers - “Hands to work, Hearts to God”. Marshfield School of Weaving has changed our lives and enriched them immensely. It is our sincere hope to see to it that this school and those who have given their skills and hearts to it will remain for a very long time. Thank you dear have given us the skills to fill our retirement with productive joy!"
Lem & Jessie's first projects in 2013 - two wool throws
and a baby blanket.
Jessie weaving an overshot rug in 2014.
Lem weaving warp faced carpet in 2014.
Lem's rag rug warp and Jessie's linen overshot in 2015.
Wool Throw woven at the Delaware studio.
Restored barn loom from MSW.
Another wool throw woven in Delaware.
Jessie's overshot.
More carpet by Lemuel.
Another warp faced carpet in the Delaware studio.
Teaching the grandson to weave.
Another grandson and the future generation.