Sunday, November 27, 2016

The Three Musketeers....our fall work study students!

This fall we were fortunate to have three long term students here to weave with us....Nelly from VT, Eva from Paris, and Annick from the Netherlands. They were all incredibly enthusiastic and full of energy and some beautiful fabrics were woven while they were here. Because our fall weather was so mild this year, we were able to do lots of natural dyeing still outside and the colors that they achieved were phenomenal. I have only included a small portion of what they each wove during their stay....but you'll get the idea!

Our Three Musketeers!
Nelly from VT, Eva from Paris, and Annick from the Netherlands
enjoying our perfect fall weather.

Nelly's first project was a hand spun, hand dyed Scottish Arisaid.

Norman leading the waulking of Nelly's Arisaid.

Annick weaving Scottish Tweed.

Eva weaving the classic French white with red
stripes for dishtowels.
Eva's hand dyed indigo Alpaca Throw.
Annick grinding our home grown madder to dye reds and oranges
for her Calimanco.
Some of the finished colors.
Annick planning her Calimanco.
On the loom and ready to weave.
Eva dyeing the blues and greens for her Scottish Tartan.
Eva's yarn all ready for warping.
Nelly beaming on her hand dyed wool/mohair yarn
for a Sias Burton carpet.
The finished carpet.
The finished tartan.....with Arlo.
The finished Calimanco.

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.