Saturday, June 15, 2013

Mr. "Montana" comes to Vermont....and an alumni from 1978 returns!

The past two weeks have seen two veritable weaving machines here at the school. The first week we had a new student, John Watson, drive four days from Montana to check out the school and see if weaving might be something worth pursuing. In typical Montana fashion, he decided to camp out (excuse me for generalizing, but most men I know from Montana love to camp out!)...and in typical Vermont fashion, we proceeded to have a week's worth of rain plus a small tornado thrown in for grins! John was not daunted by the weather ...or our barn frame looms...and instead of the usual throw that most beginners weave, he opted for a double bed blanket instead. I thought, fine...he has two weeks...that shouldn't be a problem. Four days later the blanket was off the loom and he was onto the next project ....a warp faced carpet...and the pace didn't slacken from there. Four yards of linen followed and then a complicated 5 H satin weave cotton was amazing. Needless to say, John has found himself something like a calling! The second week of June brought an old familiar face back to MSW, Kathy Weigold...a former student of my generation who has been weaving non-stop ever since Norman first place a shuttle in her hand. She weaves custom fabric for clothing designers in Connecticut and she wanted to treat herself to a little vacation to weave something more challenging....linen. Watching Kathy sit down to throw the shuttle on the linen warp, reminded both Norman and me of how it was when we were both weaving in our prime. A graceful, fluid motion with no wasted effort and the woven yardage piling up at an incredible rate. Working with a sticky warp, two shuttles for a fine check and not even working at night, Kathy wove off 11 yards of linen in four days. On her last day, for a lark, she put on a 6 yard warp of 5 H satin dishtowels...and wove off 4 yards before leaving on Saturday. Both John and Kathy showed me what students can do when they really love what they was an inspiration!
Just after four days of learning to weave, John takes off a double bed blanket from the loom!

Getting ready to start the second project of a warp faced carpet.

A happy camper!

Project number three.....linen towels.
The finished carpets...adaptations of one of Silas Burton's.

Two weeks worth of work....double bed blanket,  4 yds warp faced carpet, 4 yds linen toweling and 2 yds satin weave dishtowels.

Saying goodbye to a new member of the MSW weaving family!
Kathy Weigold, back after  35 years.....threading linen.

Another major weaving accomplishment.....11 yards of 40" wide checked and striped linen in four days!