Monday, January 18, 2016

Featuring Former Student - Nancy Kronenberg

In her own words….
"The last time I visited Marshfield School was just prior to acquiring my current cat. At the school Kate was working on producing moire patterned fabric, a process not yet perfected. In the evening she would put the calender press to bed with fresh fabric, and in the morning Kate would open the press. Upstairs I would hear cries of delight from below (it worked) or curses (fabric scorched.) When I got home, moire patterns were fresh in my mind and when we picked up the new kitten, it was obvious: he could only be Moire.
My interest in weaving began in 1969 while watching a friend dash off scarves for Christmas on a small folding loom. Not long after, I visited the Putney Mountain loom maker in the dead of winter and found his driveway lost in ice and snow. I was able to climb up and I ordered a nice 4S 45” loom. “How do you get a loom down your driveway to ship?” I asked. “Sleds” he replied. I taught myself to weave on this loom from books and my imagination: I wracked my brain about how to contrive warp weights and came up with sacks of potatoes! Now I weave on a Fireside Fiber Arts 10S 60” loom and Glimakra 12S 63” loom which is fitted with damask hardware which I have yet to learn (and use brass rods for weights.)
I worked in computer software until 2001, weaving when I could as a hobby. In 1991 I took my first weaving class in Taos with James Kohler, who became a famous tapestry weaver. He made tapestry seem easy and introduced me to Navajo designs. I was inspired and for a number of years did only large tapestry wall hangings starting with a simple chief blanket of black and white stripes between wide stripes of my own colored designs.
After retiring, I missed linen and other types of weaves. I set up a small business, Rosepath Weaving, and wove housewares by commission and also for the large annual sale of Weavers’ Guild of Boston. Commission work is an opportunity to translate a client’s vision into reality. We sit at my dining room table with samples, yarns and weaving books to choose whatever the client likes that is within my skills. It can be a constrained environment as the case of the “husband chair problem” which was solved by two throws for a pair of beloved brown chairs (the husband’s) to extend the feel of the delicate Asian sofa (the wife’s) and play down the brown chairs. But commissions can also be an exploration of something new, as in the case of the chenille throw in analogous colors, purple-red-orange.
I found Kate Smith and Marshfield School of Weaving after looking through back issues of Shuttle, Spindle and Dyepot where I recalled reading about the school. I loved the historic weaves I found at the school. I developed a keen appreciation for what the old timers had accomplished as well as the beauty of simplicity and attention to detail.
After Marshfield, I became interested in the Guild’s languishing program of volunteer weaving for Plimoth Plantation. I revived it and recruited guild members to weave toweling and throws. In collaboration with Kate Smith who custom-dyed the colors, I produced the first throw from a tiny detail
of a period painting. Since then I’ve explored on my own linens in northern Europe in the 17th c. I find that people love the stories of the origin of weaves I use; it gives handwovens life.
I have a current hobby project with the Carlisle Historical Society, which recently received a 17th c. loom I’m working with others to restore. I’m including a picture of part of the warp beam braking system and would appreciate hearing from anyone who has seen anything like it."
Moire on the Fireside Fiberats Loom.
Undulating Twill Throw to
complement Asian feel sofa.
Fabric for the "Carlisle Artisans Jacket" project which
was made entirely in Carlisle, MA from sheep to
brass buttons!

Overshot Runner - Chariot Wheels

Silk/ Wool Scarves in a self designed
Huck Pattern

Tesswater & Wensleydale Shawl for
a rare sheep workshop.

M's & O's  Shawl

Tapestry Rug - "Diamonds"

Red Chenille Throw

Fine Linen Tea Towels in a 3/1 Twill.
Blue and Green dyed by Eaton Hill Textiles.
Towels for the study of 17th c. Northern
European Linens.
Hand Dyed Yarns by Eaton Hill Textiles
for the Plimoth Billington Blanket.
Blanket in the Billington House
Plimoth Plantation.
Anyone see how a brake stick fits this warp beam?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Our 2015 Annual Newsletter

LindsaySalmon and her painted warp.
Dear Friends and Former Students:
Another year goes by!  It was busy, it was fun, sometimes exhausting and always inspiring.  We had 16 new students join us this year - Lisa Van Konn, Karen McVay, Karen Parsons, Emily Falta, Nancy Hart, Joan Funk, Lindsay Salmon, Jillian Westfall, Juna Muller, Susan Conover, Mary Beebee, Alexandra Kohl, Claudine Bouchard, Althea Kenney, Jennifer Eger,  Patty Lewis and Erin Doolittle. You can read more about each one and their projects on our blog -

Caroline Goddard during the Shibori day of
the Indigo Intensive.

10 Students returned for our 40th year Anniversary discount and it was so wonderful to see them again and work with them on new projects.  We had  2 new work study students  in the winter- Leslie Finneran and Kristin Rossier and both of them worked hard and made good use of their time here.  Leslie has now started to work with Jagger Spun in Maine and we will get to check in with her every time we place an order.  Congratulations Leslie!  3 students were funded by the VT Folklife Center  Grant this year- Joann Darling, Ada Schenk and Emily Falta and our regular contingent of local monthly students has grown to include Jennifer Eger, Linda Gabrielson and Jane Quimby.  And last but not least, Zoe Sheehan Saldana, indigo dyer extraordinaire was back this December to dye rice paper for her new kite making venture.

Zoe and her indigo dyed rice paper.
Note:  date is December 22!

What is ahead:

Exhibit at Frog Hollow - VT. State Craft Center - Burlington, VT -  featuring the current staff and students of the Marshfield School of Weaving.  Runs from 18 January to February 29, 2016.  Opening on 21 January 2016.

Non - profit status:  This is the year that the school will qualify once again as a non -profit organization.  We are working hard to get things in order so that we can actively start our campaign for a major scholarship fund.  We will also be pursuing more grant options for students beyond the  Vt. Folklife Center Grant who continue to fund us in their master/apprenticeship program.

Master Classes in Weaving:  This is a new series of classes designed for exploring some of the more obscure fabric groups and weave structures. It is specifically designed for students who wish to go into more depth in both technique and history.
Topics this year include Singles Linen, Fabrics from the historic draft books of John Hargrove and
Silas Burton and Calimanco Stripes.  We are open to suggestions of anything else that you would like to see us offer!

40th Year Anniversary Alumi week -
Betty and Kristina Larsen, Mimi Jost, Tricia Jenkins & Susie Beers.
MSW Alumni Week:  Last year we had five of our former students come for a week in July to take advantage of the 40th Anniversary discount and to weave Krokbrag rugs and Summer Blanket Winter sheets.  It was a fabulous week and so wonderful to see old faces and have that concentrated energy of five students weaving together on similar projects.  So...we decided to continue that tradition and hope to see more of you come to weave during our 3 alumni sessions!

Teacher Training:  As Norman and Kate get close to retiring (Ha, Ha!!),  we have discovered a need to be training the next links in the chain so that this great institution will survive into the future.  The trainings  will be scheduled in the spring, summer and take place over 3 -4 days.  Basically a student will come and learn how to teach - fine tune their warping and loom dressing skills, learn new weave structures and polish their weaving technique. To aid in this process we will be publishing a booklet  called - “Warping and Dressing the Barn Frame Loom” with text by Kate and photos by Justin Squizzero.     We are excited about seeing the next generation of weaving teachers take flight!

Check out our website for our updated calendar and new class offerings!