Friday, December 16, 2011

Thanks To All...

Many thanks to all...who attended and participated in our first annual holiday open house and studio sale. It was a great success, and our barn in the countryside was a lovely setting for many gifted craftspeople to come together and offer their work to an appreciative and steady stream of visitors.

Our best holiday wishes go out to everyone, near and far. We're going to take a little rest from all of this activity until after the holidays, but will be back in the new year for more adventures with weaving, dyeing, and spinning.

Until then...

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Studio Sale Preview

fabulous cotton dishtowels in calimanco-inspired stripe colorways

wool silk shawls in deep jewel tones

on the drying rack after washing = wool silk twill scarf

on the drying rack after washing = wool silk birds eye scarf

wool silk and rayon chenille scarves

colorful striped cotton placemats

soft and warm 100% hand-dyed alpaca scarves

on the loom = wool silk plain weave scarf

luscious hand-dyed yarn

Here are just a few of the lovely handwoven pieces that will be for sale at our Open House and Studio Sale this coming Saturday and the next. There truly is so much more than this, not only more handweaving from our faculty and students, but also blacksmithing by Peter Welles, paintings by Susan Osmond, Emily Johansen, Jan Brough, Susan Abbott, and Lark Upson, glasswork and paintings by Viiu Niiler, lampwork and found object jewelry by Alan Castonguay, possibly some beadweaving by yours truly...and weaving demonstrations and tours of the barn studio and dye lab.

Sale Dates and Times =
Sat Dec 3rd 10A-2P
Sat Dec 10th 10A-2P

See here for directions to the studio.

It promises to be the beginning of many years of showcasing fine local artists and craftspeople in a rustic and seasonally festive environment. We look forward to meeting you and sharing our school with you!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Boys Can Weave Too

Mary Hays threading up her eight-harness dishtowels

setting up the countermarche tie-up

weaving at last!

Lynn threading up for spot weave linen toweling

getting accustomed to the treadling sequence

broken threads are often a by-product when one is learning spot weave

Alan getting ready to thread

weaving the log cabin pattern

such a beautiful pattern!

wearing before washing

The week before Thanksgiving we were busy with new and continuing students. Mary Hays came back specifically to learn how to set up for 8-harness countermarche, as she has a new loom that she wants to become friends with. Through doing her own threading, she became acquainted with her pattern before she even got to the long and somewhat tedious under-the-loom process of setting up for countermarche. And didn't all of that preparation and familiarity make her treadling a breeze? Pretty much. She wove off a couple of dishtowels in 8/2 cotton (warp and weft), and then went home to do the same thing on her new Toika loom, which she acquired through a series of happy, serendipitous incidents.

Lynn came over from Essex Junction to learn about doing fine linen spot weave. He's an interpreter in the Weave Shop at the Shelburne Museum who is passionate about educating his public, and wanted to stretch into a new challenge. He began his week by learning our multiple spool warping method, and then settled in to experience the joys (and frustrations) of working with fine linen. The particular pattern he was working with was a five-harness spot weave, which proved itself to be a relentless teacher. Lynn struggled with broken thread after broken thread, until finally we switched his tie-up to a four harness basketweave, so that he had a more stable shed opening for simply having an experience of weaving fine linen. Linen spot weave is one of those gold standards of weaving, not unlike the overshot coverlet, which is difficult to master unless one has hundreds and hundreds of hours throwing the shuttle and setting up looms.

Alan, who is one of Kate's nephews, came to learn how to weave, and frankly, took to it like a duck to water. He wanted to weave a long wide scarf, out of Jagger Zephyr wool/silk (warp and weft). The pattern he chose was log cabin. And, in spite of our misgivings about him taking on such complex work for a first project, he did lovely work, and went on to finish a blanket (for himself) up in Kate's studio at home, and is now working on another piece of fabric. It's been great having him around. He crews on the schooner J&E Riggin out of Rockport, ME in the summers, is an aspiring lampwork glass artist, and is going back to art school in Detroit this winter. You can take a look at his work with glass and fiber and photography here.

It's been great having a few guys around to shake up the continuous familiarity of the company of women. Thank you both for your presence and point of view!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Annual Holiday Open House and Studio Sale

I'd just like to announce to everyone that we've decided to hold our Annual Holiday Open House and Studio Sale on the first two Saturdays of December. We will be host to the work of several well-known local artists and fine craftsmen, as well as showcasing the work of the faculty and students of the weaving school. It will be a wonderful opportunity for those interested to visit our wonderful barn studio nestled in the rolling hills north of Plainfield Village, to see live weaving demonstrations on antique barn looms, to find out more about our educational programs, and to meet all of the participating artists in person.

Over the next few weeks I will be giving you sneak previews of some of the beautiful handwoven goods that will be for sale. We have also invited the following artists and craftspeople to participate in our event, so in addition to handwoven textiles, there will also be paintings, pottery, blacksmithing, and blown glass for sale as wonderful holiday gifts.

The local artists are Susan Abbott, Emily Johansen, Susan Osmond, Viiu Niler, Lark Upson, Jan Brough, and Peter Welles.

We'll be holding this event on the first two Saturdays in December:

Saturday, December 3rd from 10am to 2pm
Saturday, December 10th from 10m to 2pm.

The Weaving School is located in the barn behind the main house at 589 Eaton Cemetery Road in Marshfield, halfway between the lower end of Hollister Hill Road near Newton Farm and Route 2 at the Marshfield Inn and Motel.

From Montpelier take Route 2 east through the village of Plainfield. Once you pass Tim's Convenience on the left, take your first left onto Hollister Hill Road, at the Wyoming Lodge. Follow this road up a long hill, and at the top of the hill, Hollister Hill Road turns sharply to the left at Newton Farm. Bear slightly to the right in front of the "haunted house" onto Eaton Cemetery Road. There is a sign for the school at the third driveway as you're going down the hill. Drive around back and the barn is right there.

From St. Johnsbury, take Route 2 west through Marshfield Village. Approximately 4 or 5 miles later you will see the Marshfield Inn and Motel on the right. Take a right just past the inn onto Eaton Cemetery Road. Follow the road for a mile or so, past the cemetery on the right, and past Jake Martin Road. Turn into the next driveway on the left just past Jake Martin Road. You'll see the barn out back behind the house.

Or, you can call the school for directions (802.426.3733).

We hope to see you there!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Sylvia's Carpet

Sylvia threading up

weaving with a sword and a ski shuttle

the eggplant accent really was perfect

Sylvia came back for another week of study this year, this time to work on a rep weave carpet in the style of Silas Burton. Her first day was spent designing the warp and planning her project...winding the spools for warping in stripes off a spool rack, and then building her warp. Day Two found her beaming on to her loom, and beginning the threading.

The rest of the week she was busy weaving...learning how to work with the sword and the ski shuttle, to really pack those picks in and make a nice dense rug. She finished up on Saturday.

Don't you think her carpet is stunning? I thought the eggplant accent was the tiny bit that really pulled her whole color scheme together. It's subtle, but it really sets everything off in a way that makes her piece look rich and deep. We all thought it was a rather stunning piece of work.

We look forward to your next visit, Sylvia!

Friday, November 4, 2011

What's Going On In the Studio These Days

the tamaracks are putting on their show

cotton houndstooth dishtowels
Taylore threading up for her summer blanket/winter sheet

Susan W's linen toweling, ready for finishing

Lynnette's silk scarves in a plaited twill treadling variation

Sandra's cotton runner

Susan O is making another run of striped cotton dishtowels

some cotton placemats we're weaving for our annual studio sale

Sandra and Stevie have been working on shadow weave runners

Pat is threading up some cotton twill dishtowels

It's late autumn now,and most days much chillier. The tamaracks have turned golden; they're usually the last little bright burst of color before it really gets dreary outdoors, giving us all the heads-up to finish our last-minute gardening, get the firewood in, and put the storm windows in place for the winter.

Inside we are snug as bugs in a rug. The windows are not often open these days and the heat is on. Everyone has been making such beautiful fabric, either busy making gifts for the holiday season, or getting things made for our first annual studio sale to be held here the first two Saturdays in December.

Of course, the production weavers (i.e., teaching faculty) for Eaton Hill are churning out cotton dishtowels, colorful placemats, and wool/silk and alpaca scarves and throws as fast as they possibly can, in between all their other duties here.

Sandra and Stevie have been working on a shadow weave countermarche set-up...cotton runners in very strong jewel tones. It's a lively pattern that keeps both of them on their toes! It's the shadow weave gamp out of the 2004 Jan/Feb issue of Handwoven.

Sandra has also been working on a sumptuously heavy cotton runner. The latest combination of red warp and tobacco weft is really a stunner. It looks so old-world european. Certainly this will be a visually warming addition to a wintertime interior.

Susan O. has been weaving another run of the twill stripe cotton dishtowels that everyone here is fairly mad about this fall. Towels like this will feature heavily at the studio sale. They were super-popular last year. We sold every single one! So this year EVERYONE is making them.

Pat is doing her version of a twill plaid dishtowel that has become a standard around here, in beautiful seagreens and blues.

Susan W. has been experimenting with cotton/linen toweling and is currently setting up for a fine cotton herringbone fabric that she hopes to make a skirt out of. She is on a clothing fabric quest!

Lynnette has been weaving up a few silk scarves in an 8-harness plaited twill. They are so fine and delicate! She changed the treadling for each scarf, so they all have a very different effect.

Taylore is back this fall. She's setting up for a long summer blanket/winter sheet project. Her warp is a dark warm brown 16/2 cotton, and her weft is all ends of hand-dyed wool singles that we scrounged for out in the shed a few weeks ago. This will be a project to her colors are so beautiful together. So very inspiring.


And, a little update on Patricia and Netra's a disciplined and heroic effort they both managed to complete their challenging projects by week's end. It was wonderful having you both here again!

Netra and her 11 yards of blanketing

a detail of Netra's beautiful classic work

Patricia with her rug off the loom

detail of the "underside" of Patricia's rug on the loom