Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Snapshots of Former Students 40 years ago at MSW ~ Kathy Weigold

In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Marshfield School of Weaving we are going to feature in this blog some of the students from those early days and hear the story of how they arrived andwhat they are doing now.
So….meet Kathy Weigold in her own words…
"Weaving is the heartbeat of my soul.  It is as important as breathing.  Melodramatic?  Perhaps…
The production weaving methods learned at MSW in September of 1980 under Norman Kennedy was to have a huge impact on my life.  Little did I know then, but my career was born.  Imagine, a beginning weaver making two blankets in six weeks!  One small blanket started with the raw fleece, then learning to spin it all from scratch…sink or swim…. but once you find that just right combination of foot, hand and eye, it's magic!  My inspiration to take that course was the desire to learn how to use the walking wheel my mother inherited from her great grandmother.  I then saw an ad for MSW in Handwoven Magazine about using 19th c. looms and walking wheels were pictured.  The description was enticing.  I was 21 at the time and had just started to learn about weaving on a floor loom.  The second blanket was a double width, singles weft spun from roving on the walking wheel.  It had to be carefully woven and measured so that pattern matched when sewing the two pieces together.  It was also my introduction to end feed shuttles, they really made a difference.  I was hooked!  I quickly acquired some and still use them to this day, three decades and miles upon miles of fabric later, all on my 18th c. loom and using the old methods learned from Norman and found no where else.  There was no slowing down either.  No dust  settling here.  I currently make fabric a reality for Dahlia Popovits (Boston, MA) and Camille Benjamin, (Putnam, CT) both designers of wearables since the mid-eighties.  In my spare time I make my own designs and sell at Swiftwaters, a craft cooperative in Willimantic, CT.  I haven't run out of color combination yet!
I met Kate, when going back to MSW in 1982, to weave a coverlet as an independent study for a week. Subsequently, in 1985 I went back to make a warp faced carpet.  Kate was now much more in the role of teaching and running the school.  I was led there on a few more occasions, most recently in 2012 for some linenwork and to wish Norman a happy 80th.  Many kudos to Kate for all her hard work and determination to keep alive what Norman started 40 years ago, and to be successful in her own right.  And Norman, may you have many more stories to tell and wisdom to impart.
Check out Kathy in action below.

MSW studio in 1980

Kathy's first class …learning to spin.

Picking wool with Norman's dog, Molly.

Norman weaving blanketing.

Making a warp for coverlet.
Edit spinning on a walking wheel.