Sunday, November 8, 2015

Former Student Snapshot - Bill Griffith - in his own words….

"I began to weave in the spring of 1980 soon after moving to Vermont and have been weaving ever since. I first heard about Norman Kennedy and the Marshfield School of Weaving in the mid 1970's when I was living in Williamsburg, VA. Several of my friends worked at Colonial Williamsburg and they knew Norman, who had recently moved north to start the school. In late 1979, I made a trip to New England to visit the weaving school and liked life in Vermont so much that I found a job in Montpelier and became a neighbor.
 My early hands-on experience with weaving was with Craig Evans who was at that time an apprentice at the school. Between Norman and Craig they taught me to make my first warp for cotton dishtowels and to dress the loom.  My first loom was a beautiful barn frame loom from Burke, VT that Craig has used for many years. I took to wearving easily since I was already interested in the creative process. Weaving applealed to me as a quiet meditative activity with endless possibilities and I like the importance of perfection and balance.
 In 2001, I moved to Spain and purchased a 137 cm Eeva loom from Toika in Finland. For years, I have woven mainly baby blankets, rag rugs, sofa blankets and scarves. Future projects are rag rugs for our home and to try to repoduce some early 20th c. Catalan floor tile patterns (Rajola Hidraculica) as textiles. For me, weaving here in Sitges, a coastal town south of Barcelona, isn't all that different from how I worked in the US. I have woven a lot of things for our home, gifts for friends and I also take commissions and sell now and then through word of mouth or on the internet.
Happily, Norman and Craig have continued to be inspirations and good friends. We keep in regular contact and I visit them and the school whenever I am in the US. I have also enjoyed knowing Kate Smith through the years and being familiar with her beautiful work. I love her blog, which keeps me informed of the activities at the school more then ever before.
Weaving is a skill that continues to fascinate me. Over the years, when people have asked me why I weave, I often reply that at one time in m life I was fortunate to live in a place where there was a weaving school. The weavers were open to sharing their knowledge and I was fortunate to learn from them. I continue to weave because I believe in the importance of preserving traditional ways.. Besides, I love it and it's a wonderful and productive way to spend my time!"

Bill Griffith weaving in Spain

His beautiful Toika loom

Cotton Baby Blanket

Cotton Baby Blanket
Cotton Scarf
Cotton Scarf
Cotton Scarves
Wool Scarves
Sprang Hammock
Cotton Baby Blankets
Cotton Sofa Throw
Linen/Cotton Rag Rug
Cotton Table Mat
Wool Rag Rug
Cotton/ Linen Rag R
Wool/Silk Shawl

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


This fall was a busy few months  of former students returning to help celebrate our 40th year anniversary.  First to arrive was Hilarie Bleavins from North Carolina who had come last year with her mother, Chris Barber, for the first time.  Chris accompanied Hilarie again this year but chose not to weave but just work on her book and visit us in the studio.  Hilarie wove a very large wool checked throw and a warp of dishtowels in the 5 days that she was here.

Next of our former students to return were Lem and Jessie Hudson from Delaware as it is always such a delight to have them here.  Lem decided to try his hand at rag rugs and specifically wanted to learn the technique of creating arrows in the weft by twining two different color rags.  Jessie was keen to continue her love of overshot but to branch out into a new fiber - linen.  Both  completed beautiful projects and gave them some new skills.

Our local weavers were back to weave after being away for the summer and Ada's first project was to weave a piece of overshot from the Silas Burton draft book.  Heather Pipino was here from Barre, VT after a few year hiatus and she was eager to try a long linen warp for curtains in a huck pattern.  Tashni Chamberlin from Adamant, VT was our first work study student for the fall and she has been working on dishtowels and some amazing tapestry rugs.
Stay tuned for the next blog of former student, Bill Griffith and what he's been up to for the past 30 years!
Hillarie Bleavin weaving a checked throw.

and then some dishtowels.

Hilarie and Chris with the more then ample throw!

Jessie Hudson back to weave linen overshot.
Lem Hudson cutting rags for rag rugs.
Lem mastering the "arrows".
Close up of the arrows.
Lem & Jessie's final projects.
Heather Pipino weaving a long length of huck linen
for curtains.
Huck Linen.
Tashi weaving weft faced rugs.
Tashni's dishtowels.