Friday, April 22, 2016

Former Student - Phyllis Detwiler of Periwinkle Handwovens…in her own words.

"In 1986, living on my farm in Orford NH, an ad for MSW in Threads Magazine caught my eye. Learning to weave had been on my to do list and the time was right. Arriving on a Sunday, the school was quiet. I went into the barn to look around and was awed by the scene. The studio was so beautiful with the antique looms, the spinning wheels, the view of out of the wraparound windows....The scent of the wool, and, from an open window, the breeze announced that someone was cutting hay nearby. Monday morning found me starting the warp for a Scottish Wedding Blanket. It was hard to believe that the entire project would be finished by weeks end. Norman set the bar high enough for his students to work hard. Kate was an invaluable assistant to Norman. I don’t think either of them thought I’d last as a weaver. Not only did I last through that blanket (which is one of my most beloved- and after 30 years- bedraggled possessions), I continued to study with, and occasionally vex, Norman. The school became an important focus in my life, I joined the board of directors at the school and served until 1991when a career move required me to leave Northern New England and return to the Boston area. I stayed in touch with Kate and Norman and visited the school as often as possible. Over the course of the 30 years since that first week at MSW, my life has changed and evolved as our lives do. Career, marriage, child, moves. Through it all, my looms have accompanied me. I owned a busy yarn shop on Cape Cod for several years, Blue Heron Yard Studio, and always kept a loom in the shop-the exposure was excellent. I closed the yarn shop to concentrate on weaving for a client list developed during those years in Barnstable Village and have never looked back. I live in Newport RI now, and have studio space in the Shady Lea Mill in N. Kingstown RI. The Shady Lea Mill is an incredible community of artists and artisans that is a pleasure to be a part of. It’s a serious and supportive environment to work in.The big event each year is Open Studios weekend, the First Weekend of December. This past December over 6500 people came through the Mill on that one weekend. Standing the in the whirlwind of visitors and customers in my studio, I thought for a moment about far I’d come from that lovely summer day 30 years ago when I was totally captivated -and intimidated- but doggedly determined to master the art of designing and creating textiles."
Cotton Upholstery Fabric
Cotton Scarf
Cotton Upholstery Fabric
on Rattan Chair
Mohair Throw
8 Shaft Alpaca Throw
Cotton Towels
Huck Towels
Detail of Cotton Towels.
Warp Faced Wool Carpet
Rug - "Seascape Series"
in linen and wool.
Cotton Scarf.