2022 - 2023 CALENDAR
Foundations Class Dates
(Please sign up for a waiting list for any classes that are full.)
Sept 12 - 16, 2022 - Full
Sept 26 - 30, 2022 - Full
November 7 - 11, 2022 - Full
December 5 - 9, 2022 - Full
January 9 - 13, 2023
February 6 - 10, 2023
March 13 - 17, 2023
May 8 - 12, 2023
June 5 - 9, 2023
July 10 - 14, 2023
August 7 - 11, 2023
Sept 11 - 15, 2023
Oct 2 - 6, 2023
Nov 6 - 10, 2023
Dec 4 - 8, 2023
Justin Squizzero with Dosia Sanford
Why are all of Marshfield's first-time students—even experienced weavers—required to take Foundations I? In short, because the historic equipment and methods we use are not taught anywhere else. This class is centered around engaging with our antique looms and the techniques they’re designed for. Foundations I is a fun, intensive, boot camp style class that covers several centuries of traditional weaving and the efficient techniques that tradition offers to contemporary weavers.
Class begins with an introduction to the Marshfield School of Weaving, a history of the traditional techniques preserved here, and a discussion about project planning including yarn sizes and calculating setts. Following the Monday morning lecture, students select one of two projects to weave, a Scottish wedding blanket, or nappery (toweling), scaled to suit their experience level. First time weavers will work with plied wool or cotton yarns and weave a throw-sized blanket or a pair of towels. More experienced students may weave a two-panel bed sized blanket in singles wool, or nappery in singles linen. With an appropriate challenge selected, students embark on their project and will learn efficient, centuries-old methods for:
Winding a warp with multiple-ends and two leases, a 1/1 lease for drawing-in, and a lease of gangs for counting and beaming
Beaming on their warp with a raddle and no packing (sticks or paper)
Drawing-in (threading the heddles) in one inch groups
Sleying the reed
Tying on the warp with consistent tension
Building a counterbalance shedding mechanism
Tying up the treadles in walking fashion
Working with an end-delivery shuttle
Proper use of a temple
Repairing broken warp ends
Mending and burling the finished web
Students will receive instruction on how to complete the finishing of their cloth at home. Unlike a class focused on creating a collection of woven samples, this class is an in-depth look at the entire weaving process with a strong emphasis on tool, technique, and material.
There is no prerequisite or prior weaving experience required for this class. Students will choose a variation on one of two preplanned projects to match their experience level: a Scottish wedding blanket, or nappery/toweling. To weave a custom designed project, returning students may enroll in a Special Projects/Refresher class.
Dosia Sanford & Kate Smith
These week long classes are designed for the students who have taken our Foundations I class or are long term alumni. For Foundations students the warping and loom set up process with be gone over again in detail and the project choices in this class may include rag or weft faced rugs, simple floatwork, checked fabric in cotton or linen, and wool blanketing. For our long term alumni their projects choices may include fine silk, warp faced carpeting, fine worsted fabric, and singles linen—to name a few options. This class is a great way to take the techniques learned in Foundations I to a new level.
Special Projects/Refresher Weeks September 26 - 30, 2022
October 10 - 14, 2022
2023 Dates Coming Soon!
FLEECE TO FULLING
Back in the 1970s and '80s the main class option at MSW was a 6 week intensive where the students arrived and were handed a raw sheeps fleece and proceeded to go through all the steps of sorting, washing, picking, carding, spinning and eventually to weaving a fully handspun wool blanket. It was a most unforgettable experience and helped to shape an inspire many a student. We are pleased to once again offer this unique opportunity to come and start at the beginning and go through all the processes that were once a mainstay in the act of making clothing and household textiles. There is no previous spinning, dyeing or weaving experience needed for this class and we will be limiting the class to 4 students at a time and hopefully offer this twice a year. The class will be taught by Norman’s former students who took this class in the '70s & '80s and those of the next generation who have learned from these alumni. Hopefully Norman will also be on hand to give his advice and tell stories while the wheels spin away!
WEFT FACED RUGS
Imagine a warm, soft rug with strong squares of color... that you made! This class, centered on a simple technique for making reversible weft-faced rugs, is suitable for beginner and more experienced weavers alike. Receiving guidance through the entire process, students will weave a rug in either a checkerboard or windowpane pattern. We'll unlock creative design possibilities that expand this structure, showcasing the power of color and pickup work. By the end of the week, you'll have an understanding of profile drafts, ski shuttle usage, rug finishing, as well as a beautiful usable textile.
MEMENTO MORI: WEAVING A SHROUD $750
2023 dates TBA w/Anne Fernweh Join Anne Fernweh and the growing death-positive and green burial movements by weaving your own burial shroud, a piece meant to accompany you in life as well as in death. Weaving your own shroud offers a countercultural opportunity to explore and reconnect with grief, mortality, and your innate wisdom therein. Not only for those nearing death, a handwoven shroud is designed to travel with you through life. It is meant to be filled with memories, stories and your unique vitality, all of which it then carries with you in death. This week-long class begins with an introduction to burial shroud traditions from around the world and their reemerging relevance today. Students then workshop the design of their shroud, with guidance provided on the corresponding symbolism of colors, fibers, and structures. Students are encouraged to consider how these elements intersect with their interests, values, aesthetic and/or heritage, and are free to incorporate personalized design elements and/or ephemera to create a deeply personal piece. Individualized guidance and consultation are provided throughout the design, creation, and finishing processes.
INTRODUCTION TO SPINNING w/Andrea Myklebust 2023 dates TBA
In this class, students will learn to make their own yarn by hand with a hand spindle. Using a kit supplied by the instructor, including a custom-made spindle and locally-raised wool from her flock of sheep in Danby, Vermont, students will work as a group to understand the foundations of hand spinning. This class is designed as an introduction to handspinning for absolute beginners, but people with prior spinning experience who wish to improve their spindle skills are also welcome. For students interested in the Great Wheel workshop on June 27, who do not have prior spinning experience, this class will prepare you for working with the Great Wheel. By the end of class, students will have grounding in the fundamental concepts of hand spinning: an understanding the functions of draft and twist in fiber for the creation of a structurally-sound yarn. Participants will be ready to continue their exploration of this ancient craft using spindles, or to progress to learning the use of a spinning wheel.
SECRETS OF THE GREAT WHEEL w/Andrea Myklebust
2023 dates TBA
The great wheel, also known as the walking wheel, spindle wheel, or wool wheel, was a common textile tool in New England prior to the industrial revolution and into the 19th century, but few hand spinners know how to use them today. In this daylong workshop, we will learn how to use a great wheel, and experiment with different fiber selections and preparations for great wheel spinning. We will look at examples of different great wheel designs, learn how to adjust, maintain and make simple repairs to great wheels, and will learn how to recognize a great wheel that could still be used for spinning when one encounters it ‘in the wild.’
This workshop is aimed at people who already have a basic understanding of handspinning, but may also be of interest to new spinners. If you do not have prior spinning experience, we suggest you also sign up for the Introduction to Handspinning workshop on June 25 & 26.
UNDERSTANDING & USING BLOCKS IN TRADITIONAL WEAVING w/Rabbit Goody
2023 dates TBA $300
This two day class will help weavers understand how to identify blocks in historic textiles and to write drafts for any weave structure in block form. The first day will explain and identify blocks and allow students to create drafts in any of the block weave structures. The structures we will include will be -M’s and O’s, traditional spot weave, twill blocks, double cloth blocks, summer and winter blocks, float work (overshot) blocks and damask blocks plus the ability to combine blocks and structures. Students will have the opportunity to weave on several of these structures on small sample looms so that the correlation between theory and practice is clear. Students will also be encouraged to design using block theory for their own future work. Day two we will examine historic textiles and identify weave structures and blocks and write drafts from historic textiles.
ROUND ROBIN RAG RUG WEEK w/Dosia Sanford
2023 dates TBA $750
In this five day class students will be exploring some of the many possible ways to use the simple rag rug concept to weave amazing rugs. Each day the student will work on a pre-warped loom to weave a useable sized rug and then move on to another style the next day. We will work with cotton, wool, linen and even silk fabrics to show how each different fabric creates a very different rug.
Some of the ethnic styles included in the class will be Shaker, Saki Ori - (Japanese using indigo dyed cotton) Swedish Warp Faced and many more.
CARVING A RIGID HEDDLE w/ Trish & Anne Fernweh
2023 dates TBA
Join Anne and Trish Fernweh for a two day workshop covering introductory hand-carving techniques, indigo vat dyeing, warp winding, and band weaving. Day one focuses on simple woodworking techniques for designing and hand carving a small rigid heddle and shuttle, with instructions for whittling decorative or personalized motifs. The day concludes with a cursory introduction to indigo vat dyeing, after which completed heddles can be hand-dyed with indigo if desired. Day two focuses on weaving with the hand-carved heddles and shuttles. Students learn the basics of rigid heddle weaving, including pattern design and color theory, as well as how to wind a warp using warping bars in addition to items easily found at home. Students then assemble a simple back-strap weaving set up and weave a narrow band of their own design.
DYEING W/TREES & SHRUBS w/Joann Darling
2023 dates TBA
In this two day workshop students will explore a myriad of natural color from woody plants. The abundance of woody plant material can lend itself to a more sustainable approach for acquiring large quantities of natural dyes.
Our journey will begin with a plant walk to identify and gather choice species then to the best techniques to extract the dyes. We will cover fiber preparation and use of mordants to obtain multiple tints and shades from a single extraction. Time permitting we hope to cover and process a dozen or more dye baths. Materials and sample books provided.
MECHANICS w/Justin Squizzero
2023 dates TBA
Mastery of tools is essential to any craftsman or artist, and weaving is no exception. In this workshop students will gain in-depth knowledge of the factors at play in four-post looms, how those attributes affect the woven goods, and how to select and manipulate the loom to produce the desired results. We will discuss shedding mechanisms and make hands on comparisons weaving the same warp counterbalanced and countermarched. Shuttles, temples, warp lines, harness, ratchets and everything else we use to weave will be addressed, so bring your questions! Some time will be dedicated to learning how dobby, draw, and jacquard looms operate as well. Whether a novice or seasoned weaver this class will offer an opportunity to get better acquainted with in nuts and bolts (literally) of weaving.
FLAX TO LINEN w/Andrea Myklebust
2023 dates TBA
In this two day workshop, we will explore all aspects of traditional flax production, from seed selection and cultivation, to harvesting, dew-retting and water-retting, and flax dressing using hand tools. Students will have opportunities to do hands-on processing work with raw and retted flax straw, using a flax brake, scutching board and hackles to dress flax into tow and line ready for spinning into linen. We will discuss sourcing seed and tools, and will take a look at work being undertaken today to revive textile flax production in North America. Students will have plenty of samples to take home at the end of the workshop, and a packet of textile flax seed to plant in their own gardens next spring.
LINEN SPINNING w/Andrea Myklebust
2023 dates TBA
In this weekend workshop, we will learn to spin flax in various forms; tow, commercially-processed sliver and tow roving, and hand-processed line. Working with both hand spindles and spinning wheels, we will learn how to dress a distaff and use it in spinning line flax. Students will have an opportunity to make a distaff of their own to take home, along with samples of all the fibers used in the class, and a packet of textile flax seed to plant in their own gardens next spring. This workshop is aimed at students who already have a working knowledge of spinning. Students are welcome to bring their own wheel to the workshop, and we will have access to Marshfield's flax wheels as well as wheels brought by the instructor.
LINEN SPIN-IN w/Andrea Myklebust
Come join us for an afternoon of spinning linen and to celebrate all things flax to linen at a community spin-in. Bring your wheel, distaff and flax and spin with others at the beautiful Marshfield School of Weaving. Please RSVP by August 5. We will gather for a potluck after!
WEAVING AND SEWING A GARMENT OUT OF HEMP
2023 dates TBA $1500
In this two-week class, students will weave (week 1), cut, and sew (week 2) a garment from their own fabric. Students can choose from a provided shirt, skirt, or apron pattern, which can be modified and adjusted based on experience, ambition and desired fit. We will consider the form and function of a final garment and how that should influence choices with regard to material & weave structure. In addition to winding a warp, dressing a four-post loom, weaving, and apparel construction - students will learn project planning, fabric finishing and tricks for cutting pattern pieces out of handwoven cloth. The class will provide each student with an end-to-end understanding of creating a piece of clothing, from yarn to fabric to garment.
WARP PAINTING in the Style of Pompadour Silk $750
2023 dates TBA
In this 5 day session students will warp, paint, and weave silk yardage in the style of French Chiné à la branche or Chiné à la chaîne. Striped warps will be wound, then painted under tension on frames with careful attention to produce delicate floral and flame motifs among the stripes. Time will be spent exploring how to design and achieve control in the final outcome. Yardage will be woven plain weave, but this is still an intermediate class because of the set up time. Previous experience with four-post looms and multiple end warping are a big plus. Day one will be spent designing, warping, and treating the fabric for the paint. Day two the patterns will be applied to the warps and cured. Day three-five are for beaming on and weaving the cloth. Space is limited to 4 students so sign up early!
FORAGING AND DYEING WITH MUSHROOMS w/Joann Darling
2023 dates TBA
A two day workshop exploring the wide world of fungi in central Vermont suitable for putting color onto fiber. Joann has been experimenting with mushroom dyeing for the past five years and has accumulated a wide variety of colors and receipts. Mordanting of the yarn will also be covered. There will be an optional half day of foraging in the Marshfield Town Forrest on Friday from 1 - 4 pm.
WEAVING A TALLIT w/Nelly Detra $750
September 19 - 24, 2022
The Jewish prayer shawl, or tallit, is the traditional garment worn by Jews during religious observance. The only specifications given in the Torah for this garment is that it should have four corners to hold the “tzitzit” or fringes. This gives the Jewish weaver a broad range of artistic options when designing a tallit. In this class each student will design and weave their own tallit, atarah and corners. We will wind up the class by tying the tzitzit together, and discuss how we can express our own vision of Jewish observance through the mitzvah of crafting and wearing tzitzit.
SPINNING & WEAVING COTTON IN THE ACADIAN
TRADITION w/Austin Clark. $750
October 17 - 21, 2022
In this five day workshop, students will learn about the Acadian cotton textile tradition in Louisiana. We will work with different colors of natural cotton and learn to card and spin, on both the great wheel and low wheel, as it has been done in Louisiana for 250 years. Students will also weave a sampler covering the variety of Acadian textiles from cotonnade fabrics and household linens to the ubiquitous Acadian brown cotton blanket.
FULL-SIZED BEDDING TEXTILES w/MSW Staff 2023 dates TBA $1500.
Coverlets! Blankets! Sheets! In this two-week course students will have the opportunity to weave classic bedding textiles composed of two panels that are seamed down the middle. Summer blanket/winter sheets, woolen blankets, linen sheets, or linen pillowcases are all potential projects. Methods for joining woven panels, hemming, and blanket stitching will be covered and may be completed by students as time allows. If you don't have regular access to a large loom, or just want a little encouragement along the way, this workshop is the one for you.
WEAVING ON THE WARP WEIGHTED LOOM $750
November 14 - 18, 2022 This class is Full
In this workshop, we will use warp-weighted looms to weave a project inspired by a Sami Grene (a wool, weft-faced blanket in plain weave). The warp-weighted loom is a simple weaving tool dating to the neolithic era; as long as 9,000 years ago! Warp-weighted looms were used in ancient Greece, across Europe, and remained in use in some parts of Scandinavia into the modern era. This type of loom is unique in its use of weights (typically ceramic or stone) to tension the warp for weaving. In addition to our weaving project, we will take a look at documentary films of warp-weighted weaving in Norway, and will discuss ways that students can construct a warp-weighted loom of their own.
Some prior weaving experience will be helpful for this class, but is not essential. Students who are interested in spinning their own yarn for the project before our class should contact the instructor for yarn samples and suggested quantities.