The Weavers Guild of Rhode Island

We meet on the first Saturday of the month at the North Kingstown Free Library...unless otherwise noted
Doors open at 9am for coffee and socializing. The meeting begins at 9:30 am sharp with the speaker.

Weavers' Challenge 2018 - A scarf - with a little help from your friends Challenge Forum

WGRI Meeting and Program Calendar 2017-2018

Click on the thumbnails for a bigger picture

September 9, 2017 - Showcasing Your Weaving in Cards and Simple Books - Judy Kinzel & Janet Cooper


Don't hide your small leftover pieces of weaving in a drawer! Instead turn them into unique cards and gifts. In this workshop we will explore ways to showcase your samples and review tools that are useful in making your own cards and simple books. The presentation will include a slideshow of Norma Smayda's collection of treasured cards. We will wrap up with hands-on practice as participants make either a card or booklet.

Participants are encouraged to bring small pieces of handwoven material, a ruler, a pencil, and a scoring tool (an old ink-less ballpoint pen works well for this).

Judy Kinzel is a Rhode Island artist working in a variety of media with a focus on digital and paper arts. Her books and photo composites have been shown at the DeBlois Gallery in Newport, RI, and the Jamestown Art Center in Jamestown, RI. She designed the postcard for the 2017 Weavers' Guild of Rhode Island's NEWS Special Exhibit. For examples of her work visit her website Purple Tree Studio)

Janet Cooper was introduced to weaving in 2010 at the Saunderstown Weaving School operated by guild member Norma Smayda. Caught by the weaving bug, she is interested in all forms of weaving and weaving equipment. She is a past editor of the Weavers' Guild of Rhode Island's newsletter and is currently the president of the guild.

October 21st, 2017 WGRI 70th Celebration and talk by Fran Curran on Weaving Communities
Note Location Change: North Beach Club House
79 Boston Neck Rd, Narragansett, RI (Reservations Required, and now closed)

Joining our celebration of seventy years as WGRI, Fran Curran will discuss the role Weaving Communities play in the continued growth and advancement of the craft of hand weaving. Fran will reflect on the significant ways groups and organizations have helped her to develop and expand her own knowledge, skill, and expertise as a hand weaver.

Fran Curran has enjoyed teaching weaving classes and exhibiting her work throughout New England for the past thirty-five years. Fran is the Executive Director of the Hartford Artisan Weaving Center, past president of NEWS (2007), and past president of Handweavers' Guild of Connecticut (2002-2004). Fran received a Bachelor of Arts in Textiles from Manchester College of Art and Design, Manchester, England. She holds a master's degree from Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut.

November 4th, 2017
Note Location Change:
Clark Memorial Library
7 Pinehurst Dr, Carolina, RI

Morning Presentation: Forgotten Weaves - Marjie Thompson Marjie

Three shaft weaves, flushing, spot, dumb flowers, gebrochen, gesteinte und gebrochen, hin und wieder, dimity...Strange terms but all are the names of weave structures found in old books and manuscripts. Learn how to recognize both fabrics and drafts in these structures, how to design your own, how to adapt for fewer shafts, and especially how to use these forgotten weaves.

Marjie Thompson enjoys being "stuck" in the pre-20th century weaving world. Her focus is the textiles produced both at home and by the professional weavers. Marjie enjoys adapting these weaves to contemporary colors and uses. She is the coordinator of the Complex Weavers "Early Weaving Books and Manuscripts" study group, the "Preserving Our Past" study group, past president of NEWS, a past Dean of the Weavers' Guild of Boston, past president of Complex Weavers, an active guild member Weavers' Guild of Boston, president of the New Hampshire Weavers' Guild, and a member of many study groups including Cross Country Weavers. Her woven pieces have received the HGA award, Handwoven's Weaving for the Home Award, and Marjie is one of a handful of weavers awarded the "Weaver of Distinction" title from NEWS in both the gallery and fashion shows. She is the co-author of Forgotten Pennsylvania Textiles of the 18th and 19th Centuries, The Huck Pattern Collection, Miniature Patterns for Weaving by Josephine Estes, the editor of The Gartner Manuscript. Her articles have appeared in Weavers, Handwoven, Complex Weavers Journal, Shuttle, Spindle, & Dyepot, and The Spinning Wheel Sleuth's Loom Supplement.

    CANCELLED   Afternoon Workshop: Colorful Paper Weaving - Anastasia AzurePaper Weaving
Without a loom weaving can be a breeze! Playing with colorful cut paper is an immediate way to try out new ideas. Focusing on color exploration and expressive pattern design, we will create a variety of woven paper samples that can be mounted to greeting cards or framed.

Anastasia Azure combines ancient weaving, traditional metal-smithing, and contemporary materials to create sculpture and jewelry. She received her MFA in Textiles from Rhode Island School of Design and her BFA in Metals from California College of the Arts. She has taught a variety of weaving workshops at the Appalachian Center for Craft, University of MA Dartmouth, RISD Continuing Education, NEWS 2017, and the Fuller Craft Museum.

Students should bring the following to the workshop
  • scissors
  • ultra-thin black Sharpie marker
  • scotch tape
  • color inspiration image

Workshop Fee: $25 (please send your check to WGRI treasurer by October 1 to reserve a space)
Materials fee $5 (payable at the workshop)

December 2, 2017 - Annual Holiday Party and Fiber/Equipment Swap/Sale

Note January Meeting was cancelled and Norma Smayda's presentation has been moved to March

February 3, 2018: Beautiful Bands: Decorative Weaving from the Sami and Baltic Regions - Nancy Ayton

The program will begin with a short power point presentation of the Sami and Baltic areas, their histories, and the importance of band weaving in their cultures. This will be followed by an explanation of the different types of bands and how they are woven. Samples woven on the inkle loom and with rigid heddles will show the variations of style and structure. I will have my inkle loom and a rigid heddle loom set up with partially woven bands, so people can come up and try this type of weaving. The books that are my inspiration will also be on display. A handout will be provided with sites to go to for further explanation, as well as my email address for anyone who may have questions.

Nancy Ayton, a longtime weaver, is a resident of Providence, RI. After receiving a BA degree in German from University of Rhode Island in 1974, she became enamored with weaving. Her favorite forms of weaving are those that require manipulating pattern threads to create intricate designs. She is currently focused on exploring the beautiful bands of the Sami region and the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania.

Note: Kate Barber's presentation has been cancelled

March 3, 2018: Placemats, Runners, and Towels - Norma Smayda
Norma Smayda<
"Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful." William Morris.

Napery suggests fine functional items for household use. Whether the lowly kitchen towel or an elegant table cloth, each piece should be designed with care, using appropriate weave structures and fibers. We will look at twills, lace, crepe, and patterned weaves, some unusual weaves I've gleaned from my Scandinavian studies, and of course plain weave. We will discuss proper finishing techniques. There will be lots of examples to look at. This workshop is for beginning weavers and those who are looking for inspiration for their future projects. Handouts will include a few unusual drafts. Bring paper and pencil.

Norma Smayda, a weaver, teacher, exhibitor and juror, learned to weave in Norway and occasionally returned to teach. In 1974 she established and continues to run the Saunderstown Weaving School. She has an MFA in Visual Design from UMass-Dartmouth, and has received the HGA Award of Excellence, the NEWS Weaver of Distinction, and the WGB Distinguished Achievement Award. Norma has written articles for various weaving journals and has had work featured in several books. Norma's special interests include Scandinavian weaving, the works of William Henry Harrison Rose and Bertha Gray Hayes, and weaving with the fan reed. She coauthored Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes. Her recent publication with Gretchen White in 2017 is Ondule Textiles: Weaving Contours with a Fan Reed. She especially likes weaving functional pieces and reducing complicated designs to as few shafts as possible.

April 7, 2018: "Why Use One Color When 20 Will Do?" Photo Inspiration for Creating an Original Warp - Barbara Herbster
Note Location Reverted to Our Normal Location, North Kingstown Free Library
Morning Presentation
Ok, it seems highly unlikely that any of us would use twenty yarn colors in a warp, but many of us are thinking only in terms of one color. For the morning, get out your color shine and think outside your norm. For inspiration, when you look at a blue vase, do you see just one color blue? Can you see that the light shining on the vase causes an area of light blue? Is the light blue centered or off center? Around the sides of the blue vase, does the color become a darker blue? I could translate this into colors for a dishtowel. Dark blue borders, blue center with a stripe of lighter blue. Sharpen your observation skills and put them to use. The end product of a warp winding for a future warp will have the hand of the maker. That will be you.
This is meant to be fun, mind expanding, and there are no wrong answers. After a short talk with samples, about seeing with a new perspective, you will try your hand at the approach. Barbara will be on hand to oversee the plan inspired by the photograph you found. You can work from a plethora of yarns brought for common use. Please see materials list and be prepared to exercise your mind.

Morning Materials List (for communal use)
  • cones of 10/2, 8/2, 5/2 cotton labeled with your name (as many as you can comfortably carry)
  • textured, novelty threads about the same weight
  • scissors
  • masking tape or Scotch Tape (plain or double-sided)
  • several pieces of heavy white faced cardboard cut to 2 ¼ - 2 ½ x 6 ½- 7" in size. (if thinner cardboard is used, double it to make it stiffer)
  • 3 favorite colored photos to use for inspiration

Afternoon Workshop Canceled

"I am intrigued with wearable fiber art. I like to make a statement with my jewelry that says who I am and what I do. I place this necklace, cleverly constructed from a narrow band, in the category of fascinating fiber adornment. It is colorful, comfortable, and wearable and is easily adapted to embellish many garments-tops to dresses."
If you register for the class, you will be sent specific instructions on weaving the band at home. Color choices will be according to your stash of cottons or other smooth yarns. You will come to class with several yards of narrow warp faced band. We will then discuss/consider/learn/choose finishes appropriate to your style and complete the project before leaving for home.
The band is a 2-shaft weave that may be woven on a floor, table, or inkle loom. The weaving takes about 2-3 hours on a floor loom. I look forward to sharing this experience with you and seeing where you take it.

Barbara Herbster has been weaving, contributing to galleries, and teaching for nearly 40 years. Strong interest in color and simple form have been her trademark whether making tapestries, rugs, runners, or producing wearables for sale. Weaving for Barbara is an endless creative exploration of the many roads weaving can take an inquisitive person.

Workshop Materials List
  • sewing supplies (needle, thread, and scissors
  • pliers or any jeweler's tools you might have (to share)
  • findings will be available to purchase or bring your own
Workshop Fee: $30 (please send your check to WGRI treasurer by January 1 to reserve a space)

May 5, 2018 Weaving Fabric for Garments: Getting Started - Manon Pelleter & Judy Schaefer

Many questions come to mind when an idea for a hand-woven garment is formed. Choosing the best fiber, weave structure, and pattern are all important points to consider. Sometimes these questions are answered at the beginning of the process, the "Planned" approach. Other times at the end, or the "Unplanned" approach fiber, sett, and weave structure are picked at the start and the rest of the questions answered after a fabric has been woven. These two approaches are both creative and challenging - this talk will explore each method and provide a foundation for those interested in garment construction to move forward in creating their own unique clothing.

Manon Pelletier is a Master Seamstress with over 40 years experience in garment construction.
Judy Schaefer is a seamstress with over 40 years sewing experience with teaching credentials from a major sewing manufacturer. Both Manon and Judy are weavers and guild members whose passion and focus is on handwoven cloth for garment construction. Manon's approach to projects is mainly from the "Planned" perspective; whereas Judys creativity comes from the "Unplanned" angle. Either method produces beautiful one of a kind garments.

June 2, 2018: Annual Meeting with Election of Officers
  • Presentation of 2018 Weaving Challenge - Sally Rianhard & Margaret Moone
  • Membership Renewal (bring your checkbook!)
  • Pot Luck Luncheon