Weaver’s Guild of Boston
Constance Gallagher Award, 2019
For excellence in one or more of the following areas: Linen weaving, teaching, research, or meticulous craftsmanship.
To: Norma Smayda, #1512
Not everyone fills all the possible criteria for this award. Norma does. She is a master weaver, teacher, and author. She learned to weave in Norway, and Scandinavian design, colors, and weave structures remain an important focus of her work. In 1974 she established and continues to run the Saunderstown Weaving School. She also specializes in 3-shaft weaves, fine linens, and the contributions of William Henry Harrison Rose and Bertha Gray Hayes. Norma is the co-author of Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes: Miniature Overshot Patterns.
More recently, Norma has immersed herself in weaving with fan reeds, and in designing and exhibiting her ondulé textiles which have been featured in two exhibits, the 2017 New England Weavers Seminar and Hera Gallery in Wakefield, RI. She shares this interest in her recently published book, Ondulé Textiles: Weaving Contours with a Fan Reed. Her book includes the history of fan reeds, contemporary weavers of ondulé textiles and her personal journey with fan reeds and ondulé textiles. The latter is a weaver’s documentary of an adventure with a new weaving experience making for fascinating reading.
She has received the New England Weavers Seminar Weaver of Distinction Award in both Gallery and Fashion divisions, and is a Past President of HGA, Past President of NEWS, and coordinator of the illustrious Cross Country Weavers. In the past, Norma has received both the Distinguished Achievement Award and Honorary Membership from WGB. She is a major contributor on a national level.
With her teaching, research, and weaving, Norma opens the eyes of all weavers to new weaving frontiers.