WGRI Programs 2019-2020  

Submitted by Janet Cooper

Vice President, WGRI

September 7, 2019

 Location: North Kingstown Library

Book Reports: Books that Every Weaver Should Know

Weavers are fortunate to have an extensive literature of books on weaving techniques and woven cloth. “How-to” having books and illustrated exhibition catalogs that feature woven textiles are well-known month weavers. Less well known are the numerous readable and informative books on history, anthropology, and psychology that address the “what, why, and how” of both textiles in particular and craft in general. This talk will feature a discussion of three books that look at textiles and craft, and that ask questions such as “What is this object? Why was it made? Who made it? How was it used?   

Scott Norris is a weaver who specializes in tablecloths, bath towels, and other utilitarian household items, woven in hand-dyed linen. He is also a writer, with essays and reviews published in magazines and journals such as American Craft, Ceramic Monthly, Ceramics Art and Perception, andUnder the Sun. Visit his website at www.elamswidow.com.

October 5, 2019

 Location: North Kingstown Library

 Color-and-Weave Effect

 Color and weave effect describes an infinite number of patterns, which can be created by repeating a small pattern of light and dark colors in the wrap and wefts using a basic weave structure. The visual patterns formed do not resemble the weave structure and cannot be predicted without a color draft. The program will explore the general characteristics of color-and-weave effect by looking at samplers and drafts and reviewing color drafting. A 50-plus page-learning packet will be available to each student containing notes, drafts and project ideas. Please bring pencil, eraser, ruler and colored pencils. A small fee will be charged for the handout TBD.

Beth Cederberg Guertin of Waltham, Massachusetts has been teaching both rigid heddle and multi shaft weaving for more than thirty-five years to children and adults.  She enjoys designing projects to use up small amounts of yarns.  She is a member of the Weavers’ Guild of Boston and is their treasurer.  Beth was recognized by the WGB with the Helen Barrett Award in 2013 and the Celebration of Weaving Life Award in 2017.  Beth owns and teaches weaving at her studio, A Place to Weave,in Waltham.  Her website is www.aplacetoweave.com


November 2, 2019

 Location: North Kingstown Library

A Collapse Weave Practice

 Collapse weave is simple and complex at the same time. Collapse weave creates a cloth which draws-in in controlled ways, displaying a 3-dimensional effect. It often involves the sue of very simple structures. It is the materials used and the method of use, which is unusual.   We will discuss a variety of methods for producing collapse, and my practice with these methods. Many examples of samples, finished products, and materials will be on display.    

Deborah Kaplan branched into weaving 20 years ago from a background of handspinning and knitting. Her knowledge of materials informs her work. For a number foyers she has worked with collars weave and unusual materials such as copper, steel, under gummed silk, and horsehair to obtain open, gauzy, surprisingly effects. Most recently, she has been working with differential shrinkage for collapse. Thinking outside the box is a passion. Debbie’s work has been featured in SpinOff, Handwoven and the CW Journal,and has won awards at NEWS and Complex Weavers.

December 7, 2019

Location: North Kingstown Library

Annual Holiday Celebration and Potluck Brunch

Yankee Swap with Sally Rianhard 

Use Your Loom Ends for the Yankee Swap

Make a card from the end of one of your weaving projects. Be creative!  Bring it in a holiday wrapping for our Yankee Swap led by our own Sally Rianhard.

January 4, 2020

Location: North Kingstown Library

Framed with Woven Borders

 Framing allows a textile to stand on its own and gives it value. This power point presentation focuses on the many options we have to “frame” our work, from simple stripes to using pattern blocks and woven edges to isolate a woven piece from its background. We will look at twills, overshot and summer and winter weave structures, among others, as ways to provide well-designed boundaries. Proportion, color value and simplicity are also factors to consider.

Tapestry weaver Archie Brennan feels that wall pieces of fiber art still search for a proper presentation; his comments will be considered. An unusual approach is to allow the image to break through the border. Photos of textiles through the ages will show many solutions for textiles both functional and decorative.

Norma Smayda, master weaver, teacher and author, established the Saunderstown Weaving School in 1974. She learned to weave in Norway. Scandinavian design, colors and weave structures continue to be an important focus of her work. She also specializes in the contributions of William Henry Harrison Rose and Bertha Gray Hayes. She is the co-author of Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes.More recently, she has immersed herself in weaving with fan reeds and has written Ondulé Textiles: Weaving Contours with a Fan Reed.She received the Weavers Guild of Boston Distinguished Achievement Award and the New England Weavers Seminar Weaver of Distinction. She is a Past President of the Handweavers Guild of America and an Honorary Member of the Weavers Guild of Rhode Island. 


February 1, 2020 

Location: North Kingstown Library


Janet Austin learned to weave at Massachusetts College of Art, in 1972. After weaving and selling functional items for 8 years, she felt a yearning to express herself in images, and earned an MFA in Painting at the University of NC, Greensboro. Almost accidentally the weaving and painting came together, and she has been weaving tapestries inspired by her paintings since 1983.

Jan served on the board of the American Tapestry Alliance, and as coordinator of Tapestry Weavers in New England. She exhibits regionally, nationally and internationally. She has been teaching tapestry for more than 30 years, speaks to guilds and art groups and demonstrates tapestry weaving whenever she can.


March 7, 2020

Location: North Kingstown Library


Highlights and Pitfalls in the Pursuit of Excellence

As a member of the WGRI when the meetings were held in Slater Mill, I first met Antonia Kormos as she shared in the mostly meetings, bringing her extraordinary textiles to share with the group. I was lucky to meet with her as we curated the pieces for her solo exhibition at The American Textile History Museum in 2014, for that HGA Convergence year.  It was Tony who inspired me to take the plunge to attempt the Handweavers Guild of America, Certificate of Excellence Level I. This is a PowerPoint program with the woven samples for inspection.

Laurie Carlson Steger grew up in central Massachusetts.  She learned to weave and sew as a child. She earned a BFA in Textile Design and and MFA in Artisanry/Fibers from The University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. She was recently awarded the Handweavers Guild of America, Certificate of Excellence Level I.  Ms. Steger works and contemplates from her home studio in South Dartmouth, MA.   For more information, visit her website: www.liteweave.com.

April 4, 2020

Location: North Kingstown Library

Steve Mason: photographer — Levers Lace

Steve Mason will talk about his book, Levers Lace, American Industrial Revolution, the story in photographs of the last lace manufacturer in the United States.

The factory is located in West Greenwich, RI, and operates on equipment 100 years old.

Steve Mason: Steve Mason is an award-winning, Rhode Island based commercial and fine art photographer. Steve specializes in environmental portraits, architecture, military, technology, manufacturing, trades and the construction field. His fine art photography can be seen in many regional, and corporate galleries. He has over 30 years in the industry working all over the United States. He is dedicated to working with clients to create visual branding solutions. Steve is equally skilled on location or in the studio.

May 2, 2020

 Location: North Kingstown Library

Crafting Change with Mayan Hands

Mayan Hands is a fair trade nonprofit organization dedicated to empowering Mayan women weavers in their quest to bring their families out of extreme poverty as they continue to live within the culture they cherish. Founder, Brenda Rosenbaum, and artist, Anastasia Azure, will share their current project “Crafting Change” that involves teaching Mayan women to create woven metal jewelry.

Anastasia Azure hand-weaves dimensional art exploring the grace of geometry. She shares her connection with our harmonious universe by creating contemplative wall sculptures and innovative jewelry. Her art emits radiant symmetry, providing centering as well as expansive energy. Combining metalsmithing with an ancient, Peruvian textile technique, she weaves wire and hand-dyed nylon on a traditional floor loom. Her designs create sophisticated serenity, beauty and wonder. 

She earned her MFA in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011 and BFA in Jewelry Metal Arts at the California College of the Arts in 2005. She has been an Artist-In-Residence at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth and the Appalachian Center for Craft. Her artwork has won many awards and is collected by museums. She travels the globe teaching imaginative textile and jewelry workshops. For more information, visit her website: www.anastasiaazure.com.


June 3, 2020 

Location: North Kingstown Library

Annual Meeting with Election of Officers

Weaving Challenge with Sally Rianhard and Margaret Moone and Potluck Luncheon