Happy New Year!
2018 is closing and 2019 is already laid out in my planner – upcoming classes, new visiting instructors, and my role as a traveling consultant are some of the things already penciled in.
Only 9 months ago in March 2018, I took the plunge and committed to undertake the establishment of Old School Wool and Weaving Center for the advancement of knowledge, skills, techniques and period cloth production of the 18th and 19th centuries and the rescue and restoration and instruction in the use of same period textile tools.
In April, I hosted the two day Open House which was attended by 35 people. Then in May I hosted the first ” Beginning Fiber Sorting for the Small Producer ” class taught by Sharon Milewski of Rascal Fair Farm in Pennsylvania. This was followed by the first ” Beginning Great Wheel Spinning ” class in June, with Tracy Sayer , also of Pennsylvania. In September I invited Florence Feldman-Wood, publisher of The Spinning Wheel Slueth newsletter, who came and gave two presentations, one on looms, the other on spinning wheels, and finally a second ” Beginning Great Wheel Spinning ” class with Tracy Sayer in October.
I also hosted two groups of wide eyed and curious children from the Truxton Community Super Hero Kids Summer Program, and a group of teens from the Washington County Cashmere Kids, a 4-H group dedicated to raising superior Cashmere fiber goats.
In June I spent time with Rabbit Goody of Thistle Hill Weaver’s , learning about researching old textiles and understanding how to create a linsey-woolsey cloth. Of course there was the travel for the research of the Dominy family spinning wheels and other textile tools and a rekindling of a relationship with the Southampton Historical Society, in Southampton, N.Y. where I will act as consultant and help them create a brand new textile exhibit in 2019. They also contracted for 4 reproductions of period textiles currently on display, but they will retire once the new reproductions are in place. During the process of researching and weaving these reproductions I have increased my knowledge and experience as I applied the instruction given to me by Rabbit.
The biggest news of the new year is the move of all the equipment from the lower floor classrooms to the new classrooms on the second floor. This is made necessary as a result of the new Charter School that will open in September of 2019. From the first, it was clear that a charter had been applied for and would eventually require such a move, and here it is, already time! I cannot believe how fast the time has gone.
The plan is within 2-3 weeks to break down the looms and move them first, getting them situated and reassembled, ready to use, before much else is brought in. The smaller pieces can work around the looms, but the looms are dominant and need to have first claim to space. I’m sure it will all work out in the end, but trying to decide how and where to make the loom floor plan is going to be a trial and error undertaking.
Finally, 2019 is shaping up to have more classes ,keeping true to the historic aspect of textile making and use of period textile tools.
Among the visiting instructors coming in 2019 are: Mara Riley of Maryland who will teach a class on Tape Loom Weaving in July ( DTBA), Sharon Milewski of Pennsylvania who will once again offer the ” Beginning Fiber Sorting for Small Producers ” class in May ( DTBA ) Tracy Sayer who will offer ” Beginning Great Wheel Spinning ” throughout the spring, summer and fall, Jose Buenaventura Gonzalez Gutierrez aka THE MEXICAN WEAVER, who will offer a class in organic dyeing and another class in Beginning Tapestry Weaving ( DTBA ).
I will also be teaching Beginning Weaving classes both ” on demand” as well as once a month in the class setting.
The official school year at Old School Wool and Weaving Center begins April 2019 and goes through October 31, 2019.
The finalized class schedule will be available January 31, 2019 with a full and complete list of classes/ instructors/ dates/ fees and registration instructions.
Thank you everyone for following along with me on the journey, I hope to see many of you as the year unfolds. I have appreciated the kind words, suggestions and support of the school through various donations and class attendance. Without your support, Old School Wool and Weaving Center would not be possible.
May you all be blessed and prosperous in the coming year!
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