October 14, 2017

Making cloth visible again: Working Weavers Studio Trail

Date(s) - Saturday, October 14, 2017 - Sunday, October 15, 2017
All Day

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The best place to see a weaver’s work is often her or his own studio – typically a relaxed, unpretentious place with good lighting and tools near at hand. A studio has none of the stiffness of a gallery or store, and fewer rules. You can indulge your inclination to handle the fabric, you can stay as long as you like, and your questions are treated seriously.

On October 14-15, seven nationally known weavers in western Massachusetts will open their studios to the public for the first time. By visiting studios, visitors will gain insight into the painstaking, thread-by-thread process of creating cloth. They’ll come to know the patience that is at the heart of handwoven cloth, and will experience first-hand the ambiance of the modern weaving studio, filled with color, texture, and movement, yet quiet and contemplative, with hours passing as new cloth is created. And they’ll have the opportunity to purchase a range of items that include scarves, shawls, pillows, table linens, kitchen towels, and more.

Virtually all but a small percentage of today’s cloth is mass produced. By playing a role in every aspect of our daily lives – from the clothes we wear to the upholstery on our furniture, and from towels and bedding to rugs, awnings, kayaks, and umbrellas – this cloth has become virtually invisible to most of us. Contemporary weavers work to reverse that trend, seeking to make cloth, and the specialized tools and hand skills used to create it, visible again. In the process they make cloth that is typically distinctive and
original, infused with the energy of makers who are excited by the prospect of creating cloth that rivals the technical excellence of factory-made fabric, while transcending its limitations of design and color. Such cloth is prized by collectors and others who enjoy both the high quality and idiosyncrasies of finely made handwoven cloth.

Weaving in a wide variety of styles, and demonstrating a multiplicity of goals and approaches, the seven weavers on this year’s Working Weavers Studio Trail include:
Emily Gwynn (Buckland): www.handstoworktextiles.com
Lisa Bertoldi (Buckland): www.weft.us
Lisa Hill (Conway): www.plainweave.net
Marilyn Webster (Conway): www.whimsyandtea.com
Scott Norris (Florence): www.elamswidow.com
Chris Hammel (Florence)
Paula Veleta (Florence): www.paulaveleta.com
For more information on the Working Weavers Studio Trail, please feel free to contact
the tour’s co-director, Marilyn Webster at marilyn@whimsyandtea.com or 413-369-4713.
Learn more about the studio trail at www.workingweavers.com