Welcome to The Chicago Weaving School
The Chicago Weaving School provides expert instruction in the art of handweaving. With ongoing classes offered five days a week, beginning to advanced weavers find their creative home where they are free to explore color, texture and pattern through the medium of woven cloth. It is owner Natalie Boyett’s mission to provide an inspiring, inclusive, and encouraging space for all who enter.
All levels are invited to sign up for a WeaveSpa class, (children are welcome too) or dive into our regular “Wonder/Discover/Dream” Weekly Adult Weaving courses. Basket weaving workshops run the first Saturday of each month, and special workshops in weaving and other textile-related topics are offered as well. Please browse the gallery page to get an sense of the different kinds of things Chicago Weaving School students are making.
Chicago Weaving School News:
Rugweaving Workshop May 15, 16, and 17th!
Lately, many students here at The Chicago Weaving School have been opting to make rugs and saddle blankets. They’re wanting to make wide, substantial, durable rugs that are also beautiful.
“Dreamweaver” Jane Scheff has been a big inspiration to other students. She whipped out three area rugs based on what she learned in last year’s Jason Collingwood workshop.
The process of designing and weaving a rug can be daunting because there are so many options and ways to go about it. Is it going to be weft-faced, warp faced, or more balanced? Will the weft be wool, cotton, or made with cloth strips?
For those attracted to the look of weft-faced wool rugs, the next big challenge is choosing the warp and knowing how to sley it based on the weft you’ll be using. It’s one thing to achieve a weft-faced sett, but’s weaving a successful rug is also about making all the variables work together to create a piece that is durable, thick, and sits on the floor with the right weight. If you aren’t sure of these decisions, you can end up spending a lot of time weaving something that is unsatisfactory—too thin and flimsy, with wobbly edges and requiring way more yarn than you anticipated.
None of this even approaches the visual aspects of design!
Lucky for us, Jason Collingwood is returning to The Chicago Weaving School next month to teach another workshop in his series of rug weaving courses. Jason is THE preeminent rug weaving guru. If you are alive and weaving today, you want to be able to say you’ve taken a class with Jason Collingwood. He is a wealth of knowledge, in terms of practical execution as well as amazing techniques that create very cool effects.
His lectures make you say, “Ooooooohh,” and “Ahhhhhhh,” a lot.
I encourage you to take this opportunity. Workshops like these are invaluable to our weaving progress. They give us the chance to get fully immersed in the learning process without interruption. They shake us out of our doldrums and open our eyes to new techniques and possibilities. They also expose us to other points of view, which is always healthy! Events like these become very special, memorable touchstones in our weaving lives.
Here are the details:
Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. May 15, 16, and 17, 2015
Door opens each day at 9:00 AM. Class meets 10 AM to 5 PM.
Last year’s workshop focused on a myriad of techniques within the framework of plain weave. This year Jason will be demonstrating similar techniques, (clasped weft, crossed wefts in contrary and parallel motion,) within the context of twills. Other techniques will include pick-up, double-faced twill, Krokbragd, and twill color sequences that create unique patterns. Jason will also introduce Shaft-Switching, a technique invented by his father, Peter Collingwood. Students will learn to adapt their own looms for this technique.
Students bring their own four-harness table or floor loom. Arrangements for loom delivery before the day of class can be made upon registration.
Upon registration, instructions for loom dressing, and a materials supply list will be supplied. Help will be provided the week before class for those requiring assistance dressing their loom.
Currently enrolled Chicago Weaving School students may wish to use their school loom for this workshop.
(There may be looms available to rent but please be advised there is a limited number.)
Collingwood weft yarns will be available for purchase the day of class.
Breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be provided for all students, so you can relax and focus on the class.
Yogi Catherine Brooks will lead students through rejuvenating yoga stretches Fridayand Saturday at the end of the day. This is a great way to work out the kinks after weaving all day, and also helps the body/mind process the new information.
Natalie Boyett and Giulia Hines will provide additional assistance (help with looms, etc.) throughout the workshop to ensure students get the most out of this wonderful experience.
Cost for this workshop: $450 (50% non-refundable deposit required to register.)
A “Floor Show” at The Chicago Weaving School
Recently, weaving student Kristin Rydholm (in the photo, with the glasses on her head,) brought in a whole stack of her latest weavings. (Boy, she’s been busy the last few months!) We took it as an opportunity to have an impromptu showing. There was no need to hang them on the wall. We just cleared a space in the front of the studio and arranged them on the floor in front of us!
What a great way to celebrate the accomplishments of a student, and give us all a chance to step back and “take-in” a body of work.
When we focus on the one thing we’re working on at any given time, we sometimes forget to step back and look at our creations from a larger perspective.
Stepping back and seeing “the whole” is enlightening. Patterns emerge, the pieces start to “talk” to each other, and you can see how things relate.
When we lay out Kristin’s weavings, it was easy to see which pieces naturally wanted to be next to each other, and it showed us how one warp, woven with three different wefts, can look very different.
New Chicago Weaving School policy: more floor shows!
Origami Bags in December
Here are the first prototypes for the“Origami Bags” Workshop I’ll be teachingTuesday, December 9 from 10:00-5:00. (I can’t wait to have a whole little posse of these adorable bags in different sizes.)
They are a great way to use small scraps of leftover fabric, or that “
For more information and to register, go to the workshops page and click the “Register Now” link for the December 9 workshop.
And don’t forget to check out our “Upcoming Special Workshops” page for more class offerings!