Wednesday, July 20, 2011

NEWS 2011

I want to share some images from NEWS 2011 (New England Weavers Seminars) with you before my next activity (Michele Wipplinger's Color Institute) fills my head. NEWS takes place every other year and is held at Smith College in Northampton, MA. There were exhibitions (a juried gallery show which I co-juried with Laurie Carlson and Carol Birtwistle; a faculty show; the static fashion show; a special exhibition of ethnographic textiles; and guild table exhibits); half-day, full-day, and multi-day workshops (I taught both a half-day and a full-day workshop on Photoshop and woven design using techniques described in The Woven Pixel); Vendors Booths selling items (yarns, Guatemalan products, tools, dyes and books) and publicizing places (The American Textile History Museum); and there was the fashion show one evening and a lecture by Laurie Carlson on the last evening. Of course there was also lots of comings and goings, meeting with old friends and new friends, meals in the cafeteria or downtown, and just wandering the campus and visiting their wonderful gardens. Many of the attendees have attended many of these gatherings. It was my first, and I really enjoyed how friendly everyone was so no matter where I went I could enter into an interesting conversation. There are some amazing weavers in New England as you can see from the images below.

Top Left: Brenda Rosenbaum of Mayan Hands, a truly remarkable and compassionate woman; Top Right: a view of the Faculty Exhibition with my weaving Continuum on the table and Sara Goodman's stitched, dyed and pieced work behind it; Second Row Left: some of Sara Goodman's samples of natural dyed fabrics on a table in her workshop; Second Row Right: Jody Brown and Norma Smyda standing in the inspiring Special Exhibition that they organized of world textiles; Third Row Left: Co-First VP Programs Ruth Ward and Virginia Coolidge standing in front of the display of the American Textile History Museum which was enthusiastically manned by Linda Carpenter, a trustee of the museum; Third Row Right: a table runner by Janney Simpson of Connecticut that was entered into the table runner category of the gallery show; Bottom Row Left: an image of the gallery show; Bottom Row Right: some of the new weavers setting up their first weavings in Carol Birtwistle's class.

Top Left: Best in Show was given to Scott Norris of Pioneer Valley Guild in Massachusetts for weaving these incredible linen towels; Top Right: Jurors Choice and Peoples Choice both went to this fascinating shawl woven by Suzi Ballenger of RI (it was woven in plain weave but had variable denting that changed in the cloth creating undulating stripes that reminded me of Syrian textiles); Second Row Left: Michele Belson and Deborah Holcomb in the Lunatic Fringe Yarns booth near the beautiful natural brown cotton yarns they are selling (I thought I was going to get some linen this week but when I saw this yarn I just had to have it--it is called American Maid Yarns); Second Row Right: a detail of the Guild Booth supporting breast cancer research; Third Row Left: Dorothy Solbrig of the Nashoba Valley Guild of Massachusetts entered this colorful deflected double weave to the gallery show; Third Row Right: Carol Birthwistle showing two of the new weavers how to do something at the loom; Bottom Row Left: Diane Villano taught several workshops on polymer clay and in the one depicted students made buttons with wavy marks that reminded me of marbleizing; Bottom Row Right: another view of the Faculty Exhibition showing my weaving Mindscape on the table with Laurie Carlson's optical fiber sculpture in the background.

Top Left: Wonderful scarf by Norma Smyda of RI with undulating threads shaped by the special reed she uses (some scarfs were in the fashion show, shown here, and others were in the gallery show--it was the weaver's choice were to enter them); Top Right: Marjie Thompson of NH is a legendary weaver in these parts and you can see from this image of a table runner that she entered into the gallery show why she is so revered; Second Row Left: a lovely space-dyed scarf shown in the gallery exhibit by Carol Wooten of Cranberry Weavers of MA (Carol too is well-respected and she won prizes in both the gallery and fashion shows); Second Row Right: another scarf by Carol Wooten, this one entered in the Fashion Show and Static Exhibition; Third Row Left: Laurie Carlson Steger helping one of the students in her workshop, Carolyn Wetzel, weave fiber optics on a backstrap loom; Third Row Right: a close-up of the fabric Carolyn Wetzel was weaving which lit up when finished; Bottom Row Left: the table display by the weavers who were supporting breast cancer research; Bottom Row Right: a fantastic textile in the Special Exhibition (which I think was woven in Peru).


  1. thank you for this post! i've been in the glooms ever since the notification that fiberarts will no longer be published.

  2. The last image is Bolivian, not Peruvian.
    Thanks Jody for the correct information.

  3. Bhatki, it was such a pleasure meeting you at NEWS! Your samples were just fascinating, I'm still bummed I couldn't take your classes (wah, poor me, lol)... But now I finally have time to start working my way through your book, hooray! (And the chocolate was fantastic, yummers...)