The Woodstock Weavers 50th anniversary celebration is in full swing with an exhibit of handwoven items and demonstrations of all aspects of weaving at the Historical Society of Woodstock’s Eames House Museum, located at 20 Comeau Drive in Woodstock. Most items are for sale. The exhibit is open Saturdays and Sundays from 1 to 5 p.m., through June 12.
Throughout the exhibit, Weavers guild members demonstrate hand spinning, dyeing yarn, “dressing” a loom, weaving and finishing. Looms are set up visitors to use. Various hands-on activities are offered each weekend with different kinds looms — floor/jack, inkle, rigid heddle, backstrap and twigs. Over Memorial Day weekend, wheel spinning and inkle loom weaving will be demonstrated. For a detailed schedule, visit the guild’s website at woodstockweavers.org. The schedule is updated as plans are finalized.
Judith Chase and Woodstock Weavers chairperson Carol Wood conducted a tour of the exhibit recently, pointing out the vast assortment of materials used, including linen, cotton, silk, wool and some hand spun cloth. Even the scarves are strikingly diverse. One was made by Historical Society curator Deborah Heppner, who studied with Frey during high school. “We want to help people understand the different steps to making fabric, creating wall hangings, clothes, curtains, bedspreads and all the household items that were all handmade many years ago,” Wood said.
“We like the feeling of fabric in our fingers.” Chase said about the allure of weaving. Her grandmother was a talented knitter, but it was Chase’s Latin professor in college who had three floor looms and introduced her to weaving. “I wove a dozen placemats with lace on the border while going to college,” Chase said.
Wood said she’s mostly self-taught, although she did study the craft in Sweden for six months, mostly for high-end customers for upholstery. “My mother always had a loom in the living room. I recreated a sweater she made by the feel of the fiber.” Like Chase, Wood enjoys the tactile quality of textiles.
“This exhibit is a perfect fit for the Historical Society,” said Town Historian Richard Heppner, a member of the board of trustees. “The vision of the Historical Society of Woodstock is to be the common thread that weaves together the rich and colorful tapestry of Woodstock, inspiring our community through a collective appreciation of our past.”
For more information, contact Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.