Weave Free or Die • Madelyn van der Hoogt DDW Workshop in NH
I just spent a fantastic three days in Concord, New Hampshire taking a deflected double weave workshop with the illustrious Madelyn van der Hoogt. The workshop was a great experience across the board. It was in downtown Concord, NH (near a french bakery) at the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen. The New Hampshire Weavers’ Guild organized and hosted it. The members who attended couldn’t have been more welcoming to an alien outsider (me), and I had the bonus of having a great loom buddy and fellow Hill Master Weaver, Diane Howes. I was impressed and inspired by the collective skill and knowledge which shone in the challenging atmosphere of Madelyn’s class.There were 18 weavers and 18 projects to weave in a round robin format. I think there were perhaps 15 different projects and 4 repeated in different colors. I was floored by how smoothly the class went when you consider that there were 18 weavers of differing experience and skill weaving 15-18 different projects on unfamiliar looms and then wet finishing a total of 4 yards of fabric for each project! What a testament to how Madelyn structured the class, how flexible and skilled the weavers were and how well the Program Coordinator set things up.
The emphasis in the class was largely on the differential shrinkage possibilities of this structure which was great for me because it is one of the facets of DDW that I really haven’t explored much at all. It also provides some serious drama!
I have often heard that Madelyn is a very good teacher, but I got to experience her skill first hand. She is very funny, patient and really generous with her knowledge and her energy. No whiff of diva at all even though her status in the weaving world would merit a little attitude.
We wove around the room – engaging with a huge variety of looms: 4-shaft direct tie-up, 4, 8 & 12 shaft table, 8-shaft floor, spiffy new, worn and loved oldies with a myriad of customizations. It was sometimes a pleasure and sometimes as much of a challenge to “learn” the loom as it was to learn the structure, beat and treadling of the project. We wove with cotton, cotttolin, bamboo, silk, superfine merino, mora wool, worsted wool . . .
I feel like I have about a year’s worth of thinking and experimenting to do based on some of the ideas gleaned from this class. Highly recommended! And here is my wee sample which we resleyed trying to get some bubbling – unsuccessfully. I hope it’s not a reflection on the lack of bubble in my personality . . .