Scott Norris reviews the book, “The Fabric of Civilization, How Textiles Made the World” by Virginia Postrel.
Scott Norris of Elam’s Widow, is a prolific, local weaver who specializes in tablecloths, bath towels, and other utilitarian household items, woven in hand-dyed linen. Working out of his converted garage, he creates beautiful heirloom fabrics. His pieces have evolved over time to a select palette, precise structures, and a luscious, crisp hand.
Scott is also a writer, with essays and reviews published in magazines and journals such as American Craft, Ceramics Monthly, Ceramics Art and Perception, and Under The Sun. To learn more about Scott and his works, use this link: www.elamswidow.com.
Happy Valentines Day, Weavers!
Have you noticed the increased strength of the sun lately? I’m even hearing birds outside my window. It’s such a happy turn of the planet. I’ve just returned from a visit to my cousin’s on Cape Cod and she has tulips and daffodils about 2 inches high.
While these happy events are not Spring, it’s not too early to really start thinking about July and the NEWS Conference. Registration begins in March 2023. Workshops and events are listed on line at: https://www.newenglandweavers.org/ and there are some really great instructors, speakers, and exhibits. This is the first in-person NEWS since 2019 and it promises to be an exciting event.
We are all weaving to create our PVW Display Table. I’m envisioning a table piled high with our creations. To review, we are creating items developed from either Handweaving.net; Marguerite Porter Davison’s, “ A Handweaver’s Pattern Book” or Carol Strickler’s, “ A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns”. All items must use at least 3 colors and be flat, not sewn or otherwise created into shapes. There is more information coming at the meeting, so see you there.
Agenda – February 14, 2023
- January Minutes
- Treasurer’s Report
- NEWS Report
- Library Report
- Market Place Report
- Membership Report
- Discussion Group
- Door Prize
- Show and Share
- Program – Scott Norris will review “The Fabric of Civilization” by Virginia Postrel.
Minutes for 01/10/23
The January meeting was called to order at 6:23 PM, by Lynn Field. Lynn welcomed the 16 members in attendance plus Bran Gardner and Cathy Hartley.
Minutes of the December meeting were approved as published.
Nancy Evans reported on Treasury activity, we are currently at $4,500. The new travel rate is $0.65 per mile.
Deb Adamczyk reported on NEWS that registration begins on March 5 for New England Weaving Guild members. Make sure you have an account before that date. There is a trustees meeting coming up. Committees will be needing to be signed up including Juror. All details will be in the next newsletter.
Carol Birtwistle reported on the Library that all new books will be in the next newsletter. There were 2 books in the returns bin that were not checked out. Please make sure you are signing all books out and in with your name.
Barbara Elkins shared that there will be a Discussion Group meeting on January 20 at 2pm in Classroom 2.
Colorwork for NEWS – we had a show and share from Peggy Wolff, Brbara Elkins, Grace Ferrante and Lynn Field.
Deb Adamczyk shared that everything in the Marketplace was new!
Door prize goes to Pat Kapitzky of a UMASS calendar.
Lynn Field adjourned the meeting at 6:44.
Show & Share
Our program was on “A Tour of the Weaving Room” at WEBS by Mary Jones, assisted by Barbara Elkins.
Mary Jones’ Show and Share
Lynn Field’s Show and Share
Weaving Air: A Workshop Overview of Lace Weaves
Workshop given by Laurie Autio
Our workshop below is filling quickly but space is still available. Be aware that at the end of this month any remaining spaces will be offered to outside guilds.
Two-day Workshop, April 22nd and 23rd, 2023
All levels welcome and accommodated
Held at the Florence Community Center, Florence MA
Lace weaves magically allow the weaver to bend the grid, creating holes to allow air and light to become part of their design. These weaves have been called “plain weave with defects” (Diana Frost), with floats added in one or both directions to pattern the cloth. We will start the workshop with an introductory lecture on the loom–controlled lace weaves, including Huck, Canvas, Swedish Lace, Lace Bronson, and Spot Bronson. We’ll look at how each structure works, plus setts, materials, and weaving tips. There will be a wide variety of samples and pieces to examine.
This workshop is a round–robin, on–loom exploration of lace weaves, huck, canvas, Swedish lace, lace Bronson (Atwater–Bronson lace), and spot Bronson. The looms are
warped in different lace drafts, in a variety of fibers, grists, and colors. The treadling for each loom has simple instructions for the person who is trying the structure for the
first time, plus intermediate and advanced instructions for those who are more familiar with the particular structure. At the end, we will cut off the warps and discuss the variety of woven samples.
If time a permits (it is tight in the 2–day version), a half–hour exercise for interested intermediate and advanced weavers demonstrates a quick trick for transferring a profile tie–up to lace weave tie–ups.
Cost for both days including handout fee is $225.
To reserve your spot, please contact Ellen Redman at firstname.lastname@example.orgE.
Nancy Evans, Treasurer
PVW currently has 38 members. Membership is required to benefit from a preferential registration and fee on the April Workshop.
Membership in PVW renews annually. The guild year runs from July 1st through June 30th. Dues are $30, which includes monthly programs from September through June, access to PVW’s vast Library, discounted workshop fees, access to our loaner looms, and our Newsletter. Other benefits are occasional notices of outside workshops, looms and equipment for sale, exhibits from other guilds, reduced entry fees for NEWS exhibits and inclusion on the NEWS Guild Table Display.
Our Membership Chair is Peggy Wolff. You can mail Peggy your check for $30. made to Pioneer Valley Weavers at 126 Cave Hill Road, Leverett, MA 01054.
Discussion Group – Friday, February 24
We continue to be on a roll, sometimes with a lot of attendance, sometimes with less, but always with work to show and discussion around it. We’ll meet this month on the 24th at 2 p.m., most likely in Classroom 3. If there are any changes you’ll get an update; if no changes you’ll still get a reminder.
Let’s keep it up. The meetings have been fun and the enthusiasm encourages creativity.
See you soon,
Barbara Elkins, moc.liamg@revaewavee
The PVW library is open during WEBS store hours. The keys to the cabinets are located on the side of the white bookcase, which is to your left as you enter the Weaving Office.
Library holdings may be borrowed for four weeks at a time. Please return items on time so they are available to other guild members.
The return box is in cabinet #1. The sign out/sign in notebook is placed on top of the return box.
The following is a list of days and dates when the library is inaccessible because of classes:
- Saturday, February 11: all day
- Friday, February 17: 1 pm – 4:30 pm
- Saturday, February 18: all day
- Saturday, February 25: all day
Marketplace will return in March.
New England Weavers Seminar (NEWS)
Worcester State University
July 20 – 23, 2023
Upcoming NEWS Registration
NEWS Registration opens on Sunday, March 5th at 1:00pm.
Guild members need to be setup on the website to access registration on March 5. You must be a paid member of a New England Guild to be eligible to register.
The key things for you to know for early registration:
- You must have a NEWS website account to register.
- You can confirm this by going to the website at https://www.newenglandweavers.org/ and clicking on “Member Log In” on the upper right corner. The next screen will allow you to login with your email and password.
- If you do not have an account yet, choose “Sign Up” from the login screen and create one.
- Susan Targove will be creating accounts for members who do not have an account from a list of members I recently sent to her. Susan will be setting up the accounts gradually through February as she processes the guild lists (She has 900+ people to set-up and test).. The guild member will get an automated email to set up a password when Susan does this, so you may get an email before March 4. If they don’t plan to register for NEWS, you can ignore the email.
- Susan must add the Guild Member permission AFTER a website account is active for the user. If she sets up the account and the user does NOT respond to the automated email by setting up a password, they will NOT be able to register on March 5.
- Registration will be opened at 1:00 pm on Sunday, March 5. If you sign in early, you will have to refresh your browser for the registration link to become active. Susan HIGHLY recommends registering for your primary workshop first, checking out, and paying. Returning later to get your dorm room and meals, or other workshops. Workshops can fill in the time it takes you to add other items to your cart.
Any questions or problems, contact Debbie Adamczyk at ten.tsacmoc@kyzcmadajd
As you sign up for classes consider volunteering to sit shows or assist your teacher. We will have a certain number of hours that our guild will need to provide for these tasks. Especially the show sitting! While minding the shows, you have an opportunity to take a in-depth look at the items in the Show you are sitting.
NEWS Guild Challenge
As a contributing guild to NEWS, PVW will have the opportunity to display pieces woven by our guild members. Although this is not a juried event, we usually work with a theme. We are using the theme developed for the January Challenge. The unifying idea of the Guild Table is color and drafts chosen from one of the following:
“A Weaver’s Book of 8-Shaft Patterns” by Carol Strickler
“A Handweaver’s Pattern Book” by Marguerite Davison
The project can use any number of shafts but must use a minimum of three (3) colors. The final piece must be flat.
Some of you have completed projects; keep them safe until the time of collection. Latecomers have time to work toward their piece(s). If you prefer not to participate in the themed exhibit, your choice of submission will still be accepted for exhibit.
A limited number of scholarships are available through NEWS. Time is of the essence, so please review the information at https://www.newenglandweavers.org/scholarships and send your application in as soon as possible!
Workshop information in various iterations is available on the NEWS website at https://www.newenglandweavers.org/workshops It’s time to start reading and deciding which workshops appeal to you! It would be wise to have a first, second and even third choice as workshops fill quickly at the open of registration.
Our Guild’s contribution to NEWS
As a member of NEWS, our guild has responsibilities that, as a group, we need to fulfill. Below are our responsibilities. Please volunteer. The original expectation was that NEWS would continue to be a Smith. The change of location provides a different challenge but still requires us to fulfill our commitments.
Legacy of Weaver’s Exhibit contribution
Debbie Adamczyk and Barbara Elkins are already working on this responsibility. Connie Kindahl is PVW’s nominated weaver and Barbara is a wealth of knowledge regarding Connie’s history with our guild. Between Barbara’s input and Debbie’s paperwork skills, this responsibility should be all set.
Guild Table (Debbie would be glad to share information about past tables)
We need someone to organize this display and gather a committee.
– Glean information from members to assess the volume of items to be displayed.
– Determine drop-off location and deadline for members to deliver their items.
– A committee for a table design, draft book, labels and a mock set-up of table to be certain everything works when brought to NEWS.
– A committee to gather the items and props and set-up the table at NEWS on Thursday, July 20, 9am to be finished by noon
– A committee to breakdown the table after NEWS, secure the items and remove all props on Sunday, July 23rd after 11:30.
– Someone to follow-up that all items have been retrieved, from drop-off location, by their owners.
Fashion and Gallery Shows
NEWS offers us an opportunity to display our best work and compete for Awards. The Awards available and the parameters for entry are stated on the NEWS website at https://www.newenglandweavers.org/gallery-fashion-shows.
Please read and adhere to these parameters as you work on and complete your piece(s).
Fashion and Gallery Show Submissions (Debbie has details on requirements)
We need a couple of people to handle submissions and the required paperwork.
– Encourage participation and steer them toward the NEWS Website for entry specifications.
– Items can be assessed by an outside juror or by a guild member(s) to be certain they comply with NEWS requirements and are ready for exhibit.
– Set deadline for entries, paperwork & pictures based on the deadline of June 3rd, set by NEWS.
-Review items and paperwork and submit required paperwork by June 3rd.
– Deliver items to Fashion and Gallery Intake at Worcester State University on Tuesday, July 18th, time to be determined.
– Pickup and secure items after NEWS on Sunday, July 23rd probably between noon and one PM. One named person, no substitution. Secure items until they can be brought to pickup location.
-Someone to follow-up and be certain all items have been retrieved by guild members.
And, finally, NEWS Registration and Information Desk
This task requires the most hours but should be much easier than prior years. Worcester State University’s campus is much more compact and will be much easier to navigate. We won’t be required to provide as much directional assistance to participants. No more registration packets. We will be welcoming them, handing them their Resource Guide and their name badge. Not much to explain. Should a participant or someone from the general public need assistance, we are there to give them direction. We will be open 27 hours between Wednesday evening (7/19) and Sunday morning (7/23). There are times that one person will be sufficient and times when several people would be wise. I would appreciate someone taking on the organization of and communication with the guild volunteers. At minimum I will circulate a sign-up sheet at the March meeting. By then you should know what classes you’ll be taking and can make a commitment. I know that it’s a long ride for many but that’s a challenge that other guilds have met over the years. With the length of the ride, a longer stint on the desk (2 to 4 hours) would require fewer people. Keep in mind that while you are on campus, you can spend the non-working hours viewing the Fashion Show, Gallery Show, Faculty Exhibit, Special Exhibit, Guild Table Exhibit and visit all the Vendors. A satisfying day!
Any questions, need more information before deciding?, contact Debbie Adamczyk ten.tsacmoc@kyzcmadajd or at (413) 436-5618
PVW Guild Table, NEWS 2019
Our website is under construction! Jackie has been working hard at establishing a new and improved website for the guild. The Board has had a sneak peek and Jackie’s hard work shows. The site is almost finished. Look for an email soon, with details on how to access the new site. As always, please send contributions to Jackie Proko at ten.xoc@godncnad.
Show and Share
At every meeting there’s a table to display your latest creations. Don’t be shy! Share what you’ve been working on, a new weaving book you bought, trial and error, etc. Members have the option to talk about their item, with the membership, between the business meeting and the Program.
Sign-In Book and Name Tags
Please take the time to sign-in yourself and any guests! We encourage all members to wear nametags every month for the benefit of newer members.
Newsletter and Website Submissions
Please feel free to share your tips and newly learned tricks, pictures from a weaving-related trip, your recent creation, a book review, etc. with the membership through the following resources:
Please email newsletter submissions to Debbie Adamczyk at ten.tsacmoc@kyzcmadajd.
Please email website submissions to Jackie Proko at moc.liamg@godncnad.
Do you have weaving books or equipment for sale? Send your advertisement, with or without pictures to Debbie Adamczyk (ten.tsacmoc@kyzcmadajd). Debbie will distribute your ad to the membership. (Personal sales only, please.)
Other Guild-Related Groups
Pioneer Valley Facebook Discussion Group
“The Happy Weaver”
Nancy and her studio-mate, Joe Casey were filmed for a segment of WGBY’s Connecting Point. The segment aired onJa nuary 26th but can be viewed online. Nice job, Nancy!!
To view the segment online: https://video.wgbh.org/video/january-26-2023-7st79a
Other viewing options are below.
You’ll find Nancy’s segment at 15:22, it’s about 5 minutes long.
Nancy Evans announced that she is exhibiting in Springfield and that she and her studio-mate Joe were filmed for a segment of WGBY’s Connecting Point.
Nancy will be exhibiting an assortment of rugs, bands, towels, potholders, and tote bags at Trinity United Methodist Church during the month of February. She and Joe will be weaving and answering questions on Sundays from 11:30 am to 1:00 pm. There will be a band loom for you to try. The church is located at 361 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, not too far west of “The X”.
The Trinity Community Gallery and Café is open to the public Sundays from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm, and at other times by appointment. It is located off the foyer. Enter through the third set of doors coming from the parking lot. Follow the signs for Asbury Hall. The Gallery is up the stairs and straight ahead. A ramp and elevator are available at the second door.
Brian Sullivan, a features reporter for NEPM, the newly-combined NPR/WFCR and PBS/WGBY stations in the area, chose three artists to film for WGBY’s Connecting Point. All have studios at the Indian Orchard Mills: Stained Glass Art by Carol Russell aired on January 19, 2023, The Happy Weaver Studio on January 26th, and Maxwell Parker, a tinkerer and sculptor, will air soon.
The programs are also available on YouTube: the full-length episode is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HXVNxnHc_s4, and The Happy Weaver Studio segment at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hf-oZtGbDCI.
Trinity Community Gallery & Café https://www.trinityspringfield.org/connect/community-gallery/
361 Sumner Avenue, Springfield, MA
The church was awarded a grant from the United Methodist Foundation of New England, and the gallery was seen as “a place for showcasing the talents of local artists, and the café was presented as an open space for the community and congregation to gather and build connections. Together the two spaces are designed to engage the surrounding Forest Park community through art and other programming.”