Some fun news

Masham fiber that I got from Into the Whirled at Rhinebeck, 2016. Lovely springy fiber!

Lest anyone think that I have been idle all winter, I have not!  I have been alternately messing around in and re-organizing my studio loft area.  I can get so easily sidetracked with all kinds of things, like book binding, embroidery, quilting, and of course, spinning, knitting and weaving, that I can make chaos in a very short amount of time.

Before I retired I knew that one of my very biggest goals in retirement was to get back to my weaving.  I have been fooling around with looms, both simple and multi-harness, since I was about 12 years old.  Nothing fancy and nothing complicated, but always I come back to it.  I learned everything from books, and now that YouTube and online tutorials are so widespread, I have used some of those to get my feet wet again in weaving, but I really wanted to do a more organized and thoughtful study of weave structures, not just fool around with the odd project here and there, to really learn how to design and weave what I want to.

I had met a local weaver a few years ago when I was driving to Bethel, Maine to pick up a buck from my friend Jane, who is also a production weaver.  The local professional weaver, Nancy, was picking up a loom from Jane at the same time, so we caravanned over in a snow storm (what else is new).  At the time I had only spoken to Nancy a little bit, and asked her just in passing if she would be willing to work with me after I retired, and she said, “Sure!”

When I finally got in touch with her last November, we had just heard about the Maine Crafts Association and Maine Arts Commission opening up the application process for grants to artisans wishing to apprentice with a master artist (Maine Craft Apprentice Program).  We talked about it and decided to give it a try.  It was quite a process, but we got the grant application in before the December due date, and then promptly forgot about it with the holidays and the bitter cold weather ushering in the new year.

Waffle weave dish towels, cottolin

When we got the notice in mid-January that we were finalists, I really couldn’t believe it, and a week or so ago we found out that we are one of two master/apprentice groups to receive the grant for 2018!  I am very honored to think that the committee liked our proposal and am very excited to get started!

In the meantime, I finally warped and wove off a set of waffle weave towels that I have been trying to goose onto my Macomber loom for over a year.  I know there is a threading error, but I can’t find it, and I am very happy with the towels, perfect or not!

And so the adventure begins.

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13 thoughts on “Some fun news”

  1. Oh my goodness, those towels are gorgeous! Good work! I really wish I lived closer to you, Nina. My loom has been naked since I was pregnant and I just cannot seem to get it warped again. No brain power or time for it, it seems. And I would be the first person to make plain old wool blankets for the beds or towels..if I ever got the darn thing warped! Wow, congrats on your grant and having the get up and go that I seem to have lost. 🙂 Stay warm! Joanne

    Sent from my iPad

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  2. Wow, congratulations on your grant! You are making your retirement into new adventures, just as it should be. Those towels are gorgeous, in my favorite colors. I would not want to use them, just caress them. Is that wrong? Ha!

  3. I just noticed that both apprentice winners are named Nina this year! Interesting.

  4. Congratulations! Wow! I have to admit that I didn’t know a ‘person’ could make such beautiful things. Looking forward to hearing about your weaving adventures. Bravo!

  5. Plain old towels and blankets are awesome, and will be part of what I do, I hope. You will get back to it. I have only done one or two projects a year during my child rearing and full time working years. Summer vacation was packed full f hopeful activities, that very rarely saw a full project finished…

  6. Congratulations on a dream come true! You will continue to make awesome progress in learning new skills during the time of your upcoming apprenticeship. In MHO, there is sufficient evidence already that you are very well versed in weaving techniques, etc. having woven a number of stunning museum worthy pieces. All to your credit, Nina!
    Go Girl!

  7. Nina, Congratulations on the grant! Amazing! I’m so excited for you and so look forward to seeing what interesting and beautiful things you’ll be making over the coming year. Wow!

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