These were two of our favorite numbers this year! Forty for Sievers School’s 40th anniversary year and forty-one for our 41st season of teaching classes. With the origin of Sievers based on weaving, it was very appropriate that our last two classes were #40, Beginning Weaving with Nancy Adams and assistant, Susan Johnson and #41, Magic Carpet Ride:Rag Rug Weaving with Deb Sharpee. It was the perfect way to finish our 2019 season and mark those two milestones.
From a variety of samples, perfect for beginning weavers, students learned the basics of weaving on a floor loom and were able to finish their first project and then go on to dress the loom and weave a second piece. Most of that is due to Nancy and Susan’s four helping hands along with the mysterious weaving fairies that might come into the studio when all is quiet.
We looked back and counted the number of Beginning Weaving classes offered in our 41 seasons…it totals 190! The very first one scheduled, from June 25-29, 1979 had Mary Sue Fenner as the instructor. Other instructors that year were Barb DePeaux and Judith Jones. Since then, these instructors have all offered a beginning weaving class at Sievers: Barb Guither, Ann Young, Joyce Marquess Carey, Pat Manion, Mary Ellen Johnson, Janet Agness, Lynn Stracka Schuster, Miranda Howard, Lorna Hennig, Judith Yamamoto, Grace Kragness, Charlotte Jirousek, Pat Hilts, Jean Hutchison, Barbara Heike, Sue Ollech, Louise French, Nancy Frantz, Rita Hagenbruch, Nancy Adams and Susan Frame. We’ve had classes last five days, three days, a weekend, on floor looms and table looms and one “for men only”. The most we offered in one year was 13, in 1982. It is humbling to think of all the weavers who got their start at Sievers, including the eight new weavers from this class.
Taking the memories home of a week filled with weaving, learning, new friends and “Island time”.
For a number of years now, Deb Sharpee has taken Sievers out in style. We can’t seem to stay away from the studio, watching the fabrics transform the utilitarian (but colorful!) cotton rug warps into beautiful rugs that will warm any home. Most of the rugs used fabric strips, but one luxurious, soft rug was made with naturally colored alpaca.
That’s one petite weaver wrapped in a very long rug!
Going back to our statistics, this time looking at weaving rag rugs, from 1983-87 a combination “Scandinavian Flat Rug and Rag Rug Weaving” class was offered. Then in 1988, Chad Alice Hagen began teaching Rag Rug Weaving/New Color in Rag Rug Weaving, continuing until 1998. Deb Sharpee has been the instructor for this class since 2000. It’s exciting to see the new rugs she brings each year!
As the sun sets on our 2019 season and with good memories of #40 and #41 in mind we are wondering one thing.
What will #1 be in 2020?