“Just” another week at Sievers…two fashion shows, daily potluck class lunches and a dinner, more than 66 one-of-a-kind garments made by Mary Sue Fenner and at least 22 of Jeanette Biederman’s baskets for inspiration. Plus, at the end of the week, the students went home with the new garments or baskets they made. Wow!
An impromptu invitation from the Red Cup Coffee House quickly evolved into the first fashion show of the week. You can see a selection of the garments on our Facebook or Instagram pages, some of which were made by the students and some by Mary Sue. (There are basket photos there and more from the final class fashion show, too!)
Using their own handwoven, hand-painted, hand-dyed (or commercial) fabrics, the patterns, the pieces and the creativity came together in one or more garments for each student in the five-day class.
We’ve mentioned more than once that Mary Sue Fenner was instrumental in planning the first Sievers classes. We have her original letter to Sievers, dated March 22, 1978 asking for a “copy of your recent catalog. Also, I would like to know if it is possible to visit your shop on Washington Island.” Walter Schutz replied, “…we are at the present time remodeling a school as a craft center. We will not have any courses this summer, but are doing all of our promotion now so that we will be in a good position…for the summer of 1979. Since you are a teacher in these crafts, I wonder if you would be interested in teaching for next summer.” Mary Sue replied, “I am planning to visit you on July 22. I teach sewing lessons…creative weaving… and textile printing. I am interested in your table loom kits for my weaving class. And, as always, I hope to buy some yarn.” And the rest is (Sievers) history.
In the Walter Studio, it was a basket extravaganza! The focus for some students may be one or two baskets with an intricate design, for others it may be making several for household use or gifts. Either way, the main focus is the enjoyment of working together and continuing friendships.
We’d like to share another one of our 40th anniversary Sievers stories. Kay N. wrote, “My first class at Sievers happened after we bought a house on Washington Island and I met my neighbor who was dyeing a basket with walnut hulls in her yard…from that time on, 1990 to the present, we have made baskets together because of her original invitation. My first class was in the building which is now the shop. Jeanette (Biederman) demonstrated the Market Basket we were all going to make and finish that day. I said, ‘me and who else?’ I did finish, plus three or four more and have been hooked ever since. It is the highlight of my summer.”
To have these one-of-a-kind teachers and students here this past week was a highlight of our summer, too!Share Sievers with Friends...