As we’ve mentioned before, a number of our instructors first came to Sievers as students. That’s true of Jeanette Biederman, who was here teaching the Splint-Woven Basketry: Independent Study class and Nancy Adams, who was the facilitator for the Adams’ Alumni Open Weaving Studio. In our earlier blog titled “Two by Twos”, we wrote about Nancy’s natural progression from student to teacher. The same is true for Jeanette.
We met Jeanette as a student in CharTerBeest-Kudla’s 1987 Beginning Willow Basketry class. She returned each following year as a student in classes taught by Jim Bennett and Rise Andersen. After teaching her first class in 1991 (10 students in a weekend of Splint Market Baskets), she’s gone on to offer 83 classes at Sievers. Jeanette has also continued to be a student here, taking several classes in weaving, garment construction, rug hooking, quilting and more.
Through the years, woven along with baskets are the enduring friendships made in her classes.
From one of Jeanette’s students in 2014, “Every year is such a special time…and Sievers and all my close classmates are like family. My first classes weren’t basketry as I recall, but once I had a class with Jeanette – it was Jeanette all the way. I think and hope that you know the wonderful friends I’ve made are a very special part of my life.” Jean S.
In class this year, basketry and friendships were brought together again.
It’s not unusual when all the students in any given Sievers class are alumni, having been here each year for several years in a row or even after an absence of many years (including one this year who had 27 years between classes). What’s new about the “Alumni Classes” we offered this year is that all of those students have been in that same class, or with the same instructor one or more times. For the first time this year, we offered a weaving studio for former students of Nancy Adams. Nancy was able to weave her own projects alongside her past students. All of the work done by her alumni during the week showcased Nancy’s teaching talents…how gratifying!
We’re fortunate to have met so many people who are now Sievers alumni and we look forward to greeting new students, soon to be the same.
Because it’s fall, we continue to share the colors of Washington Island as they change day-by-day. More to come!