After our last class ended on October 22, we began to look forward to the postscript of our season! An event coordinated by Jo Campbell-Amsler and Lee Zieke Lee, Willow Connections 2022, brought together a group of willow basketmakers and enthusiasts for three days of willow harvesting, basketmaking and sharing. Over 20 people from all parts of the country gathered in the Walter Studio and Tomson Hall (the barn) for “all things willow”. It was a delight to see Sievers alumni and to meet many new willow friends during the (too short) retreat. As always, at the end of the season of classes, we have numbers to share. Our class registrations totaled 380, the highest since 2013. Over 78% of […]
It was a beautiful fall and we’re grateful it lasted a good, long month. Consider this an ode to the fall colors and scenes on Washington Island. Nature’s first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf’s a flower; But only so an hour. So dawn goes down to day, Nothing gold can stay. –Robert Frost Our hearts hold on to the beauty of those colorful fall days until they come again!
Two weaving classes, Simply Scandinavian with Connie Westbrook and Rag Rug Weaving with Deb Sharpee, wrapped up our 44th season of classes with many yards of warp! We can think of no better way to finish classes than to have a studio full of weavers working at Sievers looms, the foundation of Sievers School. Connie’s beautiful Scandinavian-inspired handwovens provided lots of possibilities for students’ class projects, focused on clean lines and simple designs. The class wasn’t only about weaving, it also included a tour of the Washington Island Stavkirke and a daily afternoon “Fika” break with treats. Last year we shared Connie’s delicious chocolate cake recipe, which made another appearance this year. We may try to obtain Tuesday’s special Swedish […]
When the calendar turns to October, we know it won’t be long before we see our Sievers knitting friends. For them and for our dear knitting instructors, Sandy De Master and Mary Germain, knitting is always at the ready, but it’s even more so when meeting for the Creative Knitting Retreat and the Open Knitting Studio. Yes, it’s a time for knitting, but also a time for everyone to gather together. Some of those knitting friendships were made almost 20 years ago and each year there are always new friends to meet. Both studios are filled with fantastic knitting projects in all stages. What a delight to see a combination of ideas transformed, projects started, completed, blocked and/or worn! Fair […]
The season of fall is well upon us and as always, it reflects the changes that occur in nature and in all things. However, something that hasn’t changed at Sievers during the fall for many years has been a class in making a bent willow chair with Ken and Michelle Workowski. Fall happens to be the best time to bend the heavy-duty Sandbar willow used for the arms and back of the chair due to its ability to flex in the extreme without splitting when nailed . Ken Workowski first came to Sievers as an assistant to Rich Prange for the Bent Willow Chair class held in October of 2004. With Rich’s retirement from teaching the class the following year, […]
Coinciding with the first days of fall were two weaving classes, Beyond Beginning Weaving with Susan Frame and following that, Beginning Weaving with Nancy Adams and assistant instructor, Susan Johnson. What better time than fall to add to your weaving repertoire or to learn something new? (Actually, any time is good, but fall does have that special “time to start a project” feel.) In the Beyond Beginning class, students had a choice of projects, suitable for the shorter, four-day time frame. Susan wove and brought several examples including doubleweave blankets, scarves and samplers. Not only was it time to start fall weaving projects, it was time to finish them, too, as one scarf was woven and off the loom on […]
It’s always good to start from the beginning. With the two classes last week, students in one did just that, while the other was geared for beyond beginners. Interestingly, the three instructors for these classes started at the beginning and have gone well beyond here at Sievers. In the Quilting 101: Boot Camp, co-teachers Ellen Graf and Jackie Barry started students off with the basics of how to choose fabrics, accurately measure and safely cut fabric and sew patchwork blocks while establishing good techniques. Learning four different blocks and combining them, students created a wall hanging or table topper. Speaking of starting with the basics, Ellen came to Sievers for a Basic Spinning class in 1983, returning later for beginner-level […]
The first several days of September have certainly mirrored the lines from the poem by the same name, capturing the “.. summer’s best of weather, And autumn’s best of cheer.” Other bests of September have been happening in our recent classes, including Splint-Woven Basketry, Navajo Weaving and Metalwork Jewelry Boot Camp. Basketmakers used their five days in the studio to full advantage, creating baskets of all shapes, sizes, colors and patterns. Add to that the new and renewed friendships, the many offers of helping hands with each others’ baskets and simply, but most importantly, spending treasured time together. Putting most of the week’s worth of baskets in one photo makes for quite an impressive display! From preparing the Navajo loom […]