Classic (and classy), with clean lines and simple designs that are visually pleasing, is what comes to mind when describing the handwovens in Connie Westbrook’s Simply Scandinavian class. Connie brings so many of her own beautifully woven pieces as samples of projects suitable for the students. We’re sure choosing just one or two to weave is not an easy decision to make! Some very fine threads go into these woven treasures, used for special occasions or everyday. We remember one of our weaving instructors saying that handwovens are meant to be used on a regular basis. Only when they’re part of the collective memory of family and friends over time, are they considered heirlooms. This is true of any work […]
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 […]
Velkommen til Simply Scandinavian, our last class of the 2021 season. Connie Westbrook was kind enough to offer it twice this year, in June and October, and both times focused on projects with the clean lines and simple designs of Scandinavian weaving. Like the class held in June, Connie shared her beautiful handwoven samples and ideas, offered afternoon fika (not just for Swedes, it’s time for friends to take a pause, share a cup of coffee or tea and a little something to eat), arranged for a guided tour of the Stavkirke and created a welcoming atmosphere for her students. From an array of weave structures and patterns including Halvdräll, Monk’s Belt and Scandinavian Snowflake, students wove table linens, pillow […]
These were some of the adjectives Connie Westbrook used to describe the lines and designs typical of Scandinavian style weaving for her class, “Simply Scandinavian”. Connie’s handwoven samples had those qualities, although “simple” would not be one of the words that first come to mind. Students followed suit in their own work. Whether it was one, two, (or more!) projects completed in class, all reflected the spirit of Scandinavian design. One of the students in the class, Deanna S., had taken advantage of this offer when she came to the Island in February of 1987 and bought a Sievers Loom (which she still has). Ann had given her the free lesson! We found a copy of this Handwoven magazine ad […]
Simply Scandinavian or simply fabulous? Definitely both! Connie Westbrook’s class focused on the clean lines and simple designs found in Scandinavian weaving. A table of beautiful samples and Connie herself wearing one of the Washington Island Scandinavian Dance Festival costumes became points of inspiration for the students to weave heirloom-quality table runners, towels, scarves, shawls, pillow covers and more. Yards and yards of towels were woven and for some, then it was onto the next project. If you laid down all the weaving done in this class, end-to-end, you might not reach Scandinavia, but you would certainly reach the hearts of anyone with Norwegian, Danish, Swedish, Finnish or Icelandic heritage! Each reveal prompted oohs and […]
What an appealing combination for last week’s Sievers classes! Simple and natural in Connie Westbrook’s Handwoven Homespun Fabric class, using natural cotton/linen blend yarns in neutrals with just a splash of color and woven in simple plain weave. At the same time, simple and natural in Donna Kallner’s Natural Dye Retreat, with materials harvested from the grounds at Sievers and on Washington Island used to dye silk, wool and cotton. Projects included towels, curtains, bread cloths and totes and with plain weave, the weaving goes fast! The leaves from indigo plants produced these vibrant blues, illustrating that revealing the final results from leaves, barks and berries is part of the process and joy of natural dyeing. To see more and experience some of […]
Yes, the towels and twills were terrific, but more importantly this past week was terrific, led by instructors Connie Westbrook and Jeanette Biederman. Many of Connie’s students chose handwoven towel projects based on samples she brought to class. Students in the Twill Basketry class also had many choices for patterns and colors, inspired by Jeanette’s work. It was a week of terrific students having a terrific time making terrific towels and twill baskets!