Sievers and willow have a long history. We begin by going back to 1980, our second year, when Char TerBeest-Kudla offered the first class in basketry at Sievers. Focusing on willow, the class description read in part, “You will use natural materials found right here on our rustic, beautiful Washington Island. What you learn you put to use wherever you are.” Four students that first year quickly grew to 12 in 1981. One of those 12 students was Jo Campbell-Amsler, who became the Beginning Willow basketry instructor in 1991 and has continued to offer classes in willow since then. In Jo Campbell-Amsler’s 1993 Beginning Willow class, two of her students were Donna Kallner and Jacki Bedworth. 1993 Beginning Willow Basketry […]
Each day feels more and more like summer with all the leaves and flowers out, stirring in the warm sunshine. Early this spring, a maple tree was transplanted just outside the Walter Studio. It seems to have taken to its new home quite well. We’ve had plenty of water to keep the new tree growing, but not as much as this tree has! Our new neighbors have opened as the Inn at Frog Hollow and are taking reservations. Welcome, Dan and Dawn Nelson! They join our next closest lodging neighbor, Jackson Harbor Inn, in our favorite part of the Island. The Washington Island Ferry Line will be expanding their schedule to eleven trips at day, starting June 11. In Sievers […]
The gathered botanicals and live plants were in place, the mordants were set out and the burners were ready when students in Donna Kallner’s Local Color from Natural Dye class entered the studio last week. Tree and plant leaves were used for ecoprinting on silk and more colors of nature were brought out and preserved in wool yarns through brewing plant dyebaths. Samples and skeins dyed with goldenrod, rhubarb, indigo, black walnut and more prompted exclamations of excitement and discovery during the dye process. Two indigo plants gave their leaves to create beautifully dyed yarns and fabrics. The last morning offered show and tell time and what a display after just four days of […]
“How long does it take to make that?” is certainly a question we hear often as do many quilters, knitters, weavers, basketmakers, spinners and other makers. As they say, don’t hurry pleasure! Ellen Graf’s Drafting in Quilt Design class demonstrated that it’s not only the time spent sewing, pressing, piecing and finally, quilting, that goes into each unique quilt, it’s the time planning, drawing, experimenting and seeing ahead to what it will look like when finished. As far as we could see ahead, each and every quilt will be a treasure! Ellen always shares her excellent techniques with her students and we look forward to seeing the quilts started in class make a return visit to Sievers. The early summer rains helped produce extra-lush botanicals and the […]
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 […]
For the first few days on a walk over to the studio and finding no one there, the question was… where is Donna Kallner’s Local Color to Wear class going next? Off on field trips to Percy Johnson County Park, the Stavekirke, Jackson Harbor Ridges and more, students found in all those places the local color and photographs used in their class projects. The basis for learning, experimentation were their own photos, ones taken on the Island (like the bracelet above with the image of the Stavekirke roof as background), natural dyes, sun and thermofax screen printing on fabric. Combined with found natural materials, beads and stitches, the pieces took shape. A lavender-filled sachet, book covers, bracelets, pins, bookmarks and small art pieces, along with […]
This week, the colors of nature are all around us. With Donna Kallner’s Natural Dye Retreat in session these past four days, the colors of nature were brought inside the Walter Studio and used on fabrics, yarns and paper. Black walnut husks, leaves, willow, flowers and this indigo plant all provided gorgeous colors for dyeing and overdyeing. The leaves from the indigo plant were harvested and the results were these brilliant blues. With those leaves going to a good cause, the students now will be able to attempt growing their own plant from the cuttings. As an added treat, with some of the materials harvested, someone may want to brew up some homemade Island-inspired bitters! […]
Last week, both classes focused on landscapes. For two days, Susan Hoffmann led students through Landscape “Painting” with Fabric using one of her own designs as the class project. Although the elements in each were similar, every finished landscape “painting” reflected an individual style. At the same time, for four days, Donna Kallner and her students took field trips around the Island, taking digital photos they then printed onto fabrics for wearables, jewelry and small art pieces. Starting with Island materials and inspirations, their local color landscapes incorporated eco-printing and eco-dyeing. You can’t get any more local than these two landscapes!