Learning something new and making by hand is an exciting adventure. That being said, we’ve been fortunate to witness a lot of good adventures this year, including those in our August classes. Lynn Stracka Schuster guided several new basketmakers in her recent Covered Coiling Basket class. When travelling down a new path of learning, it’s good to have an experienced guide, and Lynn is that and more. This is her 40th year of teaching at Sievers. Lynn likes to tell the story of finding a notice about Sievers while studying art in college and realizing it was in Door County, a family vacation spot. A short time later, after graduating, she paid Walter Schutz a visit and he said that […]
From the very beginning, Walter Schutz felt Washington Island was the ideal place for learning and specifically as a place for Sievers School of Fiber Arts. He wrote in 1979, “What could be more ideal than creating in pleasant surroundings such as these?” Also, “…a positive cultural advance – the Island is ideally suited for this. I am convinced (Sievers) would not be as successful in other places…” and, from 1984, “I hope, too, that it will help you regard the Island with more reverence, help maintain its rustic, unspoiled atmosphere and above all keep it, as much as possible, the sort of place it is. It truly is ‘north of the tension line’ (and) opens the door to the […]
Over the past couple months, beside building Sievers Benchwork in the other Sievers shop, Butch and Barb have been demonstrating their craftsmanship by making three blanket chests. One is made from the cherry tree that was at the edge of the deck on the back of the Sievers dormitory/barn. Another is from a Washington Island oak tree and the third, from pine. The cherry and oak chests measure 38 1/2″ long x 19 1/2″ wide x 15 1/2″ high. The pine chest has the same dimensions, except for the height, which is 16 1/2″. Each chest has a clear satin varnish on the exterior, while the interiors are unvarnished. One of their other projects was to build these three-tiered display […]
We’re counting the days (there are only 30) until our 43rd season begins with the Open Quilt Studio from June 2-7! The Open Studios (quilting and knitting) were some of the few opportunities last year that allowed for in-person attendance at Sievers. Working independently at separated tables, students sewed or knitted and learned from each other. We feel much better about what the Sievers experience can and will be this summer and fall, but at the same time recognize that we’re all taking part in a gradual process of readjustment. In less than 30 days, the Sievers Shop will be open daily! Over 80 artists will have their work in the shop and of course we have most of the […]
After a few warm days, we’re back to a typical Washington Island spring, which means temperatures in the 40’s, a northerly breeze and the need to keep our hats and gloves close by. Recently, those who sponsor the annual Shetland Wool Week announced they are unable, again this year, to conduct an in-person event. Today they released their free Shetland Wool Week 2021 hat pattern. Last year’s Katie’s Kep was so well received, they asked the same designer, Wilma Malcolmson, to design the 2021 pattern. It is called Da Crofter’s Kep, honoring the people who work the land and care for livestock in Shetland. We are offering these kits using Jamieson & Smith’s 2-ply jumper weight yarn for Da Crofter’s […]
Many hands were in motion throughout last week’s Creative Knitting Retreat with Sandy De Master and Mary Germain and in the Open Knit Studio. Each person was working on a different project, (actually on multiple projects!) and that made for a “stone soup” of pattern, yarn and project ideas that any knitter would savor. As always, there were new and returning projects brought to class, including lots of color work, Fair Isle knitting and Latvian or Estonian mittens. New friendships were made and returning friendships enriched. Many came to class together as established friends. Two “Sievers stories” are shared here, first from Eileen P., “My friend Cindy and I have been coming to classes at Sievers for years. These retreats […]
Each hand crafted piece has a story and the pieces made in last week’s Navajo Rug Weaving class and Open Quilt Studio all have their own stories. The reason for the choice of colors and design, who it may be given to and why, what it will remind the maker of each time they see it or what was happening around them during the process are all parts of the story. We have a story for you, too. Once upon a time, a group of people met at Sievers School for a Navajo Rug Weaving class with Betty Glynn Carlson. They started by warping the Navajo looms and choosing colors and designs that were to be the words of the […]
So many quilts, so little time… Even five days (and nights) of uninterrupted sewing in the Sievers Open Quilt Studio never seems like enough time, especially for us. What a treat to see the variety of works in progress. Fourteen quilters can certainly put on quite a display! A neighborhood family of Sandhill cranes and a sunset created their own displays during the week. Time to quilt and time to enjoy Washington Island makes for a wonderful start to our season of classes!