Sunday, January 3, 2010

Weaving Winter Memories

Marshfield School of Weaving
Plainfield, VT, USA
The windy gusts of winter outside my home today remind me of the time I spent at the Marshfield School of Weaving in 1980.
That frozen winter, Master weaver and Scottish folk singer, Norman Kennedy taught me and 2 other students the art of traditional early american weaving techniques. I learned to clean, card, spin and dye wool under the scrutiny of the Scottish Master Weaver. I made 2 blankets and still sleep under them to this day. 

The house on the left is where we resided during our stay. 
Norman lived on the bottom floor and the students had the upstairs rooms
Barn on the right housed all the looms, spinning wheels and many hours of work.

My first blanket on the loom

Spinning Wheels in the studio barn

First completed blanket. I cleaned, carded, spun, dyed and then wove this blanket

Second blanket. 
I spun, dyed and wove this blanket.  It was woven on a 19th century 4-treadle loom. 
If you look closely, you might see where I stitched the blanket in the middle to make one large piece after it was off the loom.
All photos © Christine Mauersberger 1980
The school is now the home of Eaton Hill Textile Works and the School for Traditional Handweaving with Kate Smith taking over for Norman in the 1990's. 

I'm comforted that the school carries on the tradition of 18th, 19th and 20th century textiles.


  1. Vermont.
    BIG soft spot. great memories.

  2. I am often amazed at the similar paths of peoples lives. I didn't attend this school but I studied weaving for many years and have some wool blankets that still keep us warm. You look radiant in the photo and the blankets are treasures.

  3. Christine, Thank you for your lovely blog post about the school. We are here right now, weaving away. Kate is actively teaching. Right now on the looms are a rug, toweling and two blankets. We are so pleased that you have such fond memories of a place much loved by all of us. Please come and visit us some time. It was zero degrees this morning and the school looks the same as when you were here. Stay tuned!
    Phyllis Detwiler


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