ARTISTS' COOPERATIVE GALLERY OF WESTERLY
The Westerly Weavers is a small group of weavers who met at the former FiberArts Studio in Stonington. The group offers a rich and supportive environment. The weavers continue to grow creatively—sharing a love of creating texture, pattern and color in their work. Their primary materials are silk, velour, bamboo, linen, cotton, wool and tencel fibers—accented by any material that can be woven into the piece. Their woven items range from wearables such as coats, scarves and shawls; to items for the home such as blankets, pillows, wall hangings, rugs, and tea towels.
Weaving and love of fiber took hold of Christine nearly 40 years ago and although there have been periods of not being able to weave for lack of a loom, she has always knitted. A studio art degree laid the foundation to her understanding of color, pattern, texture and composition, but mostly taught her to use her imagination and improvise (especially when she ran short of a certain yarn). Her style is always colorful and never confined to strict limits. She has a beginner's mind and is always learning.
Maureen has been weaving for seven years. She tries to look at everything – household textiles, art, every weave structure. If she sees something she likes, she tries it. The rug in this exhibit gave her the opportunity to work with bold color in a complex structure (taquete) on a large scale. She “can’t wait to try other color combinations.”
Sherry has been involved with various fiber arts for more than 40 years. Six years ago she had the opportunity to learn weaving and it has become her passion. Through a course of hands-on instruction, many workshops and self-study, Sherry has become an accomplished and proficient weaver. She continues to grow her skills and likes the challenge of working with techniques that are new to her. Sherry enjoys weaving with finer threads and more complex drafts for luxury scarfs. Though, lately, has been having fun with cotton dishtowels and exploring double weave. Sherry enjoys passing on her knowledge, helping out other weavers, and regularly volunteers at the Hartford Artesian Weaving Center.
Marilyn became enamored with weaving while living on Nantucket surrounded by the beautiful weavings from “Island Weaves” and was offered being an apprentice as a way to watch and learn. Soon she graduated from weaving simple dish towels to the more complicated shawls in aproduction method. When she found a used Macomber loom for sale, she said she really began to weave, experimenting with designs and color.
Later, weaving with others at Fiber Arts Studio and joining Hand weavers Guild of Connecticut taught her so much—providing her the support and guidance to become a more proficient weaver. And she still loves experimenting with different weave structures and fibers while making dish towels and shawls!
Carol is a relatively new weaver who believes it was good fortune, that she discovered Lola's non-profit FiberArts Studio in Stonington. She was fascinated by the craft, impressed by the teaching and was warmly accepted by a unique and welcoming weaving community. Most of her weaving has been focused on baby blankets, scarves, and other items she gives as gifts to her friends. When the Velvet Mill studio closed last year, she wanted to continue learning traditional weaving techniques on her Schacht loom and working with the generous weaver friends she had made within this amazing community. Such is her commitment that she drives from from Park Slope, in Brooklyn, NY weave
Judith is an internationally known innovative quilt artist whose award winning work is held in both corporate and private collections. She has an MFA from Rutgers and has taught extensively in both the U.S. and Europe. Her abstract quilts emphasize color integration and movement; and appear in numerous publications. Judith retired from active quilt making to pursue a new career as a hand weaver. She brings to this medium her creative color skills and composition. She finds that weaving offers new discoveries in texture and color selection, as well as the 3-D challenges of shaping garments.
Janis is an art historian and professor and became interested in the texture and patterns of carpets, particularly those of Sweden. She began her weaving training as a student at Vavstuga Weaving school. As a relatively new weaver she enjoys exploring the possibilities of pattern and color. She is particularly interested in carpets, and the way they can suggest space, or tell a story.
Several years ago, someone casually mentioned to Elaine that there was a weaving studio at the Velvet Mill. She ventured over one Saturday and have spent most Saturdays weaving ever since.
She enjoys working with bright colors and seeing how they interact and takes great satisfaction in making blankets and throws.
Liz began weaving after attending Moore Collage of Art in Philadelphia; taking a hiatus to raise her family. She returned to weaving at the opening of the Fiberarts Center in Stonington. She has a love of both learning and teaching; and, found that she learned much through assisting the newer weavers at the Center. The Westerly Weavers appealed to her it provided a sense of community and her fellow weavers provided encouragement and inspiration.
Luis originally began fiber arts with needlepoint more than 30 years ago. Although he continues his needlepoint, he now spends much of his time weaving, which he learned at the FiberArts Center. In addition to table runners and tea towels, many of which are gifts for friends, one of his first pieces was a cape/ruana for his wife.