Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Dear Santa…

Sutherland Handweaving Studio has some exciting news about guest instructors for 2012, just in time for holiday gift giving or gift hinting!

 Excellent Holiday Gift Number ONE:

Laura Fry will teach a one-day seminar titled A Good Yarn, Saturday, March 17. Laura has been weaving professionally since 1977. Her work has evolved from table textiles to yardage woven for a fashion designer. She teaches throughout Canada and the U.S., writes for a variety of textile publications and has won numerous awards for her clothing fabrics. In 1997 she became the 27th weaver to earn certification as one of Canada’s Master Weavers.  Her book, “Magic in the Water,” which is filled with woven samples prior to and after wet finishing, is a very special acquisition for a weaver’s library. Here’s just one page from my copy showing the samples on the right and a photo of the finished project on the left.

page from Magic book 

A Good Yarn is designed to help weavers better control their end results. Laura discusses fiber characteristics, yarn spinning and how weave structure and density affecting the finished textile. This is a tabletop workshop with no loom required. We have room for 20 participants and the cost is $120, plus a $10 supply fee. We’re going to need full payment for this workshop up front, as Laura is coming from British Columbia on a tour of the Southeast, and we need to lock in her travel plans as soon as possible.

 Excellent Holiday Gift Number TWO:

Daryl Lancaster returns to Sutherland  May 29-June 2 to teach her very popular five-day garment construction class, A Wearable Extravaganza: Wrap your body in clothing from you own hands. This is a terrific class for those wanting to learn to fit and sew clothing from their handwoven, hand printed, dyed, quilted, felted or other special fabric, as well as for those more experienced students wanting polished and professional results. Daryl Lancaster JacketStudents will construct a basic unlined jacket, from their own fabric, custom fit to themselves, while learning all sorts of inspiring techniques to make their garments reflect their creativity. This class is designed to teach creativity as well as technique. Students who have already made a jacket with Daryl may opt to bring their own patterns. Even if you’ve taken a similar sewing class with Daryl, this class will move you to your own next level. Here is a link to the full prospectus, which includes more details and the supply list. Yes, you’ll need a sewing machine for this one. 

We’re limited to only 10 participants for Daryl’s class, so make your reservation early. Cost is $450, plus a $35 materials fee, which includes an extensive handout…a book actually. A deposit of $225 will be needed to reserve your place in the class. The full balance will be due May 1, 2012.

Cancellation policy for both Sutherland workshops: Refunds of payments and deposits, less a $10 service fee, will be accepted up to 30 days prior to the workshop. After that date, refunds are only possible if another student can take your place.

FINALLY, Excellent Holiday Gift Number Three:

If your interest in weaving classes is more at a beginning level, another Weaving I: Three Warps, Three Towels class with Karen starts Saturday, Jan. 14, from 10 am-2 pm. This class will continue for eight, four-hour segments on consecutive Saturdays. Cost is $310, plus yarn fee.

So if your special Santa keeps bugging you for gift ideas, slip this blog post onto his or her computer screen . We have gift certificates!  BUT please don’t wait to contact us if you want to make sure you have a place in our guest instructor classes. We think these are going to fill quickly.

Happy Holidays from Karen and Barb

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

What happened to this year?

It can’t be the last week of October. I feel like I’ve been in a time warp since last spring…which partly explains why posts have been few and far between.

First the news of the hour. Our Sutherland Weavers’ Study Group will celebrate the conclusion of its first year of study this Sunday, Oct. 30, at 2 pm. We’ll discuss our progress, look at projects from the year and plan our study for year 2.

This is a great time to join the Study Group. We include weavers of all experience levels weaving on all kinds of looms, rigid heddle to multi-shaft compudobby. We always learn from and inspire each other. The show and tell is excellent.

Next year, we’re talking about stash reduction as the theme of our study, and we’ll firm up the details Sunday. We voted to use our dues from last year to purchase something (yarn or book maybe) that we can all use during the study. Suggestions welcome. We’re also doing a finger-food potluck. Nothing big, just some snacks and cider, but what’s a party without food?

Let us know if you’d like to stop in and check us out. New members are always welcome.

Next up at Sutherland is the much-anticipated tapestry weaving workshop with Tommye Scanlin and Pat Williams. It’s been full for months with a waiting list, so we’ll be talking with Tommye and Pat about scheduling another one for next year.

The following weekend is our River Arts District Studio Stroll, Nov. 12 and 13. It’s always a crazy weekend with weaving demos and hundreds of strollers shopping for holiday gifts. All of our River Arts District Artists are open both days, so there are lots of great gift ideas. We, of course, favor handwoven scarves and towels!

kdonde turned beiderwandMeanwhile I’m trying to keep up with the schedule at Haywood Community College Professional Crafts-Fiber program, writing for the Handwoven’s Weaving Today newsletter and planning the classes I’ll be teaching at Convergence next year. Look for this scarf I wove for Weaving Today’s block draft Weave-along in the new November-December Handwoven!

And Barb has Sutherland looking awesome with new work, new lighting, new displays and a NEW LOOM!

IMG_0055Here’s Barb getting acquainted with Meg, our new 32-shaft Louet Megado compu-dobby. It’s added a whole new dimension to our weaving.

Hope we’ll see you in the studio soon!


Friday, July 1, 2011

The deal is done!

We have scheduled the tapestry weaving workshop team taught by Tommye Scanlin and Pat Williams at Sutherland Handweaving Studio Nov. 4-6, 2011. This will include 2 six-hour days of instruction Saturday and Sunday suitable for beginners to more experienced tapestry weavers, plus a little bonus the evening before (on the 4th) when Tommye and Pat meet everyone, begin to assess every participant’s experience level and talk a bit about their own work.

For those concerned about equipment, no worries. Tommye and Pat bring looms, bobbins, yarns and lots of inspiration. Of course, if you have a tapestry loom and tools, please bring them.

A warning, we have a 15 student limit, and 5 seats are already filled. Here are the particulars about registration. Cost for the workshop is $180 per person, payable to Sutherland, and $10 supply fee payable to the instructors at the workshop. We will need a deposit of $90 to hold your space in the workshop. So if you’re interested, call us right away to discuss payment. If you should need to cancel for any reason, we will refund your deposit (less a $10 processing fee) up until 30 days prior to the workshop. After that, no refunds are possible unless we have someone on a waiting list to fill your space.

I’ve taken this workshop myself, and can testify to Tommye’s and Pat’s ability to take you where you are in tapestry, teach you better ways to do even the basics, and push you forward in both skills and designing.

We’re thrilled to bring Tommye and Pat to Asheville.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Calling all current and potential tapestry weavers!

A number of Sutherland visitors have asked over the past several months about scheduling a tapestry weaving workshop at our studio. We are currently talking with Tommye Scanlin and Pat Williams about a 2-day, plus the evening before, tapestry workshop in late October or early November (before Thanksgiving for sure). Tommye and Pat have been team teaching this workshop that they adapt to people with no tapestry experience, a little tapestry experience and even those who’ve taken their class before. Having taken the class, I can testify that it is a fun, educational and information-packed two+ days. They provide tapestry looms, tools and yarns if you don’t have your own frame tapestry loom.

You can read more about Tommye and see her work at her website: http://web.me.com/tmscanlin/web.me.com_tmscanlin/Welcome.html   Pat’s website is: http://web.mac.com/patwilli1/Site/Welcome.html

So we are curious to find out how many of you would be interested in taking such a workshop. We are estimating the price at around $180 per person plus a $10 supply fee (for some truly wonderful handouts). I know it will depend on when. But if you’re really interested and have schedule limitations, let us know and we’ll do our best to find the most acceptable dates. Generally we’re thinking about a Thursday evening through Saturday, or a Friday evening through Sunday format.

Thanks for the input!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Broken Threads

The email group posting or guild newsletter ad is all too familiar, and weavers can usually read between the lines. A friend, often another weaver, is listing for sale the entire contents of someone’s weaving studio. Looms (usually more than one), shuttles, warping board, bobbin winders, lease sticks, benches, ball winder, swift , hooks and gadgets too numerous to mention, pounds and pounds of yarn and a full library of weaving books and magazines all for sale.

We know it means another weaver has died.

We read through the equipment listing debating whether to add this or that to our own collections, knowing the hands that threaded these heddles and threw the shuttles, the feet that tramped the treadles in a rhythmic order and the heart that pounded with excitement as a pattern began to emerge on the loom are gone.  

Today my heart is heavy. My first weaving teacher, my mentor, my close friend, Naomi Cannon, lost her battle with advanced breast cancer yesterday. In her Cherry Hill, NJ, cellar some 12 1/2 years ago, Naomi laid her shuttle in my hand for the first time.naomi “Step on a treadle,” she encouraged. “Now slide the shuttle through the opening and catch it with your other hand. Let go of the treadle and grab the beater right here. Now pull it toward you firmly…a little harder than that,” she instructed, grasping the beater and giving whatever she had been weaving a good thwack. “Now step on the next treadle and do it again.”

That was all it took. I was hooked. My heart was pounding and this lovely little (only 5-foot tall) woman was beaming. She offered to give me weaving lessons in her cellar. Saying yes instantly was the smartest decision I ever made. Naomi, schooled at the heels of Doris Boyd, who also became my teacher, was a perfectionist. She wanted everything she wove to be perfect, and to me and her other weaving friends it always was, though she was quick to point out any tiny flaws.

For me, this meant I was taught the “right” way to do almost everything and the value of a perfectly handwoven, properly finished textile. I will always be grateful to her for that.

But I will miss her most because she was my friend, almost a sister, really. Even though she was several years my senior, we hit it off right away. She taught me how to speak “weaving,” and once I learned the language, we could talk for hours. Naomi was coordinator (she wouldn’t call herself president) of the South Jersey guild. In fact, she was a large part of what kept that guild functioning. She brought me in as secretary, and during the years all guilds seem to experience when volunteers are scarce, we managed guild affairs as a team.

We drove to regional meetings together. We went to sheep and wool festivals, conferences and workshops together. We studied at Doris Boyd’s for nearly a decade after Naomi convinced Doris to take me on. Naomi was a joy to be around, and always first to share the latest internet joke or some delicious cookies she had just baked. Doris and NaomiShe insisted on washing the lunch dishes at Doris’, while the rest of us grabbed tea towels and tried to keep  up with her. Here’s Doris and Naomi celebrating the cutting off of another weaver’s project.

Even after I moved away from South Jersey to Asheville, NC., Naomi remained my champion and biggest supporter. I am sorry she will not be at Convergence with me next summer. She was thrilled to learn I’d be teaching there.

My most cherished memories of Naomi, however, are back when I was learning to weave from her one-on-one in her cellar. I’d be perched at her small Macomber, struggling to thread 20/2 cotton for an overshot sampler. He husband Del once asked her why she was making me use such fine threads as a beginner. She told him, “Doris made me do it.” And, of course, it taught me much more than simply overshot.

At lunch time, we’d climb the stairs to her kitchen, where I’d pull out the lunch I’d brought, and we’d sit down with Del to relax and talk about family, or flowers or the latest news.

I know that soon enough, Naomi’s weaving things will be dispersed among other weavers near and far. It’s the regular order of things. Whatever makes it back to my studio will be held very dear, a connection to the hands and heart that guided me along this path.

Thank you, Naomi. I love you dearly and will miss you forever.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

You’re Invited to a Reception at Sutherland


Barb Butler and Karen Donde invite you to a special reception we’re having at Sutherland’s new Cotton Mill Studios for Wence and Sandra Martinez. Wence is the Oaxacan-born, Zapotec Indian who weaves the beautiful contemporary tapestry rugs we’ve been lucky enough to display at Sutherland over the winter. Wence and Sandra will be stopping by Asheville on their return to their Wisconsin home with new work to show us. We want you to be part of the celebration of their return. They’ll have lots to tell us about the new work and the inspiration they gained while spending their winter in Oaxaca, Mexico.

We’ll also be cracking the champagne bottle (figuratively…we never waste wine) over our new Cotton Mill studio, just down Riverside Drive a bit from the first one. We have been settling in and testing it out with a couple of classes and workshops. It’s performing wonderfully and we’d love to show it to you.

Please plan to stop by and say hello to Wence and Sandra. Here’s a small taste of the beautiful new work they’ll be showing, and they’re always fun to chat with.

red gray

Here are the details.

What:  Reception for Wence and Sandra Martinez

Where: Sutherland Handweaving Studio, 122 Riverside Drive, Cotton Mill Studios, Asheville, NC 28801.  Come in the main door. We’re on the first floor just to your right.

When: 5 pm-8 pm, Friday, April 29  (this Friday!)


To see Wence Martinez’ beautiful new tapestry rugs.

To check out Barb’s and Karen’s bright and roomy new digs in the Cotton Mill Studios.

To enjoy some snacks and drinks.

Because it’s SPRING, and we want to party.

Please RSVP to Barb at barbbutler1@gmail.com   or call 803-513-1814 so we know how many to expect.

Hope to see you there!

Copyright 2011 Martinez Studios

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Well almost. I did bring my laptop on vacation so I could work on the lesson plan for the Handwoven Lace Techniques workshop I’m teaching March 25-27. And I’ve been keeping up with email. But all in all, my spring break in Sanibel, FL, has been quite relaxing.

A couple visits to the spa, daily walks, a few exercise classes and I’m a new woman. I will admit that the restaurants in Asheville are much better than what we’ve found in Fort Myers or Sanibel. But the weather has been clear and sunny with highs in the 70s and 80s since we got here. That won’t be true in Asheville for a few more weeks, at least.

002I took in a nice fiber show at Big Arts in Sanibel yesterday. Titled Hanging By a Thread, the contemporary fiber art invitational included a lot of politically themed applique and quilting, some fiber sculpture, hand-made dolls,  and some beautiful tapestry weaving by Terri K. Stewart, which of course was my favorite.

We’ve stayed away from Fort Myers Beach, which is currently besieged by hoards of spring breakers…you know, the young and single who like to mingle crowd. Even the Sanibel beach parking lots are jammed. So we’ve mostly stuck to the quieter resort perched on Sanibel Harbour just before the causeway.

We’ve heard so many nice things about our new website. Thanks to all. We love it too, giving credit to Barb’s very talented daughter Melissa for the concept, design and photography. And we’re settling into our new studio in the Cotton Mill Studios. I’ve already had one student in the classroom, and it’s working famously. Here’s Laurel warping Towel 2.003

The next class is the Handwoven Lace workshop, then in April is Kathie Roig’s Warp It! Paint It! Weave It! workshop. Deadline for registering for Kathie’s workshop is the last week of March, as Kathie has to send out pre-wound warps for participants and we need to know there will be enough students to run the workshop. So if you’ve been thinking about Kathie’s workshop, but haven’t committed yet, NOW is the time. We must have your payment in hand by Monday, March 28.

I head back to North Carolina tomorrow and will be in the studio Friday and Saturday. There is even a yarn and fabric swap from 1-4 Saturday at both Sutherland and Cloth Fiber Workshop, our new studio neighbor. Hope to see you there!



Wednesday, February 2, 2011

More in the Valentine’s mood

Actually the two scarves I just finished got their start last fall when I pulled what was a poorly chosen supplementary warp off my loom. The remaining ground warp became a couple of plain weave scarves, one with ombre blue and turquoise wefts that was featured in our 12 Scarves promo. The other, a short one with stripes on one end, I kept for myself.

Meanwhile, I couldn’t bear to waste the supplementary warp, a wonderful hand-dyed (by our friends at Just Our Yarn) fine, unspun cotton from Habu in gorgeous red violet shades. What can I say. I was seduced by the color. This dJaguar diamondselicate yarn makes a wonderful weft, but is challenging (to say the least) as warp.  No longer able to be anything but warp, the soft cotton was threaded onto my studio loom in an extended point twill, with a much wider sett and more open reed.

For the first scarf, I wove in a few differ wefts that just weren’t working. Then Barb pulled a cone of red Jaguar, a modal blend, from our stash of Silk City yarns. It was too fine to use singly, so I doubled it and, voila!, there were the lovely concentric diamonds. It washed up soft and cozy but still lightweight.

The second scarf on the warp had to weave faster, as I nefuzzy ombre-closeupeded the loom for a class this Friday with a group of girls from a local high school. I rummaged through my stash of sock yarns and found a deep red and a variegated purple with some mohair in it. I blended randomly sized bands of the colors into each other for more ombre effects. It finished up both wider and fuzzier than the first, but I wove it off in 2 1/2 hours.

Next up, when I’m not busy with school or homework, I’ll be sewing up some luscious yardage I wove last month into the long-planned “Akira” jacket, inspired by the work of potter Akira Satake, I’ve been a big fan of Akira since he joined the group of artists at CURVE studios & garden.

Speaking of CURVE, Barb and I have some exciting news that we’ll be  announcing soon. Big changes are ahead!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Another pic of that Valentine’s giveaway scarf on our Facebook Page

Barb’s work is so fine, that when she weaves patterns, it’s often hard for the camera to capture them. I managed to get this closeup Sunday of the scarf we’re giving away as a prize in sutherland’s latest Facebook page promotion. Be sure to click on it for a better look.

Keep suggesting our page to your friends and have them mention you when they visit and become fans.

I really can’t believe she’s giving this one away.019

Friday, January 21, 2011

Win this scarf in sutherland’s Facebook Valentine’s Giveaway

Calling all sutherland fans! Karen and Barb are excited to announce their Valentine's Giveaway on our Facebook page. From January 17 through the 31st you'll have the chance to win a scarf handwoven by Barb valued at $195! We will draw for the winner on February 1. All you have to do to enter is: 1) suggest the sutherland fb page to your friends, 2) once they become a fan, they must post on our wall that you suggested they become a fan, and both of you get entered - it's that easy! There are no limits as to how many times you enter, so suggest away!

Good luck!