How did you get into weaving and fiber arts?
I grew up surrounded by craft, but didn't find weaving until college. My father is a woodturner, which shaped a lot of my childhood. I spent hours upon hours making things in my young years, whether it was with cardboard, wood, mud, or something else entirely. This was fundamental to who I am today. I was taught and encouraged from a young age to explore, no matter the medium.
As I got older, I knew I wanted to study art, but at the time, I thought I would focus on sculpture. I had a foundation in making with wood and wire. I was also interested in casting. During my second year at Colorado State University, I was taking my first sculpture course, and my two best friends were taking fibers. I thought, why not join them. I had no intention of changing my major, but from the second I sat down at the loom, I knew this was going to be a part of my life forever. Soon after, I changed my focus to fibers, and never once looked back. During my studies, I focused on weaving, but learned screen printing, dyeing, sewing, embroidery, etc.
You majored in Fine Arts and Education. What did you want to do after college? What drew you to the job of Content Developer and Education Specialist at Schacht?
I originally planned on becoming a high school art teacher. My mother is a kindergarten teacher, so education has also always been a major part of my life. She instilled in me a care for others and a desire to teach. Given the influence of my parents, it seemed inevitable that I would become an artist and educator.
The foundation of creativity throughout my life had a profound impact on where I am today. Because of this, I am passionate about encouraging creativity in others. I believe that creativity is innate in all of us. But as we become older, we have a growing desire to make things "good." This makes us step away from creative activities that bring us joy. The process of making for me has always been valuable, no matter the outcome. My passion is to encourage others to explore and create. The Schacht Content Developer and Education Specialist position was the perfect fit. I get to do the two things I am most passionate about every day.
What do you best like to weave? Is there a particular style, weave structure, or type of project that you specialize in?
I genuinely like to weave anything. I am a lover of looms, weaving, warping, and the whole process. Weaving has always just clicked, and I have loved exploring its possibilities. In the past couple of years, I have been drawn to warp-faced weaving, whether on an inkle loom or a floor loom. The way that warp-faced fabric emphasizes color is so intriguing to me. As a dyer, I also am able to bring attention to the subtle changes and variation of color through warp-faced fabric. My favorite weave structure is no doubt plain weave. Even though it is the simplest structure, there are so many aspects to explore. That being said, I find that every weaving I make (no matter the structure) leads me to a million other ideas. I am endlessly inspired by the possibilities that weaving has to offer.
What other crafts do you enjoy?
As I have mentioned, dyeing is a large part of my process. I love the variation in color that hand-dyeing allows. Dyeing also gives me full control over my colors—I can make any color imaginable with dyeing. I am often drawn to dyeing with natural dyes. Much of my work during college used natural dyeing colors: rust dye, logwood dye, onion skins, etc. I am also a new spinner. I started learning to spin about 8 months ago, and decided to get a Ladybug. It has opened my eyes to a whole new world of craft that I am so excited to be a part of. Handspun and hand-dyed yarn add another dimension to my weavings.
What are Schacht's plans for the physical school and the online learning site? What crafts will it include?
We want to establish a welcoming environment where students are encouraged to be creative. We value high-quality teaching, and at the end of the day we want our students to be successful. Our goal is to inspire fiber artists around the world.
We are currently offering a variety of courses in weaving and spinning at our online learning site. These courses introduce you to new techniques, and/or expand upon techniques you know and love. Each course is fully equipped with high-quality video content, diagrams, and written instruction. No matter how you learn best, our online courses will help you succeed. In the future, we plan to expand and offer a wide range of textile art classes from weaving and spinning to embroidery, dyeing, etc. This school will become a place for fiber artists of all skill levels to explore, create, and flourish.
We are working every day to prepare for a physical school where courses will come to life. You'll get to work with instructors and ask questions in the moment. Students will be encouraged to explore textile arts while also building foundational skills as they begin or continue their creative journey. As the physical school begins construction, we will keep you updated on its progress.
The finished product is really what draws someone in to take a class. As class instructors and designers of projects, we strive to create modern projects that are sure to catch your eye. It is also important to make the information accessible to our audience. We design classes with this in mind, so no matter where you are in your textile arts journey, we have classes that meet your needs. We currently have rigid heddle, floor loom, frame/tapestry loom, and inkle loom classes, all of which will leave you with a great addition to your home or wardrobe. You can make an indigo dyed scarf, a tool holder for your weaving accessories, inkle keychains, or a handwoven bag.
We equip you with the information you need to find out if it is the right time in your weaving journey to begin this class, and guide you through the process. Along with this, each class offers possibilities of where to go next. This will keep you exploring after you have finished the project. We strive to develop courses that will challenge our students while giving them the tools they need to be successful.
Our online classes are self-paced, with the possibility of viewing as many times as you would like. Discussions give you the opportunity to ask questions whenever you have them, allowing you to communicate with other students and your instructor. No matter whether the course is in-person or online, you will be supported throughout the process.
What can Schacht's Textile School offer that is unique?
The connection to Schacht's products. We value craftsmanship and quality in every aspect of our work. Quality teaching and classes is no exception. We have a beautiful and well-constructed line of products. Combine these tools with quality teaching, and you are well equipped to be successful.
Anything else you want to add?
At Schacht, we are looking forward to taking this next step. Check out our current online classes and learn more at the Textile School website. Thanks for your continued support, and happy weaving!