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Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weaving Conference - Vavning Studio - Jason Collingwood 3 End Blockweaves - Shopiere, WI

After a very blustery windy 200+ miles, we arrived at Vavning Studio on Thursday night and parked in "our spot" out in the back corner of the parking lot....

We woke in the morning to bright sunshine, singing birds and a lot of excitement (on my part) to get the day going!   Friday we helped Juanita Hofstrom and her husband Norm around the studio a bit.....

They have purchased a Methodist church in a tiny village (4 blocks long)  and turned it into a studio... for her weaving and his photography.  What a wonderful place to meet, create, enjoy and share.

Here are a few shots around the studio... from the entryway to the main loom studio....  Now to you *non weavers* this may not seem so interesting... but keep in mind that each one of these huge tools runs in the thousands of dollars, and the *weavers* reading this will be going OOOHHH and AAAHHHHH  there is a Cambridge!  There is a Barbara V, there is a row of Kessenichs!    It's like an auto show for the guys....

Juanita has various rugs she has completed hanging around the studio for us conference goers to view, touch and enjoy.  She is a wealth of information and creativity.... a retired art teacher, she has done it all!

Friday evening, we met with friends Jim and Norma for a fish fry at a tiny pub down the road.... Friend and fellow conference goer, Lynn Twitty joined us along with Norm...Juanita waited at the studio for various other weavers to come and bring their portable looms to the studio and set up in advance for the early morning start on Saturday.  (Norm brought her a fish fry back to the studio)   Big storms moved through the area overnight, and tornado warnings were all over the news.  We were safely parked near this huge old church and if need be, we could have scooted into the building as Juanita left me with a key....  but it's been around probably for 100 years, so I don't think a bit of high wind would bother it?

By Saturday morning, the folks started arriving... I was in the studio early to make up pots of coffee, hot water for tea, set out breakfast snacks and fruit... I am known as "The Kitchen Wench" to help Juanita hostess this event.   It sure helps her with the early mornings to get this all done before things get busy.

We were a tad bit worried about Jason getting there, as last we heard he was on Madeline Island out in Lake Superior the day before and nobody had heard from him yet.  Turns out he did quite a journey to get to us!  He was on a boat.... then a car.... then an airport for flying from Duluth MN to Chicago, IL .. then a bus from there to Rockford, IL, then a taxi from there to his hotel in Beloit, WI   Whew!!!  

The workshop started out with a gift from Juanita... I will post a pic of it on tomorrow's blog.... all I can say is WHAT A SWEETIE that gal is!

Lectures were held upstairs in the main area, which is bathed in golden sunlight....

We scribble down notes as fast as we can , before we move on downstairs to weave, learn, laugh and enjoy

This is  the lower level, with everyones portable looms moved into the center area of the room... a bit crowded but each needs a loom of their own to work on the techniques and lessons

Juanita's daughter, Melanie, stopped by with a little orphan named Susie.... awwwwwwww

And yes, she needs a diaper because she is a BABY! 

These are the kind of rugs we are learning to weave.  This one was brought in by a gal who went right to Jason's studio over in Great Britain.  She went for a whole week of lessons, and wove the entire rug before coming back home.   This is what is called a lesson in residence.  What an experience! 

These rugs are also reversible, getting double the use outta your handwoven item

We ended up Saturday evening with a swap meet,  where we could get rid of items we didn't want and pick up items we did!   Then we did a *Show N Tell* where we could share what we have done or like to do....

Whew... I collapsed into bed after a quick shower at 10 pm.....  and now it's Sunday morning.  Time to get up and make that coffee!!!! We have a whole nother day of weaving ahead of us!



  1. What a pretty site you have to park. It is so green! Loved the picture of the orphan. How cute.

    I know you are in your element, with all the weaving. Enjoy.

  2. What great photos. Interesting on what you can do with the looms. The reversible rug is really neat. Thanks for posting.

  3. Ooooooo, it sounds like so much fun! What a great weekend and beautiful art. Thanks for sharing it with us.

    Kerri in AL :-)

  4. Hello Vaning! Jealous that May is here and you have Jason teaching once again. This is Suzanne Patton ( Seattle, now Punta Gorda,Florida )Have a GREAT time learning. Enjoying the Blog, thanks Karen. Kind of motivates all of us weavers.
    Hi Jason, still working on my rugs. Slow progress with the move to Florida.

  5. I wish our motorhome would have been right next to yours in that picture. We'll make it back up there some year.

  6. Thanks to everyone for the kind responses--- Yes, Suzanne, I remember you! I passed on your comment to Jason and Juanita too.

    Tina, sure wish you guys were there too. Bruce and Steveio would have a lot to get into. And we could have tested a bottle of Steve's newest wine!

    Perhaps next year?

  7. Wow, I'm glad I joined the rug weaver's yahoo group and found your blog. We RV too only ours is a little Toyota camper. We love it. A row of Kessenich looms! drool. And now I must go out and acquire a baby sheep with a diaper on...so cute!


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