Lectures and Workshops on Bhutanese Weaving this Fall in USA & Canada

I am pleased to announce that I will be giving a series of lectures and workshops in Bhutanese kushutara in the US and Canada in Fall 2015:

3-5 Oct: 3-day workshop hosted by Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore

6 Oct: Lecture-presentation for Weavers Guild of Greater Baltimore

7 Oct: Lecture-presentation for Central Pennsylvania Weavers Guild

10-11 Oct: 2-day workshop hosted by Handweavers Guild of Boulder

12 Oct: Lecture-presentation for Handweavers Guild of Boulder

13 Oct: Lecture-presentation for Handweavers Guild of Boulder

17-19 Oct: 3-day workshop hosted by Rocky Mountain Weavers Guild, Denver

26 Oct: Lecture-presentation for MAIWA Symposium, Vancouver

27-28 Oct: 2-day workshop at MAIWA Symposium, Vancouver

29-31 Oct: 3-day workshop at MAIWA Symposium, Vancouver

The MAIWA workshops can be combined to enrol in a 5-day workshop

Wendy with her weaving teacher and friend

Lecture-presentation: Kushutara: weaving my way across Bhutan

Having always taken any opportunity to learn local textile techniques as she travelled, in 2011 Wendy Garrity found herself presented with an unexpected and unique opportunity during a year teaching music in Bhutan: a backstrap loom in a workshop of Bhutanese weavers with a master weaver assigned to teach her kushutara, or Bhutanese brocading.

“For 8 months, I wove next to master weavers before and after school, learning without common language. These women became my Bhutanese family as we wove and sang together, drank butter tea, snacked on popped rice, and laughed and Am Karma supervises Wendy in Khoma village IMG_9597cried and joked using mime and the few words of English and Sharchop we had in common.”

Wendy will take us on a journey through the Kingdom of the Thunder Dragon, focussing on the unique Bhutanese woven textiles, and share stories of learning from weavers in tiny villages in Lhuentse as well as weaving alongside master weavers in the capital of Thimphu. She reveals details that are not found in the handful of books published on Bhutanese textiles: how the intricate brocaded kushutara stitches are executed.

Workshops: Kushutara – Bhutanese supplementary weft brocading techniques 

In this workshop, Wendy Garrity will introduce students to sapma and thrima, the supplementary weft techniques used to create kushutara, the sumptuous single-faced brocade used for women’s festival dresses in Bhutan. Participants will explore traditional Bhutanese motifs and begin to combine the 5 basic stitches to weave these motifs and to experiment with their own designs.

Wendy learned from and wove Bhutanese kushutara on loomalongside master weavers during a year living in Bhutan, and shares techniques not documented in the few books published on Bhutanese textiles. She has adapted the techniques executed on the Bhutanese backstrap loom to the shaft loom in order to share them with western weavers.

Participants will have the opportunity to examine samples of Bhutanese kushutara cloth and learn to identify how different patterns are created, to enable them to continue their own explorations after the workshops.

Participants will also have the opportunity to converse with Wendy about her experiences living in Bhutan, attending festivals, teaching in schools, weaving alongside locals, and travelling the country to research and learn the weaving techniques.

Although kushutara is woven in Bhutan with a pickup stick and fine silk yarns, participants will learn using more substantial yarn that can be manipulated with the fingers, increasing the ground we can cover during this workshop. Wendy will demonstrate the use of the pickup stick with finer yarns so that students will be able to try this at their leisure after the workshop.

Confidence with weaving plainweave and operating your shaft loom are essential.Participants will receive instructions on dressing their loom prior to the workshop. A minimum of 4 shafts are required. It may be possible to accommodate backstrap weavers who do not use a shaft loom – please enquire.

In this 3-day workshop, participants can expect to learn 3 or more of the 5 basic Bhutanese weft-twining stitches and to begin to combine them into larger designs.

For further details and to reserve your place, please contact the respective Guilds and MAIWA, or email Wendy at textiletrails(at)gmail(dot)com

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