Where: Historic Spencer Peirce Little Farm, Newbury, Massachusetts
When: August 16, 17, and 18 2019
If this is your first time trying Andean backstrap weaving, you’ll learn basic loom mechanics, how to do plain weave, the names of loom parts in English and in Quechua, and try your hand at the first pickup pattern everyone in the Andes learns. If you’ve studied Andean weaving hands-on with Abby before, you will learn to warp, set up and weave a complementary or supplementary warp structure. This class focuses specifically on Andean techniques from Chinchero, Peru, and features lots of cultural context!
Warps for this class are made on site at Asociacion de Tejedoras Away Riqcharicheq de Chinchero, using the handspun and naturally dyed yarns which are traditional for Andean backstrap weaving and paying a fair wage to the weavers who make them. Your tools and equipment are also the real deal, traditionally made in Peru, the same ones used by Andean weavers in the Cusco region.
Students should bring note-taking materials and a pillow or something to make it comfortable to sit on the floor. Sitting on the floor is not an absolute requirement but it is generally preferable.
Pre-Class: access to an online live video session conducted from Asociacion de Tejedoras Away Riqcharicheq de Chinchero, during a youth education day. See what it’s like to learn these techniques the traditional way in Peru, meet the young weavers who will be rooting for you to join them on this journey, and get to ask questions as your class materials packs are made. If you can’t watch live, you can watch recorded (and of course, you can come back and watch it again and again).
Day 1: We start by learning to do plain weave on a preconfigured warp/loom, covering terminology, and working on loom mechanics. Once that’s covered, we move on to Tanka Ch’oro, the canonical first pickup pattern learned by all Andean weavers.
Day 2: Upon completion of the first piece, we cover making warps and configuring heddles and other “hardware,” which in this school of weaving, actually means “more yarn.” We’ll work through those mechanics and troubleshoot your setup by warping and heddling more beginner patterns. We wrap up Day 2 with an explanation and demonstration of different weave structures commonly seen within traditional Andean textiles.
Day 3: Q&A, troubleshooting, and problem solving so you can go home and weave independently. Demonstration and hands-on guidance in spinning your own yarn for Andean backstrap weaving.
After class: join a community of alumni who continue to work on these techniques independently with periodic guidance from Abby.
Price includes all materials and pre-workshop as well as post-workshop features.