When I was four or five, my aunt and uncle gave me a Creative Playthings two harness loom. My parents, who were field biologists, were sure I was too young for it, but I remember arguing with them, and winning. Soon we were going to the library for books on weaving. It was very frustrating because there were few pictures and I couldn’t read. Nevertheless I used the coffee table upside down to wind warps. I declared, with certainty, that I would be a weaver when I grew up. We traveled extensively for my parents’ research and they made a point of helping me collect textiles and costume dolls wherever we went. Those textiles decorate my current studio and inspire me daily.

One day when I was in second grade my mother picked me up from school and took me to the LNHC Sharon Arts Center to see a loom. As I walked in, I exclaimed that the loom had four harnesses. The weaver, Mary Bishop, came out from behind the counter and gave me my first lesson on a floor loom. She also signed my mother up for beginning weaving lessons on Monday mornings with the instructions that when I didn’t have school, she was to bring me. My mother borrowed a table loom so I could follow along at home when I had to go to school.

I experimented with natural dyeing until there wasn’t any white yarn left in the house and then found a beautiful walking wheel (or great wheel) at an antique store and brought it home and restored it and taught myself to spin on it. Soon I was in demand for demonstrations, and restoring other spinning wheels.

My first floor loom I bought at the age of 12, with babysitting money, and never babysat again until I had a granddaughter. That loom was a Harrisville Designs kit, for $125, and it lasted me many decades.

As college approached, my parents actively discouraged pursuing an art degree. Instead I got a degree in anthropology from the University of Vermont. Every research paper I had to write was about weaving or textile technology, though. One summer I spent working at Pepperell Braiding Mill, originally founded to braid corset laces, it’s now adapted to present times making macrame cord, candle wick and shoe laces.

Soon I joined the Vermont Weavers’ Guild. The more senior weavers kindly took me under wing and suggested that I go to New England Weavers Seminar (NEWS) at U. Mass. Amherst and pointed me toward a Leslie Voiers class where they hoped I would learn the vocabulary and fill in some gaps in my experience. It was an excellent choice.

About 10 years later they steered me again, this time to a two year master class at Fletcher Farm School in Ludlow, Vermont, taught by Rachael Emmons from Maine. The other students were spectacular weavers, and people, and soon became life long friends.

On and off for many years I supported my weaving habit and paid the mortgage as a computer programmer, but I continued weaving and belonging to the local guild and going to NEWS whenever I could.

While I lived in Anchorage, Alaska, I trained and handled a Search and Rescue dog, Champlain, with whom I had many backcountry adventures. But always I took every workshop and class in weaving and surface design that came within reach.
When I returned to New England, I built the studio of my dreams and picked up where I’d left off weaving. Currently my primary guild is Nashoba Valley Weavers Guild, but I belong to the Boston Weavers Guild, participating in their annual sale, and to the Vermont Weavers Guild. I also teach weaving at the Townsend Senior Center and I’m active in the local food co-op.