The Making of WovenSeas
Warren RI Studio
Norwood MA Studio
A long time ago, in the mid 1980’s I attended Southeastern Massachusetts University. I was an art student and took a weaving course. I lucked out and found my “thing” early in life. Here are two pieces I wove while in college. The picture on the left is a lap throw in an undulating twill with numerous warp yarns of different fibers….wool …cotton…rayon. The weft is one weft but made up of 5 different yarns of mixed fibers…silks, rayons, mohair, cottons… It’s a beautiful piece but not very well structured, what did I know? I was a college student.
The piece on the right is a Randall Darwall shawl. He chose me to be one of his weavers. He would dress the Schacht loom with his beautifully dyed silk yarns. I would drive to the Cape, pick up the loom, put it in my vw bug and bring home to weave. I was allowed freedom to choose weft color and sequence. This particular piece was a gift from Randy to me, it is a treasure.
After college I did 10 years in the apparel industry, designing cloth for domestic mills such as Burlington, Stillwater and Mission Valley Fabrics. MVF produced apparel, denim and home fabrics which transitioned me into the home decor industry. The picture on the left is one of my portfolio boards. Back in the day we had to carry these huge heavy portfolios to interviews, it must have been 2 x 3 feet big, and I am just barely 5 ft tall. Anyway, this particular board has the COCO Chanel-like fabrics which I designed while at Stillwater. My black and white boucle houndstooth and it's coordinates were featured in The Limited store front on Madison Ave. NYC, as seen in the upper left photo on this board. That's me at my desk, I once was young. My kids on the right, Anthony and Edward, had them in the late 90’s then moved from NYC to the RI/MA.
The next ten years of my career was spent designing for wholesale companies.
Wholesalers buy, design, color and then sell fabrics to the design trade. During my tenure in the wholesale industry, I designed the color books for the top two US companies; Robert Allen and Kravet. My job was to forecast color direction, purchase trend right patterns, and create fabric books, from which interior designers shopped.
After the wholesale industry, and stint at retail, I decided to open my own handweaving studio, and get back to the basics. I opened WovenSeas Weaving studio in Medfield MA in 2016.
The studio has moved to Warren RI recently but still holds a space in the WinSmith Mill buildings in Norwood MA, moving there in 2018. At each studio (Norwood is temporarily closed) I teach, rent loom space, make, and sell textiles. Warren studio is open and accepting new students.
I love what I do and it makes me so happy to be able to share my passion with others. Since starting as a teacher in 2016, I’ve been privileged to see so many students discover their natural skills and abilities and reach results they never dreamed were possible. If that sounds like something you’d like to explore, please get in touch.