Monday, April 9, 2012

Learning Opportunities

potential place mat warps....

When I finally made it to the loom progress went clipping along.  Of course it doesn't hurt that the mats weave up at around 12 picks per inch - really helps grow that cloth!

Once my feet re-learned the choreography (broken twill, not straight twill) I had time to think. 

Of course the internet is not ideal because not everyone has high speed connectivity.  I know this all too well as I joined the internet in 1994 with a dial up Free-net account with a maximum of one hour at a time.  I only recently got high speed when we changed over to fibre optics for telephone/tv and of course, the internet.  I well remember not having high speed and waiting and waiting for websites to download and oftentimes just plain giving up.

So as I thought about learning opportunities I itemized them and examined them for feasibility.

The best option is to learn directly from someone, person to person.  (People can come here, one at a time, for 3-5 days to study with me.  The rate is $100/day if they stay elsewhere, $125/day if they stay in our modest home - shared bathroom facilities.  Meals are provided although I only cook dinner - student fends for themselves for breakfast/lunch.)

Another person to person option is to take a class at a facility like John C. Campbel Folk School or other 'schools' or shops that have classroom areas.

Guilds can sponsor workshops (usually 2-3 days) for another person to person option.  That means only the teacher travels (generally).

But not everyone can travel - students work full time or have family obligations or they just plain can't afford it.

Books are another way of learning.  Frankly if I'd had to learn from a book I'd never have managed it, but I know plenty of people for whom this is the only option.  In the 21st century we also have DVD's, (and/or video tapes although they are obsolete now).

Many people urged me to make a video tape (or DVD) but I'd done just enough video to understand how difficult it is to make a really good video and opted for CD Weaver instead.  This format combined the best (in my opinion) of books and video/DVD's.  There was text for people who can learn by reading.  There were lots of colour photos to enhance the text.  And there were video clips for people who need to really see what's happening.

I'm not sure why this format never took off and eventually I gave up.  (That said, I have 8 CD Weaver's left - I'll sell them at the bargain basement price of $30 including shipping.)

And now we have the internet and on-line classes.  Again not ideal because of the isolation of many and the difficulty of participating in on line events.

But Heidi asked a pertinent question.  Would I advise people if they sent video clips of themselves.  After mulling this over I realized that this need not happen on the internet at all.  People could make a video of themselves weaving, burn it to a cd or put it on a flash drive, mail it to me and I could observe and make comments, either via email or return mail.  Obviously if the person has internet connectivity difficulties, snail mail might be the best option. 

Lastly there are the chat groups and blogs.  People with slow internet connections can usually manage to participate in these but they are primarily a text based medium and not everyone learns by reading.  Also, there is You Tube but a slow internet connection makes this a problem, too.

Anything else I've missed?


Tien said...

Weavolution! You can post photos in the forums (which enhances the text discussion), and you can peruse/learn from other people's projects in the projects section. (In addition to the online classes, that is.)

There's also Ravelry, which has an active weavers' group. And Weaving Today, though it's much less active. Lots of weaving social networks to choose from!

Laura said...

Yes, thanks - I just assumed that the on line classes referred to Weavolution, but there are other options, too. :) Ravelry and Weavo I kind of lump under chat groups, although they are more than that. :)

Klara said...

Speaking of professional videos: Have you ever tried cooperating with Victorian Video Productions? I don't have any of their weaving videos, but (I believe) all of the spinning videos, and they are fabulous (better made than the one of Interweave's I've seen).

I'm on dial-up, so I'm not keen on any internet activity that involves pictures or sound (videos are out of the question), or fancy page design (compliments, Laura, your blog loads amazingly fast, in spite of all the pictues). Plus, at this point in my weaving life, I actually prefer books and DVDs/CDs - things that stay with me - over life instruction where I risk not understanding completely (I need to absorb weaving knowledge in tiny portions), or forgetting details on my way home (no visual memory).

On the other hand, if I'll do a course, eventually, I'll probably look for one that gives me a chance to work with equipment/material that I don't have at home - more shafts, or a better selection of yarns, or... - in addition to knowledge.

But then I have always liked learning from books - or web sites, magazines, or your weaver's CD!

Laura said...

No - I'm far too far away to try and work with Victorian Videos. That old geographical isolation thing again. :(


Peg Cherre said...

I'll take one of your remaining CD Weavers. Tried to order from your website, but couldn't find it there.

EllenF said...

Do you have any CD weavers left? I have been following your blog and you are an inspiration to me. I am a Saori weavwer but I have a 4 shaft loom as well and last year took a class in twill through my local guild. I find your tips are invaluable and your blogs practical and encouraging.

Thank you for your advice in all forms. I have a PayPal account if you go through PayPal ( ands my US address is 92240.

Laura Fry said...

No, none left. Many of my hints and tips are on the DVD The Efficient Weaver, available through the Interweave Store. Wait for a sale, though. :)