I received word this past Friday that I won a full scholarship to take a weaving II class at The Weaving School on Whidbey Isle in Puget Sound. I will be heading out there for  one week to study with Madelyn Van der Hoogt. Madelyn runs the school and has written every weaving book I have ever read. In fact, although I learned to weave in art school, I attribute most of what I know to Madelyn because I have spent countless hours studying her books. She is also the former editor of Interweave Press, a great little publication that I have only had the chance to glance at here and there. To me, she is a modern master and I feel honored that she chose me to award this scholarship to. As far as I know, there is only one award per year.

Madelyn got her start in weaving on a backstrap loom in Guatemala. Back then, before she was a master weaver she was a school teacher in Oakland. In her school they had a lot of Hispanic students and there was a great need to plan curriculum designed for them. Madelyn applied for a sabatical to Central America to prepare a course. While there she discovered weaving. Textiles are a huge part of Central American culture, beginning in Mexico she essentially went from town to town following and learning about different weavings and eventually learned from one of the "mothers" in the one of the towns. There is a an interview Madelyn gave in 2007 from The Weaving School where she tells this whole story and you can listen to it here. The interview is several minutes into the podcast but it is all worth the listen.

A few photos: A weaver on a dobby loom at The Weaving School

 A photo of Whidbey Island located off the coast of Washington State

 The Star is where the school is located!

Herron ClothierComment