Norma Smayda

Smayda_ONorma is a weaver, teacher, exhibitor, and juror who learned to weave at the Baerum Husflidsforening and the Statens Laerer Skole i Forming in Norway, returning there to teach.  In 1974 she established and continues to run the Saunderstown Weaving School, with a year round enrollment of 24–30 weavers.  Norma earned an MFA in Visual Design from the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth.  She has written articles for major weaving publications (Complex Weavers Journal, Fiberarts, Handwoven, SS&D, The Weaver’s Journal, Weaver’s) as well as coauthored Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes in 2009 (Schiffer Publishing Ltd.).  Norma has taught seminars and workshops at Convergences, Complex Weavers Seminars, and at numerous regional conferences and guilds.



Designing with the Fan Reed

Norma Smayda - Fan Reed210 Saturday PM

Weavers normally design on the grid, producing straight vertical and horizontal lines.  We create curvilinear weft effects with overshot designs and undulating twills, although the wefts remain horizontal, and with honeycomb and cannele treadling we produce weft undulations.   However, for movement in the warp the ondule reed is a truly amazing and beautiful tool. This reed is composed of segments of dents that fan out from top to bottom alternating with segments of the opposite dent configuration.  By weaving at different reed heights the warp ends move to create side-to-side vertical movement.  Sharpness of the undulation depends upon frequency of changing reed height.  This adds a wonderful undulating dimension to designs for scarves, shawls and vests.  Think also how this would look in curtain material and pillows.  We will look at examples woven in several twill variations, in pattern weaves such as overshot and summer and winter, and in lace weaves.  Color, texture, and weave structure all are effected by use of the fan reed.

white noise

Three-Shaft Weaves: More for Less

630 Monday PM

Norma Smayda - Three Shaft Weaves

Three shaft weaving offers more complex weave structures and weave theory than the more straight forward four shaft weaves.  This is because of the 2/1 shaft relationship as opposed to a 2/2 tie-up.  Three and other odd-shaft weaves present interesting considerations, not the least is the unbalanced tie-up.  It is necessary to understand what restrictions this places on weave structures, plus we’ll investigate the potential for creating more pattern blocks.

More often than not there is no plain weave, and alternatives must be found and understood in the making of good cloth.  There are the well-known three shaft weaves such as jeans twill and krokbragd.  This seminar covers many others.  Some have been gleaned from the literature, others have been created following a ‘what if’ philosophy.  Three block summer and winter,  overshot, lace, many twill variations, krokbragd (one and three block variations), and warp-faced weaves are all discussed, with examples shown.  Methods for using counterbalance looms are discussed.