Thursday, May 22, 2014

The Road to Teaching at Convergence

Convergence is a wonderful weaving conference that is held every two years.  Ever since I began weaving, it's been a high point for me to attend, hang out with friends, and see what's new and exciting in the weaving world.  As a weaving teacher, it is great to teach at Convergence.  I get a special thrill when I get my name badge that says "Leader" on it!  It makes it worth all the work it takes to get there.

When I've taken classes in the past, it hasn't occurred to me how much preparation might be involved for the teacher.  I thought it might be interesting for you to see the process for  presenting a class at a conference.

I will be teaching 3 rigid heddle classes at Convergence 2014 in Providence, Rhode Island. My classes will be a two day workshop on Pick Up Pizzazz, or using pick up sticks to create patterns in the woven cloth, a second 2 day workshop on Double Heddles and Double weave to explore patterns, layers, tubes and pockets in the cloth, and a 3 hour seminar on Taste of Rigid Heddle to introduce the curious to the wonders of weaving on a rigid heddle loom.

Pick Up Technique

Double Weave

Preparing a teaching proposal can be a daunting task and takes lots of planning and organization.  Here are some of the steps involved:

  • Proposing an appealing class description with defined goals for the class
  • Making a complete supply list for students
  • Determining any audio/visual needs
  • Setting materials fees for anything I supply
  • Creating images for the project or technique being taught
  • Planning for looms to be supplied or if students can bring their own
  • Thinking about shipping supplies to the venue

Sometime during the next year after the class is accepted I need to:

  • Write the handout for the technique or project
  • Then go back and make the project or do the technique strictly by following the handout
  • Clarify things, correct mistakes, and add anything I overlooked on the first pass
  • Take pictures of my project so I can insert some in the handout where images are helpful
  • Re-edit the handout and set it aside again
  • Coordinate with the loom manufacturers to supply looms for the class

Glimakra, Schacht and Ashford rigid heddle looms
A couple of weeks before Convergence I'll need to:

  • Print the handouts
  • Gather samples
  • Review techniques
  • Ship everything

Class Samples

When I finally get on the plane to travel to Convergence, I'll be so happy that really, all the hard work is behind me. Teaching is the fun part, seeing everyone learn a new technique or get excited about what they are weaving is the reward and the thrill that makes all the preparations worthwhile!

Proud and happy students 

You can join my classes at Convergence by going to, or see all the places I’m teaching by looking at my website at  On May 29th, I’ll be giving a live web seminar for Interweave on Beginning Weaving for Knitters which you can find by checking my website.