Today is the third anniversary of my signature online tapestry course, Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry. The launching of this course was my first step away from my career as a healthcare provider. Sure, I had been working as a tapestry teacher and artist for many years prior, but I always paid the bills with my therapist income. Three years ago I took the plunge when I pushed PUBLISH on this course and though it has at times been uncertain, I have never regretted taking the leap.
I have been a teacher all my life. I loved playing school as a little kid and sometimes I even let my little sister be the teacher. I loved paper and the little chalkboard my parents bought us. I loved organizing things and having a desk and piles of books. I thought I'd hit the jackpot when I got my own typewriter along with a typing course on 78 rpm records that I played on my little red record player.
I was a music major as an undergrad and my focus was piano pedagogy. My honors thesis was the first book in a preschool piano method, my first attempt at curriculum development. And of course my graduate work was in occupational therapy where I was a graduate teaching assistant. OT is a career where every day you are teaching people something. It was natural that I would carry all of that forward into my new career as a tapestry artist. There was never any question that I would teach at some point.
Living in rural New Mexico, teaching online seemed like an idea worth investigating. Though I do like to travel from time to time, I prefer to stay home in my own studio as much as possible. Teaching online allows me to interact with students every day while maintaining the ability to do my own work. I have since moved to an area of Colorado full of fiber people, but the online nature of my teaching has stuck.
I wanted my first course to be full of the basics. Many people seem to think that tapestry weaving is difficult to learn but I don't think that has to be the case. When presented in a step-by-step fashion, it isn't difficult to pick up the basics. And once you know how the structure works, you can weave all kinds of things. This course was designed to give people the confidence to express their own images in fiber and it has been quite successful at accomplishing this! If you don't believe me, take a look at the photos below.
Click on the thumbnails below to see a larger image. You can scroll through the images and hover over each photo for a caption. This is work by students in the Warp and Weft online course over the last few years. This is a small fraction of the work they have done. See the Reviews page of my website for more examples.
If you're interested in learning the fundamentals of tapestry weaving in an online format, you can join us! There is a lot of information about the course on my website at the links below.
The course costs $395. It is the equivalent of what you'd learn in a semester-long college course and you can do it from home. Access to my online courses comes with a private optional Facebook group where you can communicate with other students, ask questions, and see what others are weaving. I do live question and answer sessions on that page about twice a month.