online tapestry class

Making choices

Making choices

Anyone else really bad at making decisions?

I’m the worst.

I suppose it depends on what I have to decide about, but sometimes I’m a twitching mess of indecision. This place is painful and I’ve worked hard to learn to settle into the reasons for the struggle and listen for the right answer. That is slightly easier to do when it comes to which pizza to order than when I’m trying to decide on a design for a huge tapestry. But let’s face it, even choosing clothes for a trip to see tapestries in France can seem pretty difficult some days. (It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, right? The weight of the world in a pair of shoes…)

These sorts of indecisive moments become a habit. At least they do for me. This is part of my personality and one that I wish was different some days. I want to be one of those people who just know the right answer and go with it quickly. But I’m not. Maybe you’re not either.

That sign with your name on it in the airport greeting area.

You know that thing when you come up the impossibly long escalators at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport? The one where you've just told yourself thirty times not to look behind you because it is a long way down and you're not sure the 100 people behind you on the escalator are going to appreciate you toppling them all like Dominoes (but you can't hold on because of GERMS!)? That thing where someone is standing there with a sign with your name on it waiting just for you and you are so relieved because managing two carry-ons and two suitcases big enough to fit small children in is always more adventure than you want after a three hour flight? I didn't either until my last trip. It made me feel kinda great in that rather self-conscious way. I mean, who gets a greeted with a sign upon arrival? Unless of course you're returning from a tour of duty for the armed forces or you've just had a new baby or something. Those people totally deserve it.
(Thanks for the sign Molly. Next time I'm taking a picture to prove it happened!)

Today I was updating the Reviews page on my website. This is the place I put the kind words people send me about my online courses. The comments make me feel kind of like that sign at the airport. I mean, I work really very hard at making my courses the very best I can, but still... the review page is a little embarrassing. The comments are wonderful and they keep me working hard at new content and at updating the current courses as I improve my video and technical skills. There are so many comments that I now have to rotate the ones I leave up. I have enjoyed teaching these online courses every single day. And I have learned more than I will admit to so much from all of my amazing students.

If you want to see some of the great things they have said about my current two online courses, Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry and Color Gradation Techniques for Tapestry, you can find the good stuff here:

http://www.rebeccamezoff.com/reviews/

Thanks to everyone who has contributed and for being willing to share your work in the videos I make. The variety of work that comes out of these classes astounds me. And that is what makes me get up in the morning. Well, that and the fact that no one really probably needs more than 10 hours of sleep a night.

Once my brain clears, I have had my green smoothie and a cup of tea, and I have a little sit-down at the loom myself, I am curious to see what new marvels these students will have created and sent me photos of. They never disappoint! In fact one of them was just accepted to the American Tapestry Biennial 11. I am in no way taking credit for that one. She was always awesome. But still. Pretty cool.

Thanks to all of you!

If you're interested in either of my online courses, you can find more information here:

http://www.rebeccamezoff.com/online-learning/

Look for the links at the top of that page for even more information about each class.

I just opened some new classes for 2016 and they are waiting for new ideas and energy.
I'll see you online!

Warp it up! Monday is the day.


Tomorrow, September 14th, is another course start for me. I love those days. I have had people signing up for a few months with questions here and there. But this week is the week I really get to meet the new group of students. I am always astounded by the diversity of participants from all areas of the USA and all over the world.

This class is Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry. It is a beginning-level tapestry techniques course meant for people who have never woven anything before. But I have found that a huge percentage of my students are people who have woven a fair bit of tapestry. They just never felt comfortable with what they learned in books and didn't have the extended experience of learning from one teacher to cement the concepts. That is what this course aims to do. I present the fundamentals of weaving tapestry and then I let you ask me all the questions you want. There are videos of me teaching and accompanying handouts about each technique. There are also resources to other tapestry traditions including videos of other tapestry weavers working. But the key to the whole thing is that you get to work on the material over a long period of time at a pace that works for you. You can take as long as you want actually, though it takes most people 3-6 months to complete the course working a few hours a week.

So tomorrow at noon EST, the course content opens. The first few weeks for me tend to be all about looms and yarn choices and the struggle of warping appropriately for tapestry. The frustration of getting that first header correct is pretty universal, but everyone gets it. Eventually (and sometimes it takes two tries) everyone gets it.

If you're interested in the course, there are still openings. You can start with the All-Three-In-One version that has all the material in one large course, or you can take it in three parts. There is also a self-directed version which costs a fair bit less but doesn't come with any help from me. I will take registrations at any time, but starting with the group is a lot of fun!

More information is available on my website here: http://www.rebeccamezoff.com/online-learning/
There are reviews here: http://www.rebeccamezoff.com/reviews/
And an in-depth look at the course here: http://www.rebeccamezoff.com/warp-and-weft-learning-the-structure-of-tapestry

I revel in the challenges of teaching online. I have learned so much! Just this weekend I was emailing two different students in the UK and the Netherlands to locate weft yarn sources for them. Who knew I would be so interested in what tapestry yarns you can buy in London? (or Delft, or Bangkok, or Christchurch, or Texas for that matter?)

With gratitude for all the wonders brought to me from tapestry people all over the world,
Rebecca

Here are a few photos of past student work, both samplers and practice pieces. Enjoy!
Front and back of the same sampler.
I weave from the back but encourage you to weave the way that works best for you.
Curves and angles
Work from Part 2 of the course
I love this final practice piece.
More curves
Practice with hatching and joins. Great color work also!
I love these stripes. One could weave just stripes for the rest of your life and never grow tired I think.
Another practice piece with many different techniques.
Why yes you CAN use a floor loom for this course.
This is the countermarche loom of a student from Germany.
You'll learn how troubleshoot problems such as these waves. Other common problems are uneven warp spacing, tension issues, uneven selvedges, and difficulties keeping your butterflies in the correct sheds.

Join us!





Which online tapestry class is right for me?

The world of tapestry is exciting. There are many great teachers out there and lots of choices.

There aren't so many choices thus far in online learning however. If you are considering one of my beginning online tapestry courses, this decision tree may help answer some of those questions for you. And as always, contact me for more clarification.

The Self-Directed, Part 1, and All-Three-In-One are all versions of my beginning tapestry techniques course, Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry. Intro to Tapestry and The Mobile Tapestry Weaver are currently only offered as in-person classes but they will be online before too long.
If you click the image, it will open in an even bigger window which is easier to read.
This graph only applies to my beginning classes. I will be opening my Color Gradation Techniques for Tapestry class online in August of 2015 and for that you should have some experience with tapestry weaving (for instance, have taken my Warp and Weft class).

I want to put in a little plug here for the Self-Directed version of this course. If you are the kind of person who loves online classes that don't have direct teacher interaction, this version might be just perfect for you. You do miss out on the interaction with fellow students and feedback from me, but that isn't necessary for everyone. And now that my classes are any-time access, you can start the Self-Directed class on the same day you register. No waiting.

The next set of Warp and Weft classes that are timed start May 11th. Registration is open now with videos and PDFs you have access to right away to help with materials and tools. See this page of my website for registration links, reviews, and pricing.
http://www.rebeccamezoff.com/online-learning/

Exciting news about online tapestry classes: Any-time access


My online classes are moving to any-time access. That means you can use the material for as long as I'm teaching online.

I teach tapestry because I love it. Both the tapestry weaving and the teaching. Almost a year ago I launched my online tapestry course, Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry. I want to thank all of my dedicated students over the past year who wove such wonderful things and who were patient with me as I learned an incredible amount about technology, shooting and editing video, and how to structure these classes. I do absolutely everything you see myself.

For a long time I was very resistant to the idea of "forever" access to my classes for various reasons. And I thought it would be better to offer a course that actually ended as an incentive for students to make some time each week to do the work. I still believe that last part, but I have warmed up to the idea of "forever" access considerably.

As it turns out, all of you have very busy lives away from your looms. Asking you to finish an intensive class in six months was a tall order and your discomfort with this time restriction was palpable.  

So all of my online classes are now open for access as long as I am teaching online. Though I can't make any concrete promises about how long I'll be on the planet, I hope to be doing this job for many decades and as long as I'm teaching, you can access your course. I will be answering questions in each class for six months but access to everything else in the class including past answers and discussion with fellow students will continue indefinitely.

I have opened registration for the next set of Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry classes which start May 11th.

These are the classes starting in May:
All-Three-In-One
Part 1
Part 3

The next Part 2 starts August 3rd and registration for the current Part 2 is still open.

Self-Directed classes have moved to any-time access with any-time start dates. If you want to take the Self-Directed class which is the same material without feedback from me, you can register and start all the material today.

Why there are specific start dates for classes
I will continue offering these long courses with specific start dates (unless you take self-directed). I  value the interaction that develops among a class of students and having everyone start at about the same time is what allows this to happen. Contributing to a community of people interested in tapestry is the most important goal of my teaching and so I structure the classes in a way that will facilitate this. Ongoing discussion and sharing is also available to students through a private Facebook page.

And everyone needs a vacation now and then!
UPDATE 4/30/15: Unfortunately the backpacking trip described below has been cancelled. I will be going to the mountains this summer, but for shorter periods of time. So I will be available to answer your questions. And if I'll be on the top of a mountain for a few extra days, I'll let you know ahead of time.
 It has been several years since I took a vacation from the internet. I am an avid backpacker and so this summer I am going to go on an extended trip. I will largely unavailable for feedback for 4-5 weeks starting most likely in late June. I wrote more about this decision in yesterday's blog post.

So from the start date of my hike I will be mostly unavailable to answer your questions. You can still ask them and I will be taking a few resupply days where I will answer anything that seems urgent. And since the trail is about 500 miles long, I am pretty sure if you met me at a trailhead with a cold Pepsi and a gluten free salad, I'd answer any question you had.

So to make it up to those of you who are dying to sign up for the May classes, I will be extending that six month window where I answer questions to eight months for this registration. You'll have me answering your questions until January 11th, 2016 (except for those days I'll be walking those 500 miles). Of course the material will remain open "forever".


There is an extensive FAQ page on my website HERE which may answer further questions. Please feel free to CONTACT me for clarification.

I am working on a new online class, Color Gradation Techniques for Tapestry, and will have information about a start date in a few weeks.

Registration is open for Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry. Click HERE for more information and a link to register.
And if you want to make sure to get all my updates about online classes and workshops as well as information I only share with people in email, sign up for my newsletter HERE.

Just waiting for the snow to melt for some outside weaving time...

Online tapestry weaving class: all the information you need!

Learn tapestry weaving in a supported environment online from home

Does the art of tapestry weaving fascinate you but you're just not sure where to start?

Do you enjoy collaborative workshop environments but find when you get home you don't weave again until the next workshop comes along?

Do you get frustrated by not understanding why your edges are drawing in, your fell line is as wavy as the Atlantic in a hurricane, you can see those white dots of warp peeking through, or you have big ridges in your fabric?

Are you fond of attending intimate workshops with the opportunity to ask questions, receive personal feedback, and time to work through your ideas?

Do you love tapestry weaving but find yourself stuck with just how to express your visual ideas?

If so, you may be an ideal candidate for my online tapestry techniques course, Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry.

I understand where you're coming from...

For years I struggled to put together the bits of knowledge I had gleaned from various sources. My learning was fragmented and came from occasional workshops and the few existing tapestry texts, many of which contradict each other. I longed for some solid guidance.

I was fortunate to be invited to apprentice with James Koehler, the late master tapestry artist from Santa Fe. The regular, scheduled practice of tapestry in his studio allowed me to build my skills in an environment that offered frequent feedback and constant incentive to keep working and learning.

I have built this online class with that model in mind. I teach many in-person workshops and love meeting students in a face-to-face context. But I find that when they go home they often have many questions and when the next workshop is six months away, they often put the loom on a shelf.
Your course has motivated me to actually weave in a way that none of the books I have bought over the years have done. It is well-organized and filled with important and inspiring information.
                                                             — Nancy Nordquist, Woodlands, TX

How did this program come about?

As I watched tapestry students come to my workshops with the work on the loom from whatever the last workshop they took was, I realized there had to be a better way to learn tapestry weaving.

I wanted to create a learning environment more like what I experienced as James Koehler's apprentice... one that extended over a good chunk of time with consistent feedback and the ability to ask questions at any time.
I really don’t think I’ve ever had so much fun learning how to weave. Rebecca is always right there to answer our questions and discuss any problem we might have and she will keep at it until we get it. I love this format, not only because I can sit at my loom any time night or day, but I don’t feel like I’m holding others up like in a workshop.                                                                                        — Michele Dixon, Seguin, TX

Does it work?

Yes! Here is one video of student work. Many of these students had never woven tapestry before and some of them had no experience with fiber at all. There are more videos linked at the bottom of this page for the curious.

What does Warp and Weft: Learning the Structure of Tapestry include?

  1. Printable PDF handouts with exercise instructions, diagrams for the techniques, photographic examples, and design ideas to try
  2. Extensive video teaching. All techniques are demonstrated, often more than once
  3. Troubleshooting: videos and handouts explain common problems you might encounter and demonstrate how to fix or avoid them
  4. Discussion with fellow students all over the world helps clarify potential problems and solutions as well and share more general understanding of tapestry practice 
  5. Continued bonus material throughout the class created by me in response to your particular questions. (This feature is not included in the Self-Directed version of the course.)
  6. Feedback: the opportunity to submit photos of your progress, problems as you have them, and questions
    From these photos I am also able to give you feedback on something you may not see as a problem yet and show you how to fix it before it becomes obvious and frustrating. And most importantly, you will get feedback about what you are doing that is successful. (This feature not included in the Self-Directed version.)
  7. Invitation to a secret Facebook group where students in the program and those who have graduated can continue to connect over a virtual cup of tea.
The pieces that are being woven during this class are a great source of inspiration.                             — Barbara DiTrani, North Bend, WA

Who this course is for

  • people who have never woven tapestry before--if you can get your loom out of the box, I can help you from there
  • people who have some knowledge of tapestry but need a structured review of foundational principles and encouragement to design their own work
  • people who want to learn tapestry techniques and are committed to practicing. The best outcomes are to students who can commit a few hours a week to study and weaving or who can block out larger chunks of time at some point during the course.
  • people who benefit from a structured outline of learning activities to achieve their own unique outcomes
  • people who want to give themselves the gift of time to learn a wonderful fiber skill

Who this course is NOT for

  • people who do not have the necessary computer systems or knowledge to access the course (see technical specifications below or contact me for more information)
  • people who do not want feedback about their work. It is my job to teach and I will do it. (Hint: In this case, the Self-Directed version might be for you.)
  • people who don't appreciate my silly sense of humor. It comes out in the videos, though primarily in the outtakes at the end. If you can't put up with my upbeat, cheerful humor, this course isn't for you. THIS video has an outtake at the end that is an example of this silliness.
  • I have been accused of being a cheerleader, though I was the geeky clarinet player in the marching band and have never owned pom poms. I am not going to say to you, "Your selvedges are crap, fix them." I will say, "You seem to be struggling with keeping your selvedges straight. Here are some things to try to improve that. Let me know what works!" If you are looking for the same kind of teaching you got from your scary high school physics teacher, this isn't the course for you.

Technical specifications for the course

This course is hosted in an online platform called Pathwright. It is designed as a linear path that steps you through the learning process one piece at a time. There is an overall menu that you can return to at any time to skip backwards or forwards as necessary.

It is largely video-based. If you pay for your internet services by the gigabyte, this course is not for you (unless you don't mind paying). You can turn off the HD feature of the videos, but they still use a lot of streamed data. If you are able to view standard YouTube videos, you will be fine.

This course does work on iPads and is compatible with Mac or PC. It does not work on mobile phones. 

Browsers: Safari does not work well though most features work on iPad. Pathwright recommends Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox, both of which are great browsers and are free to download. If you don't understand what I just said, this course is not for you.

My only hesitation about taking this class was my lack of intuitiveness when it comes to technology. Technology things that seem obvious to younger people are never obvious to me. I found the Pathwright platform to be simple and easy to use.   
                                                                                     — Vicky Standley, Georgia

Here are a few results you can expect from taking this course

  • understanding of basic and some intermediate tapestry techniques
  • how to use weaving equipment including looms, yarn, and hand tools
  • examples from the work of tapestry weavers past and present to illustrate the concepts you are learning
  • suggested readings about design and the practice of tapestry
  • introduction to design especially in regard to what is weaveable
  • increased confidence in your tapestry weaving skills
  • samplers from each of the three parts which you create as you practice the techniques
  • completed small format tapestries from each of the three parts
  • connections with new tapestry weavers all over the world and the opportunity to continue those interactions after the course is over

The Options and The Investment

There are three ways you can take this course:
  1. All-Three-In-One

    With this option you get all the material in one class. The course is divided into three parts, but they are all available to you from the first day. You can work through it at your own pace and I will meet you wherever you are in the curriculum for teaching and troubleshooting. You also have the advantage of being able to skip ahead to videos presented later in the course. This class lasts six months. The price is $595.
     
  2. Parts 1, 2, 3

    You can take each of the three parts separately, registering for each as you're ready. The course is designed to be taken with the three parts in sequence and with that in mind, you have six months of access to Part 1, five months for Part 2, and four months for Part 3 with all three parts ending on the same date. It is completely acceptable to take Parts 2 or 3 at a later date when you are ready. The price is $220 for each part.
     
  3. Self-Directed

    This is the same class as the All-Three-In-One course but with no teaching or discussion from me. You won't get the bonuses I make in response to individual questions and you won't be able to submit images for feedback. Some people learn very well this way however, so if this sounds right to you, this might be your option. The price is $395.
 
I am always a little budget conscious, so I paused to consider the price. I also wondered if I would have the time to keep up with the class as a working mother of two small children. However, I now think the price was well worth it and really actually a bargain for all the value I got out of it.                                                      — Julie, Orinda, CA

Where, What, and When

 

All-Three-In-One: Starts January 5th, 2015. Registration with preliminary information available right now.

Part 1: This class is currently open and because I made a big goof on the dates, it goes until June 30th, 2015. Register and start today!

Part 2: Starts January 5th, 2015. Registration with preliminary information available right now.

Part 3: Starts February 11, 2015. Registration with preliminary information available now.

Self-Directed: Starts January 5th, 2015. Registration with preliminary information available right now.

Matrix of dates for all classes is on the online learning page of my website.

I will be offering these courses at most twice a year. Reserve your space today. The next opportunity will be in September of 2015.

 

Refund Policy
I believe in the efficacy of my course. If, after the class starts, you find it is not for you, I will refund your investment, no questions asked. You have seven days from the start of the class to make this decision. I do not give refunds after that seven day period has passed.

Space in these classes is limited! Reserve your spot now.

The link below will take you to the registration page on the Pathwright platform. From there, you can use your credit card to register through Stripe.com (works like PayPal) and have instant access to the preliminary information for the course.

REGISTER: Click Here


If you have problems with registration, please don't hesitate to contact me HERE.

 

What happens after you register?

The dates posted in the Pathwright program will look like the class has already started. This is because I have to set the start date when I open the class for registration to give you access to preliminary information in the course. The rest of the material opens on the start date given for the class. When you try to access the material before the class starts, you'll see the page greyed out and a clock timer counting down to the moment the class opens. Like this!

As soon as you register you can go to the Pathwright class platform and view the preliminary information. There are videos about tools and materials you'll need and how to navigate the platform. There are also some PDFs with more detailed information and some welcome information about the program.

There are instructions about how to warp your loom once the class starts. If you don't have enough time to get all necessary materials before the start date of the class, that is just fine. You have enough time to order and receive supplies and still finish the class.

I love teaching and have enjoyed all the wonderful students I have met in this course so far. I hope to meet you online soon!

All my best,



FAQ

Do I get access to the course forever?

No. I designed these courses to mimic an experience of working with a teacher over a period of time--six months in this case. I want you to focus on the material and work through it for a fairly short amount of time, building a consistent weaving practice.

This course was not designed as reference material. It is an experience somewhat like a college course (but without the grades!) from which you will learn enough to weave your own expressive art. Also, I can't guarantee I will offer this course "forever". There will be new courses that take its place and I can't promise maintenance of this one beyond the schedule on my website.

This class has been akin to an art college course; I have learned more than I could have imagined.       — Liz Johnson, Freeport, ME

I can't picture how the course works. Can you give me a better understanding of what I will be doing?


The trailer video below as well as THIS video show you the Pathwright program and give you a good idea of what the activities in the course are like. There is a list of more links at the very bottom of the page.

Does the class work on a set schedule?

 

No. The material for the entire class for which you are registered will be available from the first day. You may work through it as quickly or as slowly as you wish. Of course if you are registered for Part 1, you won't be able to access Part 2 until you register and the class starts. The All-Three-In-one and Self-Directed options give you all the material at one time.

What have students who have taken the class already said about it?

I have a long list of student reviews on THIS page of my website as well as multiple videos of their work.

I like how you continued to update the videos or handouts in response to specific questions people had and also posted other people’s ideas. It makes the class feel like a “real” class rather than a virtual one. Your prompt feedback is also extremely valuable and made me feel like I was in a class.                                     — Julie, Orinda, CA 
 

What if the world crashes down around my ears and I am not able to complete the course in the six months?

Let's hope this doesn't happen, but if it does, I offer a crazy, unbelievable discount on the second registration for a course you've paid for once. If something major happens and you don't have time to access the course, you can register for 75% off the initial price at another time.

I am not very good at "coloring within the lines". Do I have to do things your way?

No. My goal is to provide experience with basic tapestry structure and technique and encourage you to build your tapestry practice in whatever way suits you. I weave from the back on a Harrisville rug loom, but the class demonstrations are woven on a Mirrix because it is easier for you to see. I present ways to weave both from the back and the front and you can choose which is best for you. I also present opinions of other tapestry artists in regard to technique and encourage you to experiment with different methods depending on what materials are available to you and what your interests are.

Do you offer a DVD version of the course? I live off the grid and don't have fast enough internet to stream video.

No. Right now this course is designed for this particular online format. That isn't to say I won't offer it on DVDs eventually, but it isn't available now.

I have another question and I didn't hear you address it...

Please email me! I love answering any and all questions. Just don't ask me what the meaning of life is. CONTACT ME HERE.

The course video trailer

This short video gives you an idea of what the course will be like with some glimpses of the Pathwright program.

Need more information? Here are some further links.

Click here to register


This information is available on my website HERE.

Online tapestry classes... a fun way of learning how to create your own weavings

My online tapestry classes have been running for about 8 months now. I started the frankly monumental project of creating these classes because I wanted another way for people to learn about tapestry. I love teaching in-person workshops and feel that a mix of learning face to face and online is a great way to go. The online classes give students a chance to practice and have instructor feedback over the long haul. I have had so much fun teaching in this way. I'd love to have you join my online tapestry community!

Below is a video of some of the student work over the last 6 months. (Psst: If you click the YouTube icon in the lower right corner, you can watch the video in a larger version and subscribe to my YouTube channel while you're there!)


Registration for the January class is open now. This class is all three parts in one class and is called All-Three-In-One. This allows you to access all of the material at once and work at whatever pace is right for you. The preliminary information about materials and tools for the class is available as soon as you register. The rest of the material is released on January 5th at 10am MST. Wouldn't a class like this be a great holiday gift? (NOT to rush the holiday season... but who needs more stuff when education is available?! ...of course you'll need a loom and some yarn which I'm sure Santa can squeeze in his sleigh.)

If you prefer to take the three parts of the course separately, there is a great Part 1 class running right now. Due to various mathematical errors made by yours truly, this class runs until June 30th. So there is still plenty of time to jump into it. Part 2 opens in January and Part 3 in February again with plenty of time to finish before the summer. It is snow time in Colorado and that makes me want to mess around with yarn. If you live in the southern hemisphere, consider bringing your loom to the beach.

For more information about all of these classes, a trailer video, a FAQ page, and student testimonials, visit my website at http://www.rebeccamezoff.com/online-learning/. I can't wait to meet you all!