Give a man a fish and he eats for a day, but teach him to genetically engineer his own fish and—by the gods, what has science done? Evolve your mind with this Groupon.
$34 for a Rigid-Heddle Textile-Weaving Class ($70 Value)
During each weaving class, students learn the mechanics of a rigid-heddle loom and leave class with one or two finished fiber projects, such as a scarf, towel, or table runner. Although all classes teach the same essentials, students choose between a three-week class or a weekend class. For detailed dates and times, check the class calendar.
Students may take their looms home to continue working on their projects, but each student is responsible for the fees for their own materials, such as cotton, silk, wool, bamboo, or alpaca; most cost between $20 and $60.
The Weaving Shed
The rigid heddle loom is a relatively simple machine. Jennifer Baum, The Weaving Shed's owner and a juried fiber artist, likes it because a beginning student can set it up and start a scarf within 45 minutes. Along with the loom's simplicity, Jen appreciates the therapeutic value of its rhythmic, back-and-forth cadence. As students work the loom to steadily pull fiber threads into a hand-woven item, they also shed the stress of their day. Jen sees these transformations—both in the progress of the project and the demeanor of the student—as she guides the technique and lends tips to the up to eight students that attend each class in the newly-expanded studio.
Along with classes, The Weaving Shed also spearheads a Farm to Yarn program with local farms. The natural or hand-dyed sheep's wool or alpaca fleece becomes a sustainable, specialty fiber for weaving, knitting, felting, crotchet, and spinning projects. This interest in cultivating local fibers hits especially close to Jen's home, AKA Sunny Knoll Farm, where, with her husband and children, she helps raise an ever-growing alpaca herd. She describes the alpaca as a very "zen-lifestyle animal," even though scientific journals refer to them as "respiring shag carpets." Along with laughing at the "fun family adventure" that the experience has been, she also praises the hypoallergenic qualities of the fleece and its 22 naturally occurring colors.