Classes are at the heart of the mission of the Weavers Guild of Minnesota: “Preserving and advancing the arts of weaving, spinning, and dyeing.” Come learn with us! We offer classes year round, with a new catalog three times per year: Fall (September-December), Winter/Spring (January-May), and Summer (June-August).
We offer these core classes every catalog:
- Spinning: Beginning Spinning, Beyond Beginning Spinning
- Portable Weaving, Rigid Heddle: Ready, Set, Weave! Beginning Rigid Heddle Weaving
- Portable Weaving, Small Loom: Beginning Inkle Weaving
- Tapestry and Navajo Weaving: Navajo Weaving Basics
- Floor Loom Weaving: Beginning Floor Loom Weaving, Beginning Rag Rug Weaving, Try It! Japanese Weaving on a SAORI Loom
- More Fiber Techniques: Try It! Sami Inspired Bracelets, Try It! Tin Thread Necklace
- Dyeing: Handpainted Skein
Additional Classes: Advanced Techniques and Other Fiber Arts
We also offer classes for advanced learners, catered to specific skills or techniques, as well as classes in related fiber arts techniques. These classes are offered in rotation. Examples include:
- Spinning: Long Draw, Batts on the Electric Drum Carder, Spinning from Lock and Flick Carding, Spinning to Knit or Crochet, A New Spin on Paper, Beginning Spinning on a Spindle, Amazing Art Yarns, Silk Spinning, Flax to Linen Spinning, Fiber Prep Basics
- Rigid Heddle Projects and Advanced Techniques: Terrific Twills on the Rigid Heddle, Fine Threads on the Rigid Heddle, The Power of Pick-Up on the Rigid Heddle, Color and Weave on the Rigid Heddle, Weft-Faced Fabrics on the Rigid Heddle
- Small Loom Weaving: Beginning Card Weaving, Continuing Inkle Weaving, Bead Weaving
- Tapestry and Navajo Weaving: Navajo Weaving: Advanced Techniques, Beginning and Continuing Tapestry
- Floor Loom Weaving Projects and Advanced Techniques: Crackle, Summer and Winter, Nothing Plain about Plain Weave, Time for Towels, Stripes and Structures to Create Tantalizing Towels, Fundamentals of Rep Weave, Point Twill Rag Rugs with Three Shuttles, Two Shuttle Rag Rug, Krokbragd Rug, Theo Moorman Inlay Technique,
- Weaving: Refresher Courses and Technological Support: Sleying the Warping Dragon: A Warping Refresher, Sectional Warping, Demystifying the Countermarch Loom, pixeLoom 101, pixeLoom 201, Understanding Blocks and Profile Drafts, Create Color Wraps to Plan Colorful Warps
- More Fiber Techniques: Needle Lace, Beginning Ply Split Braiding, Kumihimo with Beads, Sami-Inspired Bracelets: Next Level
- Dyeing: Dye to Spin, Handpainted Roving, Partners in Dye: Fiber & Dye Sampler, Natural Dyeing Basics, Natural Dyeing for Yarn Lovers
Try It! Classes:
We also offer a number of Try It! classes, designed for learners of all levels to try out new techniques. These classes change to meet the interests of our students.
- Try It! classes have included: Navajo Spinning, Weave a Scarf on a Floor Loom, Japanese Weaving on a SAORI Loom, Tin Thread Necklace, Kumihimo to Go!, Beginning Ply Split Braiding, Kumihimo with Beads, Joomchi, Modern Macrame, Loop-Braided Bracelets, Scaffold Weaving, Mobile Spinning and more!
A Note on Materials Fees:
Most classes require a materials fee, which is in addition to the tuition price, which covers the cost of handouts and some supplies. This materials fee is paid separately from tuition and paid directly to the instructor on the first day of class. You can find more information about materials fees of specific classes by clicking the REGISTER links in the online class catalog. Additionally, most weaving classes require the purchase of yarns, which are not typically supplied by instructors. Most yarns required by WGM classes can be bought at Fiber Source, our store at the guild, or online in advance of class.
Meet our Instructors
Traudi Bestler‘s first weaving and spinning classes were at the Weavers Guild, followed by sessions at Sievers School of Fiber Arts and Madelyn Van Der Hoogt’s Weaver School. She has been teaching in the fiber department of the Minnetonka Center for the Arts since 1992, and travels to guilds around the region and country, such as the Fiber Arts Guild of the Red River Valley in Grand Forks, North Dakota, and North House in Grand Marais, Minnesota. Lately, Traudi has been indulging her love for tapestry by dyeing the yarn she uses for weaving images.
Katherine Buenger has a degree in studio art from Macalester College. She has been a member of the Weavers Guild since 2001 and enjoys many fiber related arts. Katherine always likes finding something different and fun to do with her work. Spinning the yellow pages, coffee filters, computer tape, and other non-traditional things and finding ways to weave, knit, and ply-split with them has been a fun challenge. She is not afraid to break the rules and try something new, and encourages others to do the same.
Anne Burgeson‘s goal when starting a new spinning project is simple: to make yarn. Her teaching goal is also simple: for spinning students to make yarn in an encouraging and creative environment. The end results are as varied as the spinners and the fibers themselves, which is the beauty and the power of making yarn. She loves every step of the process from “sheep to shawl,” which includes washing raw fleece, dyeing, carding, combing, spinning on either a spindle or a wheel, and then knitting.
Betty Glynn Carlson has been weaving since 1972 and began weaving Navajo rugs in 1995. She studied Navajo weaving with Fran Potter, Marilou Schultz, and several Navajo weavers at the Taos Institute of Art. Betty feels a special kinship with the loom and experiences Navajo weaving as a meditative process that invites stillness and reflection. In addition to teaching at the Guild, she teaches Navajo Weaving at Sievers School of Fiber Arts. Betty also enjoys creating scarves made from the fiber of her alpacas at her farm in Lindstrom. Currently, she has a colorful herd of 18 award-winning alpaca.
Marian Quanbeck Dahlberg‘s 20-year career as an interior designer lead her to a love of textiles and a desire to learn to weave. Linen, with its inherent versatility and luster, became her passion. In 2009, Marian launched her company, Vava!Vave! Textiles and began selling the beautiful linens she created in her Minnetonka studio from linen spun from imported flax fibers. She soon earned a spot in the American Craft Council’s juried shows, and has been recognized by the Martha Stewart American Made awards.
Kala Exworthy is passionate about working with all aspects of woven cloth. Color relationships are the primary attraction with woven structure a close second. Her weaving journey began at a Folk school in Norway a long time ago, eventually resulting in a BFA and a fabulous shared studio space in the Northeast Minneapolis Arts district. She strives to help others realize the impact that color has on their lives and how to translate those ‘colorful’ feelings into creating personal pieces that suit them.
Judy Goebel graduated from Macalester College with a degree in fine art and education. Throughout her career, she worked with fibers as a hobby and since retiring has developed a deeper and richer relationship with fiber arts. She enjoys spinning, making coiled baskets and weaving continuous warp projects. Since 2009, Judy has taught community education classes in the Richfield/Bloomington School District.
Melba Granlund is a Swedish folk artist who enjoys weaving, felting, nålbinding, wire jewelry making, spinning, knitting, sewing and embroidery. As a life-long learner, she has received instruction from masters of these handcrafts in the U.S. as well as in Sweden, Norway and Finland. Melba strives to keep Scandinavian folk art traditions alive by teaching and sharing what she has learned with others. Melba currently serves on the WGM Board of Directors and is a member of the Scandinavian weavers study group. She also teaches fiber art classes for the Textile Center.
Donna Hanson was introduced to weaving on a rigid heddle and on a floor loom by her mother, a professional weaver, in the early 1970’s. A former special education teacher, Donna began teaching at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota in 2009 and now teaches an average of 7 classes each trimester, including beginning and advanced techniques on floor looms and rug looms as well as lecture classes in design, color, blocks, and computer design. She has a particular interest in experimenting with color in her weaving, no matter the structure, and thoroughly enjoys the creative design process. Her work has been displayed at the Weavers Guild of Minnesota, Midwest Weavers Conference, and the Minnesota State Fair, earning many ribbons, including the Sweepstakes in weaving.
Doreen Hartzell spins, dyes, and plays with fiber. Her handspun art yarns and hand painted yarns are available at Anoka Fiber Works. She teaches classes on art yarn spinning and working with color in yarns at WGM, Anoka Fiber Works, and other fiber-loving places. Check out more work at Doreen’s website: www.goldfishlove.com.
Carol Johnson’s desire to create cloth stemmed from her early interest in sewing. She has been weaving since the 90’s, using tablets, rigid heddle and floor looms. She particularly loves how the many facets of weaving engage and challenge both the right and left brain, from design through execution and finishing. In the spirit of “blurring the line between work and play,” together with her husband she founded Studio Tupla, a partnership of handweaving and furniture making.
Jan Johnson has been weaving since 1997, when she saw rigid heddle weaving classes offered at her favorite yarn shop and knew she needed to be a weaver. She weaves mostly items for the home, such as runners, towels, wall hangings, and rugs. Jan is also an accomplished knitter; her favorite part of both knitting and weaving is exploring color.
Wendy J. Johnson has a B.A. in Fine Arts and has been spinning, weaving, and knitting for over 30 years. Her Swedish heritage is a great influence within her life’s work and something she likes to share with others. This is reflected in Wendy’s successful efforts to bring the work of Swedish knitting designers to the United States (Elsabeth Lavold, Inger Fredholm, and the Bohus Stickning exhibit at the American Swedish Institute); and by writing about and promoting Swedish fiber art traditions within her patterns, books, and teaching. Through her fiber arts creative and retail business, Saga Hill Designs, Wendy is a professional dyer and has created a custom colorway of dyes for protein fibers. She is also the author of “Yarn Works: How to spin, dye, and knit your own yarn” (published by Quarto/Cpi). If forced to choose, silk and flax are her favorite fibers and the primary focus of her work. Since recently acquiring a Swedish countermarch loom, Wendy is reviving her love of weaving under the Saga Hill Studio label.
Connie LaTendresse‘s love of all thing fiber goes back to learning to knit from her favorite aunt in third grade. Since then she has increased her fiber interests to include sewing, spinning and weaving. She loves to weave on most any kind of loom: inkle, rigid heddle, or floor looms and has mastered many advanced weaving techniques. Connie has worked as a classroom assistant at WGM for several years and finds great joy in teaching others. To encourage more weavers in the northwest metro, she recently started her own company, Traveling Treadles™, with the goal of bringing weaving instruction into the home.
Ann Masemore’s primary focus is color in combination with recycled fabrics like t-shirts and cotton and wool clothing. She enjoys the play of color with pattern, and especially creating items from recycled fibers. Currently, the primary material Ann works with is recycled plastic, weaving it into handbags and totes. She has won several awards from the Midwest Weavers Conference for weavings produced from recycled and other found materials. Named the ‘color queen’ by one of her instructors, Ann’s work is notable for its bright color palette.
Julie Nester has been weaving since she was a young girl. As a stay-at-home mom, she wove and sold rugs at art fairs and galleries in the Twin Cities, before returning to her career in nonprofit finance. Weaving and playing with color remain an important creative outlet. She loves to teach and has been teaching at the Guild since 1999.
Chiaki O’Brien is a SAORI Leader Committee Certificate recipient. She worked as an instructor for the SAORI head office in Japan before moving to Minnesota in 2004. Chiaki is also a VSA and COMPAS Teaching Artist, and is an artist-in-residence at schools, as well as teaching at Shepherd’s Harvest (MN) and other fiber related festivals in the Midwest. In 2012, she was awarded a Jerome Fiber Artist Project Grant, allowing her to study “Bengala Dyeing” in Japan, and she now teaches this natural soil dye process as well. SAORI weaving taught her the way to create by following her heart. Her teaching goal: to convey the “Joy of Exploration” to students in her classes. Chiaki operates Studio FUN from her home in Chaska, MN. Website: saoristudiofun.com
Judy Payne learned spinning and weaving in order to understand the construction of historical garments. She has taken advanced spinning and weaving classes and studied with Walter Nottingham at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. Judy demonstrates weaving, spinning, and other historic crafts for groups and historic sites.
Nancy Preckshot has been teaching spinning for 15 years. Her grand plan was to be a multi-shaft complex weaver. Then she acquired a spinning wheel from her mother who wanted an excuse to buy a new one. From then on, spinning became Nancy’s obsession. Sandwiched in-between were forays into weaving and other fiber-related techniques like needle felting.
Becka Rahn is a self-described geek for textiles and technology. She is a surface designer and co-author of The Spoonflower Handbook: A DIY Guide to Designing Fabric, Wallpaper & Gift Wrap. She is also a soon-to-be-published author of a guide to digital fabric design. Becka is the former director of education for the Textile Center and she teaches at many venues throughout the Twin Cities, including the Weavers Guild of Minnesota.
Karen Searle‘s sculptures in fiber and mixed media using various needlework techniques have been exhibited in the US and abroad. She has lectured internationally, curated exhibitions, and judged textile design competitions. Karen began her teaching career at WGM in the 1970s and has taught at St. Catherine University, Canberra School of Art, and at numerous textile conferences. As a journalist, she covers the contemporary crafts field in magazine articles and books. Karen is co-coordinator of the Women’s Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM) Mentor Program, and has mentored emerging artists since 1991.
Other Learning Opportunities
Private Lessons: One-on-one instruction with experienced and knowledgeable instructors. If the times of Weavers Guild classes don’t meet your availability, or you would like to design a special course of study, private lessons are easy to schedule. Read more…
Workshops: The Weavers Guild regularly hosts workshops by nationally-known artists.
WGM Information and Policies
Class Guide and Skill Levels: Learn about which classes are right for you.