In the Studio

For many of us, staying home has meant digging in to our crafts and dwelling in our work space. This week we’re talking with Katie Oberton, a member of the WGM board who serves on the artisan sale committee and as the co-chair of the DEI team. Lets have a look at her beautiful Minneapolis studio!

WGM: Tell us about yourself and introduce your practice:

KO: Hi, my name is Katie Oberton, and I am weaver. I started weaving in 2017 after I saw a woven tapestry in a local shop. I wove on a tapestry loom for about 1 year, and then took the beginners floor loom class at WGM in 2018, and I have been weaving on a floor loom ever since.

I have always been really interested in textiles and fabric, so when I realized I could make my own cloth I knew I wanted to take the floor loom class. I love making functional pieces that people can use daily.

WGM: Tell us about your space

KO: I weave in my home in south Minneapolis. I am very lucky to have a 4-season porch where my looms live and I get to spend my time weaving. The porch is surrounded by windows, which allows for a lot of natural light. The room is small, so I store my fiber and tools in the basement. I feel so grateful to have a home that has space for 2 floors looms plus supplies.

the right corner of a loom with a stack of six books on the castle, a jar with two white pirns sits next to the books

WGM: What projects are you currently working on?

KO: I’m currently taking the virtual WGM class with Heather MacKenzie. We are learning how to make a triple cloth lace weave tablecloth. We’re using 10/2 cotton, and I’m making my piece in a dark teal color. I’m also going to be starting some fabric yardage on my other loom. I want to make some big pieces of fabric, so I will hopefully get that warped within the next few weeks.  Both are two big projects for me, so I’m excited to see how they turn out.

WGM: What kind of loom do you use?

KO: I have mainly used my Schacht Mighty Wolf loom thus far. I also have a LeClerc Nilus that I will be warping soon and testing out. I got it second hand, and just finished literally dusting her off this past week. I also recently got an Inkle loom, and I have been enjoying making bands and straps.

a small loom and shuttle with a navy blue band being woven

WGM: Tell us about your favorite tools?

KO: One tool that’s special for me, is a rigid heddle loom that my mom gave me from when she was in high school. My grandpa made it (I think from a kit), and when she gave it to me, it still had the original booklets teaching you how to weave (in a very 1970’s font). My grandpa passed away before I started weaving, but it’s nice to have something to remember him.

WGM: What has been motivating you to spend time in the studio?

KO: The excitement of learning new things through my virtual class. Like many people, I have been forced to slow down due to COVID, and it has allowed me time to try new things with my weaving, which has been getting me excited.

WGM: How has your practice evolved in the last month?

KO: I am usually a plain weave kind of person, but I have been challenging myself with more patterns. I have found that this slower time has given me more time to try new techniques like the triple cloth I am working on through the WGM class. The slower pace has also allowed me to have the time to try out my bigger floor loom and teach myself how to use an Inkle loom. This time has strengthened both my love of weaving and my practice.


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