Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Emily F. Gwynn. You may not realize, but I am, all by myself, Hands to Work Textiles. That's right, ladies and gents, this is a one woman show. No really, it's just me. I do hire out some sewing, photography and occasionally collaborate with other weavers. But generally speaking, it's just me doing the designing and the weaving and the shipping and the web design and the endless social media...
So who am I?
Well, as you may already know, I am a handweaver based in Western Massachusetts. I was born in Baltimore and studied at the Baltimore School for the Arts. I mostly abandoned my study of the arts after that (as an artist's daughter, distancing myself from the art world was the best teenage rebellion I could come up with...) and picked up knitting and then spinning and finally weaving to help fulfill my need to create.
I came to study at the Vävstuga School more or less by accident, and as a consequence became the weaver I am now. I couldn't tell you the name of the woman who recommended it to me; all I can really tell you is that I met her when I was working at Downtown Yarns. I had begun studying Swedish at the time (but that's a different story) and so it seemed perfect. Isn't it funny how the smallest things can change our lives so radically?
And that's how it was for me at Vavstuga; within 24 hours I knew everything was going to be different. It was almost like I suddenly saw a door I had walked by over and over again and never noticed before. I'm lucky I have a supportive partner, because he agreed to move out here, sight unseen.
Here I am at Vavstuga Basics with my first (ever!) warp, shortly before I began my apprenticeship. Roughly 10 months later my apprenticeship was ending and I had become a skilled young weaver. After a well-deserved vacation, I founded my business: Hands to Work.
Currently, my studio is in my home and I have two looms, one big and one small, both Swedish countermarch looms. On my next blog I will take you on a little tour of the studio so you can see where the weaving magic happens.
Feel free to suggest future blog topics in the comments! I'll do my best to answer questions!