VavStuga Basics Class, Part 2

Entrance to VavStuga Shop

I had an early morning flight from Madison, WI to St. Paul, MN, where I briefly met Diane, another student that week, before we boarded the flight to Bradley Intl. Airport in CT.  From there, we shared a shuttle van ride to Shelburne Falls and VavStuga, giving us a chance to chat and get to know each other a bit.  Arriving an hour before we could go into the building, we “hid” our suitcases and set off in search of dinner at a small local cafe.  When we returned, we took our belongings up the flight of stairs to our “home” for the next few days and settled in. 

The space is decorated in Swedish style, simple, comfortable, and very welcoming. 

Upstairs kitchen for students.

The kitchen is an open, very pleasant space.  The coffee pot was almost always on, as was hot water for tea or hot chocolate.  Though all our meals were provided that week, there are classes where they are not, so the kitchen has a stove small refrigerator, and a microwave for preparing meals.

Breakfast was brought up around 8 AM by Sara, the current VavStuga apprentice, and we all sat around the table (seats 8) together.  When we were finished, we were welcome to go down and begin working, or browse through books in the school library.

Sitting area.

The sitting area has two comfortable Swedish chairs, and a bookcase filled with Swedish weaving books and magazines.  Handwoven curtains adorn the windows, and a beautiful old Swedish rep weave rug is on the floor.  We couldn’t believe we were walked on it daily. 

Glimakra bandloom.

When we arrived there was a Glimakra bandloom between two bedroom doors that we were welcome to weave on anytime.  Susan came up and gave us a demonstration, and a couple days later, this second bandloom (above) was brought up as well.  Before I left for home, I had ordered one as I had wanted one of these small looms for 16 years or so, since seeing one in a Glimakra catalog as well as in an early VAV magazine. 

Single bedroom.

I had been assigned the very pleasant single bedroom.  Each bedroom had a duvet and cover, and this room also had a beautiful coverlet as well as a handwoven blanket.

My bedroom window, complete with handwoven curtains and a beautiful Japanese maple just outside, in full glorious autumn color.

Another bed, with handwoven coverlet and blanket.

A beautiful handwoven rag rug.

At the other end of the warping porch was where we dined.

A delicious lunch and dinner were served daily at the far end of the warping porch.  At each meal, the table was set with beautiful handwoven table linens, changing at each meal.   

The Bridge of Flowers, with the entrance next to VavStuga.

The Bridge of Flowers is a most pleasant way to cross the river on your way to shops and galleries.  It was November, so there weren’t too many blooms left, but I’ve seen photos taken in summer and it is beautiful. I’m looking forward to seeing it again in September.

Looking across the river.
If you followed the reports of damage in New England from Hurricane Irene, you may have seen the flooding here.  There are videos on YouTube.  

The rear of VavStuga as soon from near the entrance to the Bridge of Flowers.
Susan told of being about a minute before being evacuated from the building with the very real fear of never seeing it again.  Though the retaining wall stayed in place, most of the backyard, up to within a few feet of the building, was washed away.  Thankfully, the building was untouched, the backyard has been replaced, and hopefully this will not occur again.

Part 3 will be of my finished weavings and a bit more of what I learned at VavStuga.

4 thoughts on “VavStuga Basics Class, Part 2”

  1. It is really nice to see so much of a place that I have heard about but seen too few photos. I can certainly understand why you are returning again this year.

  2. So glad you got to come to New England to the amazing VavStuga. I've only been there for a day, and we did get a tour of the upstairs. I love how they have handwovens everywhere!!Can't wait to see what you wove!Sue

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