1. An online class with Rebecca Mezoff. (You knew that one was going to be first, right?) What better gift could there be than education. My introductory tapestry techniques class is designed to give tapestry weavers a solid foundation in the basic skills. It is offered in several formats and you can find more details on my website HERE. Registration is open now for the class that starts January 5th... just after we've all recovered from the festivities.
2. A membership to the American Tapestry Alliance. ATA is a wonderful organization that every tapestry artist should belong to. The organization works hard to further the knowledge of tapestry in the world. Membership gives you access to a wonderful quarterly newsletter, scads of learning opportunities including workshops and mentorship programs, an online list discussion, juried shows, online exhibitions, educational articles, and the ability to be part of a vibrant community of tapestry artists. Go HERE to sign up!
3. A handbeater. Every tapestry weaver needs a hand beater regardless of the kind of loom they weave on. Threads Thru Time makes lovely beaters that are for sale in their Etsy shop. They are beautiful piece of art that will be a cherished tool for decades. I just got a new set a couple weeks ago and am already in love.
Mirrix loom under the tree is pretty much a dream come true for any tapestry weaver. These sturdy versatile looms are made in the USA. I love them and own more than I will admit to.
HERE. Check out this great video about Harrisville--woodshop shown at the end.
6. Jim Hokett is a woodworker who married a weaver. He makes wonderful small weaving tools (and some wonderful large ones too!) in his workshop in Magdalena, New Mexico. I teach a class using his small looms. These little lap looms and the tools that go with them are a fantastic gift for someone who already has a fleet of tapestry looms or for someone who is just starting out and wants to see what tapestry is all about. Take a tour of his blog to see some of the wonderful things he makes. Hokett Would Work (he also has a great sense of humor). Jim sells some of his things through The Woolery or you can contact him directly. I love these little 7 x 8 inch looms, his 7 inch shed stick, and his small turned beaters for starters.
One of my new favorite yarns (used in the above picture of the little weaving on the Hokett loom) is made by Weavers Bazaar. This yarn is made in England, but the shipping over the pond for small amounts is incredibly reasonable. Matty and Lin are the friendliest people and they can help you choose a good sample bag for your weaver. They even have gift packs all made up in various colorways.
There are a few other ideas about yarn sources in this blog post of mine.
8. An umbrella swift. Every yarn user needs a swift and a ball winder. If you buy yarn in skeins, it has to be made into balls before you can use it. Yes, you can have your wife hold it on her hands while you wind it into a ball by hand, but that may eventually lead to some marital tension due to the length of time it takes to do this. I use THIS ball winder (available in many places). There are various swifts out there of varying cost. I like THESE little metal ones. HERE is another wooden option.
9. A few fun gifts.
What weaver doesn't like to send cards with sheep on them? HERE are some cute ones. And HERE is another set of holiday cards picturing weavers.
Does your weaver put stickers on their car or elsewhere? HERE is one of a floor loom.
How about a T-shirt with weaverly stuff on it? THIS one is especially good. Weavers ARE warped.
HERE are some tote bags with various funny things on them.
What about THIS one?
10. Bobbins. Many tapestry weavers use them. These brassy bobs made by John Moss and sold by Kathe Todd-Hooker at Fine Fiber Press are absolutely beautiful.
- Jean Pierre Larochette's recent book The Tree of Lives. See THIS blog post for details.
- The Thread's Course in Tapestry by Mete Lise Rossing. See THIS post for details.
- Any of Kathe Todd-Hooker's tapestry books. I especially recommend Tapestry 101 and Line in Tapestry.
- If your tapestry weaver is interested in color (and who isn't?), I recommend a study of Joannes Itten. The Art of Color: the subjective experience and objective rationale of color is perhaps the best book about color out there--at least it is the one everyone should start with. The full version costs more than $100, but it is a gorgeous large-format book and I highly recommend it. If you can't swing the big book, there are smaller versions with less text and just a few plates. Here it is on Amazon. Try bookfinder.com for a good used copy.
- Woven Color by James Koehler. This is the autobiography of a tapestry weaver from the southwestern US. James was my mentor and teacher and this is his story from growing up in Michigan to his life as a benedictine monk to his career as a tapestry weaver. It is full of color plates of his work and pictures from his life. He finished this book in 2010 and passed away unexpectedly in 2011. This book is his voice now. See THIS video for more about James.
- Tapestry Handbook: The Next Generation by Carol Russell. This is an old standard. This second edition is full of gorgeous tapestries. The text is about tapestry technique and while it isn't a super comprehensive manual, it is extremely solid and a book that all tapestry weavers should have on their shelves.
- This is a book my mom got me for Christmas a few years ago and it has an honored place on my tapestry bookshelf. The Art of Modern Tapestry: Dovecot Studios since 1912 by David Weir. I most certainly want to visit this swimming-pool-turned-tapestry-studio, so if anyone has some extra frequent flier miles and a time-share in Edinburgh, I'm open!
Have a wonderful holiday season. Drink the egg nog. Go see the Christmas lights. Play in the snow with some little kids. Love each other. Weave something!