KAWS Workshops

Vendor ListBreakout SessionsWorkshops
LodgingAttendee Information & RegistrationKAWS Schedule
Full day workshop, Friday
Molly Elkind
Afternoon workshop, Sunday
Chiaki O’Brien
Full day workshop, Monday
Chiaki O’Brien

Preconference Workshop

Friday, November 5, 9 am – 4 pm

Molly Elkind

Improv Weaving: Break the Rules!

Do you ever want to just sit down and weave, without bothering with a cartoon or even a sketch?  Do you wonder sometimes what would happen if. . . ?  This is your chance to find out!   

Explore what happens if you break some of the “rules” of tapestry.  What happens if you distort the grid?  Leave open spaces and slits?  Make the warp a prominent player?  Experiment with variations in sett and beat? 

There are lots of exciting possibilities.  We’ll also talk about pros and cons of various small looms, and touch on ways to mount small tapestries to really show them off.

Suitable for advanced beginner and up, with some tapestry experience

Workshop fee with conference registration $125; stand-alone fee $175

Supplies to bring:

  • Small tapestry loom (no pin or Zoom looms, please) You may, if you choose, warp your loom ahead of time for a weaving area at least 4” square. Larger is fine too.
  • Yarn for warp and weft. (This might be the time to experiment with something other than cotton seine twine!)
  • Your usual weaving supplies including scissors, tapestry needle, sewing thread, beater/fork/comb, bobbins if you use them.
  • Bring some non-traditional weft materials and/or found objects if you like.

If you don’t have a small loom, you may rent a pre-warped loom (limited number available). The $50 additional fee includes warping, and when you return the loom at the end of the workshop you will be refunded $40; or you may choose to keep the loom and not be refunded. Select this option on the registration form.

Molly Elkind’s tapestry work was exhibited in a solo show in 2018 in Atlanta, just before she relocated to New Mexico. She has focused on weaving for over ten years, but Molly is also fluent in papermaking, mixed media collage, and embroidery. Molly earned an M.A. in Studio Art from the Hite Art Institute at the University of Louisville in 2002, and in the same year she was awarded an Artist Enrichment grant by the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Exhibition highlights include a solo show at Mercer University in Atlanta (2009) and numerous juried and invitational shows nationwide. Molly has been published in Tapestry Topics (American Tapestry Alliance publication), Tapestry Weaver (Britain), Arts Across Kentucky, Needlearts, SAQA Journal, and Shuttle, Spindle, Dyepot magazines. Her work is in several private collections.

Besides making art, Molly is passionate about teaching it, with a particular focus on design principles and processes. For over 20 years she has taught private students and at guilds and conferences nationwide, with a special emphasis on helping fiber artists become more confident designers of their own work. Molly currently serves on the board of the American Tapestry Alliance as the Director of Volunteers. She is based in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Postconference Workshops

Chiaki O’Brien

SAORI Weaving – Enjoy Being in a Moment

SAORI is very different from traditional weaving: placing more importance on free expression and creativity than on technical skills or the regularity of the woven cloth. This is a therapeutic/healing weaving technique. Students in this class will relax, enjoy, explore, and develop positive thinking through weaving. Be ready to feel like you are 5 years old and be ready to follow your heart!

We always try to do what only human beings can do, without imitating machine-made products. No two weavers are alike, so it is very natural that every single cloth, freely woven by people with different personalities, is beautiful in a unique way. Irregular selvages and accidental skips of thread add to the un-programmed beauty of SAORI cloths. We admire this irregularity as the unintentional beauty resulting from our natural creativity.

Even though there are only two harnesses, students can still enjoy weaving with many colors, textures and utilizing the inherent sense of exploration we all possess! Students will be amazed how much they can do with two harnesses.

The warp will be set for students, so they can start weaving right away. Students will take home whatever length they weave.  Looms and supplies are included in the fee.

Supplies to bring:

  • Scissors
  • Any materials to include in the project, such as hand spun yarn, strips of fabric etc. 

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Postconference Workshop I

Sunday, November 7, 1 – 4 pm

Workshop fee with conference registration $100; stand-alone fee $125


Postconference Workshop II

Monday, November 8, 9 am – 4 pm

Workshop fee with conference registration $200; stand-alone fee $250

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