Vävstuga apprentice program
In early January 2009 we launched our apprentice program.
Following are the guidelines for the Vävstuga apprentice program:
- Apprenticeships are for a finite length of time, with a minimum of six months.
- Apprenticeships are project and goal oriented. A personal project or two should also be included.
- Apprentice and Becky will discuss projects and goals in writing throughout the apprenticeship.
- Apprentice must be punctual and keep the hours mutually agreed upon.
(Generally, during classes this will be Mon–Thu 7:15–3:30, Fri 7:15–5:30, Sat 9–5; non-class time Tue–Sat 9-5.)
- Apprentice is responsible for his or her own transportation, room and board.
- Apprentice will audit all Vävstuga classes throughout the apprenticeship.
- Apprentice will work on project planning; wind, beam, and thread many warps; weave current Treasures projects between class sessions.
- Apprentice will assist with store and telephone sales, inventory, and cleanup.
- Apprentice will complete a "service project" to improve Vävstuga in some way (cataloging, organizational help, gardening, etc.)
- All candidates are required to have taken Vävstuga Basics in order to qualify for the apprenticeship.
How to apply
We are currently accepting applications. To apply, send us your résumé, along with a short letter stating why you would like to be accepted into our apprentice program. We accept submissions by snailmail or email. Please do not telephone us; discussion will only take place after consideration of résumés.
Current & past apprentices
Anna-Lisa Thayer (1/2013 - ) Barre, MA
When I am not working towards my Master of Science degree in Biotechnology, I can be found on the family farm in Barre, MA where we raise Boer goats, cows, and Finnsheep. I thoroughly enjoyed myself when I took the Basics class last summer and as a very novice weaver I am looking forward to learning everything from the absolute basics to more advanced weaving techniques. Eventually I hope to be able to weave with the wool that my sheep produce.
Terry Slagel (7/2012 - 12/2012) Hot Springs, SD
The better part of six months flew by while I learned and played in the Vävstuga vortex. Becky and Susan were fantastic to work with and I couldn't have found a lovelier, more pleasant community than Shelburne Falls. I continue to be amazed at the beautiful items I created in such a short time, that represent so many techniques, skills, and materials that I had never before used. When I first attended Vävstuga for the Basics class in November 2011, I returned home saying I wanted to live a handwoven life. Now, after nearly six months of immersion at Vävstuga, I am well on my way.
Mary Beebee (1/2012 - 7/2012) Williamstown, MA
I enjoyed a fabulous six months as an apprentice at Vävstuga. I can make my mistakes with confidence and can use the tools I have learned to find a way to fix them. The apprenticeship was all about setting the bar high but being human enough to enjoy the journey of weaving. Yes, there were plenty of learning opportunities along the way. Becky and Susan mentored me to enjoy the art, have fun, and there was no mistake big enough that a few cookies couldn't remedy. Thank you!
Sarah Easton (7/2011 - 1/2012) Putney, VT
My initial goals for my apprenticeship were to live a weaving lifestyle and complete my apprenticeship projects, living room curtains and a torpa table runner. Now that I've completed my apprenticeship, I reflect on how my goals have changed. I went from being a true beginning weaver to a novice, because I now have confidence and a solid frame of reference for the complete weaving process. Through assisting with the three Basics classes and working in Vävstuga's store, I understand more of the concerns and language of beginning weavers. I know how to ask for help, and seek advice from experienced weavers to solve problems. I'm more flexible in thinking about the design process, from idea to profile draft to a threading draw down and options that are available to modify that first attempt. I have specific product goals that I want to accomplish which are more than just turning out yardage or projects. I've learned that I need to be a part of a focused community of weavers, because those relationships are a part of what makes this artistic journey worthwhile. I am deeply grateful for the friendship and lessons that Becky and Susan taught me, as well as for the wonderful fellow weavers whom I met as students and customers at Vävstuga. In order to pay it forward, I want to give back to this wonderful school. I want to be a resource for future apprentices. Please feel free to email me at .
Lisa Maria Bertoldi (9/2009 - 1/2010) Williamsburg, MA
Lisa Maria Bertoldi, twenty-year resident of Williamsburg Massachusetts, has a background in environmental education which informs her involvement in the world of textiles. A long-time spinner, she has raised silkworms and for the first time has a small patch of flax in her vegetable garden. As a developing weaver, she enjoys the subtleties of a good selvedge and good yarns.
Celeste Johnson (4/2009 - 9/2009) Naples, NY
As a soon-to-be high school graduate in early 2008, I was having some difficulty deciding on my next step. I knew I would not be ready to head off to college immediately, but I also felt a strong need to be actively doing and learning... something. The solution presented itself when I took the Vävstuga Basics class. I fell in love with the yarn, looms, people, and environment and was thrilled to learn about the possibility of an internship. A year later I found myself as the new apprentice, embarking on a six-month weaving adventure! It was not all fun and games, as I worked hard for my weaving and instruction privileges, but it was well worth it. I learned so, so much and truly enjoyed being immersed in the colors, sounds, and smells of this amazing school. It was difficult to leave when my time ended, but as I look ahead at the upcoming year I am thrilled to see the opportunities that have opened up to me as a result of my time at Vävstuga. I am proud to be following in the footsteps of Becky Ashenden as I head off (late summer 2011) to spend a year studying weaving at her alma mater, Sätergläntan, located in Dalarna, Sweden. Once my studies there are completed, I anticipate many joyous years of weaving and teaching -- the passion for which I never would have discovered without the skillful mentorship I experienced during my time at Vävstuga.