This afternoon I drove down to Kent State University to see the textile studio. Since hearing that KSU has a textile program in the art department, I have really wanted to see the space and fantasize about returning to school to earn an MFA. The KSU studio is amazing. I have been to a few studios that have a lot of looms, but I was really taken back by the sheer number of looms in this studio! I didn't count, but I am guessing that there were probably 3-4 dozen. I really thought I had taken a photo where you could see the large area with all of the floor looms... but alas, I did not.
It was really fantastic to see the 2 jacquard looms in action. They have one wide jacquard loom and one narrow one. There were also a number of samples up on the walls of projects that have been woven on the looms. It appears that a imagery weaving class is in session this Spring term and a number of students were working on doubleweave pickup.
Other demonstrations during the open studio included felting, dyeing, netting, shifu spinning (paper yarn), tapestry weaving, and embroidery.
I was impressed by how the open studio was structured. There were a lot of textile students throughout the studio space working away on their projects in addition to several demonstration areas that were staffed by students. The demonstrations were given on a rolling basis to groups of visitors.
Janice Lessman-Moss is the head of the textiles program. She mentioned that while they just moved into this studio last summer and it is a fantastic space, it is only a temporary home since a new Art building is being constructed and the studio will move into that building once it is complete. I'm sure it will be great for the textile program to actually share physical space with the rest of the art department.
While looking around at what was being woven, I encountered a woman weaving with fishing line. Upon closer inspection, it was obvious that she was making a doubleweave tube out of it with blocks of 2 different structures in each layer. I believe her name is Lauren Mangeri. She is an instructor at the school and working on a sculptural installation with another instructor from the sculpture department. The piece she was weaving is now a part of a window installation at the KSU downtown gallery. You can see a picture of it here.
More pictures from the trip here.