Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Profile of a Weaver: Joyce Hoffman

Joyce Hoffman joined the Tuesday Weavers two years ago, shortly after moving to Maryville from Matoaca, Virginia. A mother of five, Joyce started college at 36 with the intention of becoming a teacher and emigrating with the family to Canada. Through a few moves and college--as well as goal--changes, she received a degree in Art History from the University of Arizona, then went on to complete a Masters in Library Science. Though she'd always been interested in weaving, with five kids to raise, she'd had to make do with a small hand loom, weaving an afghan of squares, or knitting complicated sweaters.
Her career as a librarian took Joyce from Tucson to southern Colorado, to New Orleans and Baton Rouge, back to Arizona, then to West Virginia. When she found herself in western Virginia, she decided it was time to fulfill her dream of learning to weave. Joyce took a class at the now-closed River Farm in Timberville, Virginia. She took a class in overshot, the only raw beginner in the class. The instructor was very patient with her, and Joyce struggled to keep up. At the end of the class, she wasn't finished with her project, and asked if she could come back to finish in subsequent weekends. The instructor said yes, but wouldn't she rather take the loom home? She did, bought the loom, a Harrisville 22 inch 4 shaft, and took it home with her.

After the class, Joyce wanted to do a study of twills, using the twill collection in A Handweaver's Pattern Book by Marguerite Porter Davison. She threaded her new loom and wove the entire section, including the part she liked the best, the doubleweave sample. She was delighted when not one thread had skipped, and her doubleweave sample was a complete tube!

Next, Joyce took some roving she had and placed it in a warp for an interesting wall hanging, and wove another twill sampler, using white on white, blue and the red from the original twill sampler.

Life got hectic after the first weaving class, and the Harrisville was left warpless for a few years. When I would visit, I would stay in the loom room, with a Union loom and the Harrisville, frequently stubbing my toes on them. One day, I asked for the Harrisville to try weaving myself. It saw me through my first few projects, samplers, curtains and tote bags, but I outgrew it right when Joyce was downsizing and needed it back. The Union loom was sold, and the Harrisville fit right into Joyce's new home, along with a twining loom the wonderful gentlemen at Anderson Lumber made for her. With some Euroflax linen, Joyce made a light, lacy scarf in cream and pink on the Harrisville. The next scarf, also in linen, in sage green and cream, became handbags for gifts.

The current project, inspired by a Handwoven article on bamboo yarn and huck lace, is coming along beautifully.
Joyce is now OUR librarian, in charge of the Tuesday Weaver's and the Clinch Valley Guild book collections. She weaves diligently every Tuesday, and many of her latest creations have sold immediately, once they hit the gift shop shelves.
At home, her loom sits waiting in the sunny living room, waiting to spend many more hours, making many more projects.

Happy Weaving!


Tina said...

Great story Maggie, I love hearing how each of us came to be a weaver.

Theresa said...

Wonderful profile! It was a real treat reading it. Beautiful work Joyce!

LA said...

I look forward to seeing Joyce each Tuesday. She has some wonderful stories to tell, and I'm glad you told this one!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad that Joyce moved down here to join us! Really enjoy seeing the colors she puts together! The pink right now is so cheerful esp after the dreary winter!
Very nice profile, Maggie. Sure appreciate your writing it.

KarenInTheWoods and Steveio said...

How nice to read a background of a weaver in your group. Are you going to do profiles of all your Tuesday Weavers?


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the background info on Joyce, what an interesting life! She has always been a joy to be around - as have all of you.

Hugs to all,

Bonnie said...

A very interesting life. How wonderful. Glad she can join us on Tuesday's.

Anonymous said...

Joyce is a real treasure and she has a wonderful sense of humor!