When they finish a project, their first project on the loom, there's nothing that gives me more pleasure than seeing the light in their eyes and knowing that they're a weaver now. I think that's been one of the most gratifying parts of becoming a weaver is watching new people learn to weave.

- Roberta McKinney, Beyond Beginners weaving instructor


Collage of a dyeing workshop in the 1980s. Includes Marg McKee and Meg d'Esterre.

When the Guild was finally able to secure a permanent studio in the 1970s, workshops became a fixture of the organization. They are taught by experienced fibre artists, many of whom have completed the Ontario Handweavers and Spinners Master certificate programs in weaving and spinning, and range from beginner weaver floor, table, and rigid heddle loom workshops and learning to spin using a wheel or drop spindle, to workshops on basketry, dyeing fibres with synthetic or natural dyes, inkle loom weaving, and focused examinations of a particular skill or material. Instructors bring their own interests and passions to the workshops, offering learning opportunities that showcase their unique skillsets. 

Beginner weaving and spinning classes are the most popular workshops offered through the Guild, but only provide a starting point. Roberta McKinney and Elly Hoogendorn developed the Beyond Beginners weaving workshop and study group for weavers interested in learning more about the loom. 

Roberta McKinney reminisces about creating the Beyond Beginners weaving workshop and weaving study group with Elly Hoogendorn.

Rosie Hyde discusses the workshops she has attended at KHWS.


Basketry workshop, early 1990s.

Barbara Heins talks about her experiences in leading workshops particularly on basket making

Barbara Heins was already a high school biology and German teacher when the Guild introduced her to the Master Weavers program, where she conducted intensive weaving for five years. This, in turn, opened the door to leading various workshops at the Guild. In recent years, she has focused on teaching basketry, where one facet of her expertise lies. 

Instructors draw from their own interests and experiences to develop workshops. Norma Rosier, who lived in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland before moving to Kingston, teaches tapestry and rug weaving at the Guild, and here reflects on teaching workshops in the Hebrides and at KHWS:

Norma Rosier describes the tapestry, rug weaving, and beginner weaving workshops she has led, and discusses workshops she has taken through the Guild that have influenced her work.