New England Weavers' Seminar:  2021 Speakers

Cally Booker

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Talk: “Making Creative Connections”

Collaborative projects can be an excellent way to stretch ourselves and incorporate new ideas into our creative practice. Cally will speak about two recent collaborations with makers in other disciplines, which have taken her far beyond the usual confines of the loom to work with sound and jewellery in one project and quilting and animation in the other. She will reflect on the challenges and opportunities which arise when working with other makers; using sound as a source of inspiration to generate ideas for weaving; and weaving itself as a source of inspiration for other crafts.



Cally Booker lives and weaves in Dundee on the east coast of Scotland. Her work is exhibited nationally and internationally and she has become known for her colourful style and her lively enthusiasm for the structure of woven cloth. As well as teaching at Guilds and groups around the UK, Cally shares her love of weaving through Weaving Space, a programme of workshops held online and in her colour-filled studio. Cally is a member of the Society of Designer Craftsmen and a Past President of Complex Weavers.

Carol James

Talk: “What’s Sprang, and What Can You Do With It?”

What is sprang? How does it work? And what can you do with sprang? This presentation answers these questions and more. We begin with simple definitions and live demonstrations to help you understand how every row of work yields two rows of cloth. A variety of stitches lend themselves to this type of work, some even look like woven cloth. Diverse  techniques transform simple rectangles into hats, socks, mittens, vests and more. We will then see this played out in a series of images of sprang through history. The presentation offers photos of actual sprang artefacts, ancient artwork, and Carol’s sprang replicas taking us from the bronze age to present. The presentation finishes with ideas for shaping techniques and patterns for making sprang shirts and sweaters.



Carol James has been exploring low-tech textile methods for 30 years. She has examined sprang items in collections across the US and Europe, and is known for her ability to replicate these historic textiles. She has also created modern garments deemed worthy of HGA’s fashion show. Carol has taught in Canada, the US, Europe, and New Zealand. Students describe her as patient, knowledgeable, and passionate. She is author of numerous articles, 4 books, and 2 instructional DVDs, and has spent her COVID time writing out more sprang patterns and filming instructional videos.

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Stacey Harvey-Brown

Talk: “Woven Optical Effects

Woven Optical Effects are a source of wonder and curiosity for many people. Weavers are certainly no exception and studies have been made looking at visual effects in weave for many years. Often people begin with a Vasarely or Escher ‘bulge’ and explore how to create this effect in weave. This is one of the most prevalent designs. But this presentation takes the idea much further. Here we also look at optical effects from the standpoint of printed optical effects, digging deep to find the design nuggets that give the essence of the effect and can translate successfully into the dimensionality of weaving.

Katharina Krönig and Stacey Harvey-Brown have been collaborating in exploring the wonderful world of optical illusions and visual perturbations in an ongoing project which will be published shortly. We have been looking at various optical effects from the fields of op art, visual effects and visual effects in weaving, including op-art movement, Twisted Cord effects, classic effects and depth illusions to name but a few and translating them into different weave structures and colour experiments, including multicolour taqueté, Summer & Winter, 4-colour double weave, colour-and-weave, shadow weave and deflected double weave.


Stacey Harvey-Brown has been an insatiably curious weaver for nearly 30 years who loves to explore themes such as growth forms, phase transitions, and optical effects, diving deep into the fascinating worlds and technical paths that these open up and developing artwork, books and teaching materials from her research. She has been joined in the optical effects project by Katharina Krönig, who has designed textiles for industry, and together they are writing a book on many different forms of optical effects and illusions which will be published shortly

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Janet Phillips

Talk: “Designing Woven Fabric - The Way I Do It”


This talk will cover my life as a textile designer, hand weaver, weaving tutor and author of weave design books.  It will be illustrated with photographs of fabrics which demonstrate the approach, methods and inspirations for my designs of functional woven textiles.



I studied Industrial Textile Design at the Scottish College of Textiles graduating with a 1st class Honours Degree and the Dr Oliver medal for the best design student for 1972.


I worked in industry for several years before buying a 16-shaft George Wood Dobby loom, and started my career as a commission weaver.  I initially wove floor rugs, but finally specialised into weaving original fabrics for clothing and interiors for private clients.  I stopped this work in 2009.  After sitting weaving yardage for 35 years, I am now concentrating of passing my knowledge on to others, by teaching courses and writing books.

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The Weavers Book of Fabric Design – published 1983

Designing Woven Fabrics – published 2008, Reprinted in 2009, 2015, 2021

Exploring Woven Fabrics – published 2020

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