Gill weaver to exhibit work in Florence

  • Gill weaver Kathy Litchfield Contributed photo

  • An example of one of Kathy Litchfield’s deflected double weave handwoven scarves. Contributed photo

Recorder Staff
Friday, May 11, 2018

Gill weaver Kathy Litchfield, owner of Firecrow Handwovens, has earned her master’s in weaving from the Hill Institute in Florence, and will exhibit her work during the institute’s annual exhibition on June 1 and 2.

The exhibition runs from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Friday night, June 1, and from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday morning, June 2, at the Hill Institute at 83 Pine St. in Florence.

Litchfield has been weaving for 12 years, during which time she’s studied with fellow weavers and embraced new educational opportunities. She was accepted into the Hill Institute’s weaving program in September of 2012, and studied with master weaver Chris Hammel for four years. The program involves six hours of classroom education each week, summertime homework and many assignments between classes.

Since May of 2016, Litchfield has designed and woven 34 individual projects, fulfilling requirements in weave structure, fiber size and color, finished project dimensions and more, plus a final “Master’s Piece.” For this piece, Litchfield used a complex weave structure known as “deflected double weave” to design a spring/autumn jacket using medium-weight alpaca/silk and tencel yarns. She designed each piece of the jacket with a different pattern so that the arms, front, back, side panels and collar are all different, but yet coalesce in a way that makes the piece appear cohesive.

Litchfield’s interest in weaving has stuck with her since visiting Old Sturbridge Village as a 9-year-old girl from Enfield, Conn. She was fascinated by the process of creating cloth by hand. Today, she weaves on eight-harness floor looms in her Gill farmstead studio, using fibers including rayon chenille, cotton, mohair, merino wool, tencel and bamboo. She sells her work at juried shows throughout the Northeast, including the upcoming Paradise City Arts Festival in May and the Northampton Big Brothers Big Sisters Winter Craft Fair in December.