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Mark your calendars! The 13th Annual SeatWeavers' Guild Gathering

The 13th Annual Gathering will be held at Lillian M. Jacobs Elementary School in Hull, Ma July 24 to 26. Organized by local seat weaver George Goodwin of Goodwin Caning and a committee of volunteer guild members, it will be a weekend of camaraderie, sharing skills and knowledge of the craft of chair caning and seat weaving.

The SeatWeavers’ Guild is a non-profit organization with over 160 members strong ranging from crafters and hobbyists, to full-time professionals and teachers. Our Gatherings are styled to assist practitioners in methods, knowledge, tool tips and tricks and even advice on running a chair weaving business. Members travel from around the country for this event.

“We are committed to the preservation and perpetuation of the craft “says Goodwin, who taught chair caning at the Perkins School for the Blind for 30 years before retiring in 2014.

Indeed, it is not a dying art, with dozens of seat weaving suppliers around the country, and cane popping up in design magazines on chairs and other furniture, in lighting, even panels on purses and shoes. Sessions will include instruction by renowned weavers teaching hickory bark weaving, advanced caning patterns, rawhide, canoe seating, mid-century modern furniture weaving, and more.

Registration for this members-only event will be held Friday. Saturday schedule will feature rotating classes with at least 8 different weaving stations. Sessions on different styles of chairs ranging from antique and vintage to modern and retro will be featured. Sunday afternoon is open to the public to view an exhibit of many unique chairs you might not see elsewhere. You will be able to chat with weavers about your chairs or your weaving experience.

New to this year’s Gathering is the first annual Enhanced Furniture Design and Seatweaving Contest. Students, furniture makers and artisans have been invited to create a unique style of chair or furniture and incorporate seatweaving or woven elements. Winners will be on display along with a slideshow presentation of entries, showcasing exciting new ideas blending furniture and weaving.

The public is welcome to join the guild for a nominal fee of $35 and register for the event by July 1. Information on membership and the gathering can be found on the website.

Please join us in celebrating the craft and crafters of The SeatWeavers’ Guild.


Power Caning" With Caning Needles & Steamers: Dave Klingler

Learn how to expedite the flow of hand-woven chair caning. Dave from Silver River Center for Chair Caning has recently become a convert to using the caning needle, or steamer, on hand-woven caned chairs. You'll enjoy the way Dave delves into the intricacies of his work, all told with his signature smooth delivery. Take hours off your weaving practice and work more ergonomically. 

We'll have examples of traditional caning methods, but you might want to take notes and apply this to your weaving practice. Dave has made his own steamers and will have some available for a nominal fee.


A Brief History of Chair Caning lecture & slideshow: Brandy Clements

  Explore chair caning's ancient and global history in this 1 hour presentation. From Middle Kingdom Egypt to Mid-Century Scandinavia, chair makers have employed woven materials on their chairs. These woven seats (the most important part of the chair?) get a mere mention in museums and books, with little explanation of materials, history, process or contemporary applications.

Brandy from Silver River Center for Chair Caning has spent years researching and traveling to satisfy her chair nerd thirst for knowledge. A fourth generation weaver, Brandy considers herself an ambassador of the craft, and as such, she has accumulated an astonishing amount of historical information that will wow any seat weaver, furniture maker, or history buff.


Video Interviews: 2020 Chair Caning Census

    Help us get a snapshot of chair weaving in the 21st century. Join Brandy and Dave throughout the weekend for a short interview session to supplement the 2020 Chair Weaving Census. The data gathered will establish a baseline for future craft research, be published in a report to share with craft organizations/guilds/other associates, and be featured in an exhibit at Silver River Chairs. Computers will be on site for you to fill out the survey. Postcards will be available for you to pass out at future craft events. Thanks for being part of this important research project. 


"Make Mine Ash": Stephen Jerome SR 

Stephen is a world recognized ancestral black ash basket maker from the mic mac First Nation in Gesgapegiag, Quebec. Learn how he harvests ash, pounds it, splits it into materials for traditional basketmaking and seating. Featured in National Geographic and Sundance Film Festival with the documentary "My Father's Tools"  this is a unique seating material you will want to learn more about. 


"It's a tree! It's a chair!! It's a seat!" Hickory Bark: David Douyard

Sounds like there's some super-power work going on here, eh? We think so. David Douyard of David Douyard Chairmaker creates elegant chairs from the ground up, using greenwood techniques. Fashioning exquisite Windsor chairs and settees to Post & Rung Chairs and more, you'll admire his eye for detail when he  finishes a seat with Hickory Bark.

Featured in Berkshire Style and Fine Woodworking, David is a Master Craftsman you'll want to learn more about.

"All chairs are handmade, one at a time, using hand tools and following the traditional construction techniques and tools of the originals. Staying true to the originals green woodworking processes yields a strong and long lasting chair capable of multi-generational use. "


"How Fancy is That!" : Faith Blackwell

The most prolific pattern is the traditional 7-step pattern. Then there's the "fancies" Snowflake, Honeycomb, Double-Victorian,Lace, Double Daisy and more. Most often seen in wicker or Victorian era styles, the art of the fancy pattern lends itself to may other projects. The back of an elegant rocker, panels in furniture, dividers or perhaps even cabinetry. Where could you apply this new skill?

Faith Blackwell is a TSWG member and declares herself a proud "hobbyist". She is incredibly detailed in her caning and Nantucket Basketry. Did we also mention...a lot of FUN?!

We'll have some examples and information a a couple of weaves "in progress" so you can see if this might be a direction for you to follow.

Shown is an example from her first visit to a TSWG Gathering in 2014, in Sturbridge, MA


"Can You Canoe?": TBA

Small but mighty, a canoe is not functional with a broken seat. There are lots of options for weaving them. Sheet cane, hand cane, plastic cane, paracord, rawhide, strapping. Backs, seats, and even "fishing seats". ...There's more than one way to relax in a canoe. We've assembled a gallery of different styles to view. 

Repair your own canoe seats or reach out to clientele in a field you may not have considered. Adding this repair style to your business will be great for exponential sales. 

It also lends itself to instructing groups like scouts , young sailors and and adventurers. Learn yourself, so you can teach and pass it along. Remember, part of our mission is "Preserving & perpetuating the craft of chair caning and seat weaving!" Find some young students! Projects like this are a great start with a sense of accomplishment and reward.


"Put Me In A Corner": TBA

Rush corners and wraps; If you take them apart and don't take pictures, you may get frustrated!

There's more than one way to wrap a corner. It depends on the maker. Learn how to wrap a few different styles of corners. We'll supply a handout to bring home for future reference, and teach you how to be a pattern detective the next time you get an unfamiliar drop-in seat.

​Not all patterns are in a book, and sometimes you need to document how it came apart and then...put it back together.

We'll work with fiber and pre-twisted natural rush. Have a drop-in you need help with? They're pretty portable, so bring it in with you. You'll get some advice.


"Rockin' Away": Sandy Sherman

Porch Rockers are the epitome of relaxation. Rocking anywhere is a joy, but the thought of a nice porch with a view evokes warm memories. Learn about different makers and styles from the Northeast, middle coast and southern states. We'll compile an identification guide for some of the chairs.

Learn a couple of traditional patterns and how they are traditionally woven.

Porch weave with reed or rattan, herringbone ranging from "2 over 2" to "7 over 7", diamond, radiating diamond....just to mention a few.

We'll also have information on our "Porch Rocker Project"

Sandy Sherman has operated Sherman Chair Caning since 1996 and currently lives and works in New Hampshire, home to many chair making factories of the past.


Shake Up That Shaker Tape! : Caryl DeFrancesco

Traditional Shaker tape is usually done with a checkerboard or herringbone pattern. Break out of YOUR old patterns and tease the eyes with diamond, cross, arrow, multiple diamond and more. We'll show you how to read a pattern or seek out a pattern online that you can apply to your weaving repertoire. Go from boring to bold. Let color be your spokesperson.

Join Caryl from HH Perkins and learn how to take your shaker tape weaving to a new level.


"THE CHAIR; Mid Century Modern": TBA

 Weaving a mid-century modern seat isn't as daunting as it looks. Clean lines, wide binder cane, a minimalism in design...but how do you begin?

Careful documentation when you take it apart is the key to lessening frustration.

Learn how to set your beginning weaving lines and fill in from there.


Mini Sessions

"Don't be Afraid of Stain"; Tips and Tricks

"Smalls" for extra sales: Snowflakes, hearts, holidays

"Can you Canva?" Social media tools to quickly and beautifully promote your business: Sue Muldoon



Registration & Set-up:  3pm-6pm Board Meeting: 6pm-9pm Dinner on own


8:00-9:00 Coffee and Registration 9:00am Welcoming Remarks by President & intro of George who will speak about his history & experience in chair caning 9:30am-4:30pm Program & Classes Noon-1pm:  Lunch 4:30pm-6:30pm Free time to continue working and chatting 6:30pm- Dinner 7:30-8:30PM General Meeting 8:30-pm-9:30pm Something FUN!


8:30AM Coffee 9:00AM Program Box Lunch for those that stay 12:30pm-3:30pm: Program open to the public


Exciting news! Enhanced Furniture Design Contest

The goal of the contest is to advance the creativity and art of seat weaving in furniture; to bring new concepts, views, and thoughts utilizing traditional and / or innovative materials and designs to woven seats and furniture. All furniture artisans are invited to submit works, with no regard to age, weaving or design level status. You do not have to be a current member of the guild, but of course, membership is encouraged.

Selection committee jurors will independently screen all written applications and images, determining the winners.

Entries will be evaluated on creativity, design, technique, craftsmanship and overall concept.

ENTRY PROCEDURE: All submissions need to be filled out through the official application form available from the guild website

Participants are to submit the online application form with attached clear digital photos


Thank you for following The SeatWeaver's Guild, Inc ®

If you would be so kind to pass this along to your friends, weavers (seats, baskets, loom...)

chairmakers, furniture makers and like-minded guilds, we would appreciate it!

See you in July 2020 in Hull, MA!


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"Preserving & perpetuating the craft of chair caning and seat weaving!"
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