Blog

The last two years have brought many changes to all of us. We here at HanDen Studios are no exception.

The Pandemic was hard. Even for introverts, Social Isolation became a bit lonely. And if you are, like me, both an introvert and a hugger, the push-pull between staying home and staying  safe and the desire to just hug a friend was at time overwhelming.

As the world tried — on multiple occasions — to reopen, the concept of social gatherings became terrifying. Many people had panic attacks at the thought of gathering with other people and found new joy in staying home.

During this time we lost friends and family. Some to the virus, others to various types of cancer.

Two years where LOSS was at the forefront of our minds. Two years of meditating on what was really important in our lives. Two years of trying to envision what direction to the future would take.

Changes. So very many changes. Now it is time to make those changes public. So here’s what you can expect in 2022.

Change #1: No More Fiber Fests

One of the things that the last two years taught me: As much as I really love teaching, and really love the energy of fiber festivals, I do not love the chaos of packing up the studio, loading the trailer, unloading the trailer, setting up the booth, repacking the remaining product, reloading the trailer, unloading the trailer and then setting up the studio once again.

Loading up after a fiber fest show
The HanDen Studios booth at a show in September 2015
Demo weaving on a loom in our booth at a show in May 2017

So, I moved my “retirement from travel shows” from 2025 to now.

I have notified all of the shows where I was a regular teacher and vendor that I will no longer be participating in either of those capacities. As a result, I will have more time at home to plan workshops in the studio. I hope you are as excited about that as I am!

Change #2: Termination of SAORI Contract

In this process I also decided to terminate my contract with SAORI. This was a hard decision to make and took a great deal of thought and meditation. There are a few things that are important to me for you to know and understand:

  • I remain loyal to the SAORI brand. The SAORI has built its reputation on its dedication to seeing that people of all ages, all physical abilities, and all mental abilities have the opportunity to experience weaving. I know from personal experience that this dedication is close to the heart of the Jo family.
  • I remain true to the nature and teaching of SAORI in my life and my art. From my first exposure to SAORI it was a philosophy that resonated with me. Especially in the manner of the teaching!
  • The decision was mine and, as I said, was not an easy one to make. We have parted on the best of terms and I look forward to visiting Mori when I can return to Japan.
  • If you are in need of additional SAORI products, please visit the SAORI global website for a studio near you.

Change #3: New location! Soon. Just not soon enough to suite me!

We are building a new studio. Well, and a house, but you’re interested in the studio! I’m not giving the address yet as it is still a job site, but I will give you a few teasers/hints:

  • still in this general area
  • closer to I-85
  • on acreage
  • There will not be fiber animals.
Our new house under constuction (March 2022)

The studio is large. I used to say huge, but in my mind I have already filled it and then some. In the design phase there were some of the features that I felt were important:

  • Easy entry for those with mobility challenges. Translation: NO STAIRS!
  • Lots of light!
  • A huge covered porch! Want to sit outside and knit, or spin, or weave? You can do it!
  • Fully equipped kitchen.
  • Separate dye sink.

So, what does this mean for the future of HanDen Studios?

For the most part the changes will be subtle. The biggest will be some changes to the schedule. Once we have moved I hope to add weaving days/times and start holding special workshops again.

In the meantime, this is what you can count on:

  • Monday Fiber Night. 4pm – 8pm
    Affectionately called FAM (Fiber Arts Mondays). Bring your knitting, crochet, needle point, embroidery, tatting, spinning or whatever. Come for all or part of the evening. While this is not a class or a workshop help is always available — even if that means pulling up YouTube. There is no charge to attend.
  • Tuesday Weaving classes. 1pm – 3:30pm
    Tuesday classes are still taught on the open studio concept. In other words these are NOT  project based classes. Classes can be purchased at the studio: 5 classes for $120. Once we have moved we will once again be open for new students.
  • 2nd Sunday of the month (Except May) is Spinning Sunday with the Southside Weavers. 1pm – 5pm

These will remain happening as scheduled with as little interruption while still at the current location. There will, of course be some interruption to this schedule due to the move. I will give as much advance notice as I can.

NOTE that the studio is closed from 3/16 to 4/9 for a previously scheduled vacation. We will resume regular schedule on 4/10 with Spinning Sunday.

With the new space I am also hoping to expand what we teach, available time for weaving, studio open hours, etc. Some things that are in the works:

  • Monthly (or every other month) sewing days with emphasis on using your handwoven cloth.
  • Return to regular scheduled intro to sewing handwoven.
  • Dye days. Workshops in a variety of dye techniques.
  • Open studio times: bring your project and work on it at HanDen Fiber Studio.
  • Special guest workshops. Some workshops that are in the discussion phase: *Spinning the herd – a chance to spin on a variety of wheels from a variety of makers. *Sew a Gnome. *Color in spinning. And more.

I hope to see you at the New studio soon. Watch for announcements about Grand Reopening events here, on facebook, and in the newsletter.