Hawaiʻi Handweavers' Hui New Weaver Scholarship

Following our mission to encourage and promote excellence in handweaving, Hawaiʻi Handweavers' Hui sponsors an annual New Weaver Scholarship in the amount of $500 for someone who has learned to weave in the previous two years. We solicit applications from weavers throughout our state who can demonstrate their commitment to learning to weave, and who will continue their learning through classes offered in various workshops and schools, including (but not limited to) the University Laboratory School, and the hui's own studio at the Downtown Art Center in Honolulu.

New Weaver Scholarship Recipients

2024 Sara Ricer

"I have tried various fiber arts and skills in the past such as crochet, knitting, and some sewing, but none of them really held my interest. Until recently, I figured weaving would also fall into this category of things I thought were interesting, but not interesting enough that I would want to spend a lot of my time with them. After finally taking my first weaving class in January of this year (Basic Weaving I with Joan Namkoong), I was completely hooked, and immediately started keeping my eyes and ears out for a floor loom to have at home, as I wanted to continue practicing some of the skills I learned in those three days.

In February, I was back at the Handweaver’s Hui to take the Inkle Loom Band Weaving class with Barbara Long and I was instantly addicted to it. My own inkle loom arrived almost two weeks ago and I have been weaving on it almost daily. I really love weaving bands on this simple loom because it gives me a chance to play around with lots of different color palettes and repeating patterns. I’ve started to play around with some different things like pick-up and (turned) krokbragd designs, but there is just something really special about plainweave, and it feels like the possibilities are endless! I love being able to have an idea, draft a quick pattern, warp, and finish a piece, all in a relatively short amount of time. (Also, I am happy to report that I am also now cleaning and fixing up a well-loved floor loom at home, which I found with the help of an awesome member of HHH.)"

Sara Ricer

2023 Summer Escajeda

"I have dabbled in the fiber arts since I was a child, knitting, crocheting, basket weaving, and macrame. In recent years, I also refurbished teak folding chairs, adding macrame backs and sold one at a pop-up event in spring 2020. I also worked at a Sailmakers, repairing and sewing/creating sails and other heavy boat covers etc using industrial sewing machines. I never thought I would be able to weave on a floor loom because of the expense and logistics (and I had never seen one in person), but after a visit to a friend on Big Island (Oct 2020) that had refurbished an old spinning wheel, I thought there must be a loom out there for me. That day, I looked on craigslist and I knew it was kismet because I found one that hadn’t been used in years in my price range. I really didn't know what I was doing but I was determined to grow this part of myself.

The X-Frame Gilmore 46” Loom (Model year unknown but most likely 1936-1956) was missing parts, so I researched and found the manufacturer and we figured out what I needed to get it operational. I was able to replace the straps and install new heddles etc. I bought the book 'learning to weave' by Deborah Chandler and watched youtube videos, and I successfully warped it (Back to Front) and made a practice sample by March 2021. I didn't know there was a weaving guild in Hawaii before I bought my loom and in doing research on how to get it up and running, I found the HHH.

Because it was still covid, I wasn't able to take an in-person class for almost a year (until Jan 2022) - which was a 2 hour class 'Taste of Weaving' from Mari Macmillan. I felt like I had already advanced past that so I wanted to take a longer class. Then I took the only available class that worked with my schedule (I work full time, 8-5 M-F) which was the wearable scarf class by Patricia Steinhoff (Jan – Apr 2022). I challenged myself to learn the palaka weaving pattern and wove 2 scarves. I learned a lot in that class and it made me feel more confident in my weaving abilities. When you’re a new weaver, there are so many things that can go wrong that you just don’t know about and having knowledgeable teachers/mentors has made a world of difference in my weaving and troubleshooting skills. It just so happened that in a couple months later (June 2022) there was a juried show [Fiber Hawaii - 40th anniversary] and one of my scarves was selected to be a part of the show.

I am working on a towel set now, I'm scheduled to take an ikat workshop at the end of April, and another 10-week class, this time on Hucklace. In addition to those weaving classes, I’ve also taken a couple of eco-dying classes and attended a lecture on weaving with silk by Joan Namkoong. This is just the beginning of the weaving chapter of my life and I am grateful for the scholarship opportunity."

Summer Escajeda

2022 Lauren Hirai

"I grew up in Honolulu, and in my art, I have been inspired by patterns and processes in nature. I first learned to weave in a course at the Rhode Island School of Design Summer Programs in summer 2019. I began a course in lace weaving in spring 2020, but it was canceled midway through due to the pandemic. I am looking forward to learning more weaving techniques as well as natural dyeing back home in Honolulu.

My piece was inspired by the patterns and structures of kahelelani Ni’ihau shell lei. I constructed the woven shells by incorporating a combination of metal wire and various yarns, exploring how woven pieces can embody the curled form of shells. I created darts by leaving triangular sections unwoven and pulling on the warp after removing each piece from the loom. The color palette is based on the warm tones of the kahelelani Ni’ihau shells and my memories of home.

I primarily studied science in school, and I continue to be interested in what we can learn from the natural world. In future weaving projects, I am looking to experiment with different materials and draw inspiration from the local ecosystem to explore and reconsider human relationships with nature."

Lauren Hirai

2021 Lin Iinuma

"Hi! My name is Lin Iinuma and I am a Junior from University Laboratory School. I first learned to weave in Ms.Franklin's weaving art class.
Even when school was online during the Corona pandemic, Ms. Franklin provided our class with more than enough materials to turn our imaginations into weavings. During this opportunity I created this weaving, "clouds over hills". My inspiration came from my memory of vivid scenery. The memory came from a time when my family and I were driving to the North shore of Oahu. Two hills of deep red lined the road and mountains lined the back. The sun was setting, providing the deepest shade of scarlett which created an effect on the hill and mountains to make it appear more purple than green. The ocean also spread widely in front of us in a deep purplish blue. Tinted clouds floated overhead. This was one of my treasured memories that I have with my family and the beauty of Hawaii. I expressed this memory though my weaving by abstractly incorporating shades of light and dark purple hills with curvey motions of blue to express the ocean. The key point of my weaving are the different textures woven in white, to represent clouds and seemed to float freely in the sky."

Lin Iinuma

2020 Joelle Dubois

"Aloha! I learned to weave in April of 2019, taking classes in Washington with the Kitsap Weaving Guild, then attended the Double Weave workshop in Volcano this January. As a retired engineer, I’m drawn to how weaving is the perfect combination of mechanics, design and artistry. I currently weave on a LeClerc Dorothy (15”) and LeClerc Mira (36”), but hope to advance to an 8-shaft loom in the near future as I would like to experiment with historic drafts for coverlets."

Joelle Dubois 

2019 Rebecca Maria Goldschmidt

"I am a second year graduate student in the MFA program at UH. In my current work, I explore the histories of weaving and contemporary weaving practices of the northern Philippines as a parallel to my studies of the Ilokano language. I spent time in the Ilocos in January, where I was documenting vocabulary, style, and basic techniques. While I haven't taken a formal weaving class, I am learning how to weave from books, YouTube videos, and technical assistance from Mary. By incorporating plant material from my immediate surroundings as well as printed photographs, I speak to the layered experiences of connection to land and ancestors that can be achieved through reclaiming the art and process of weaving."

Rebecca Maria Goldschmidt

2018 Kerith Kanna Yawataya

"My name is Kerith Kanna Yawataya and I am currently a senior at University Laboratory School. I enjoy weaving because the calming repetition of it allows me to relax. It also allows me to create art pieces that I can decorate on my walls. I learned to weave in Mrs. Franklins’s art class last year. The title of my piece is "Memories of Home". Whenever I look at it, I am reminded of my home in Hawaii and the memories I have here."

Kerith Kanna Yawataya

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Hawaiʻi Handweavers' Hui, 95-390 Kuahelani Ave., #3AC-1055, Mililani, HI 96789-1190

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Hawaiʻi Handweavers' Hui, 1041 Nuuanu Ave, Second Floor, Downtown Art Center, Honolulu, HI 96817




Hawaiʻi Handweavers' Hui is a founding member of the Downtown Art Center.  www.downtownarthi.org

Hawaiʻi Handweavers' Hui is supported in part by the State Foundation on Culture and the Arts.

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