My studio is at the same time a research centre, a workshop and weaving school, and a library of almost 2.000 books on textiles and related subjects. As well as hands-on teaching, students are given detailed course notes and have access to samples and ethnical and historical artefacts from my collections. An important part of my courses is teaching a reliable working method for the creative craftsman, i.e. understanding the relationship between sample and project, how to go from drawdowns, samples studied and woven during the course and patching together photos of the samples to designing interesting cloth and good textile artefacts.
I think hand-weaving should aim at creating art objects, designing small series of elegant interior design and fashion accessories, and designing for industry. My courses, from beginner to advanced level, are on demand and aimed at highly-motivated people. In each course students work on individual looms which they learn to dress, and are asked to weave several samples of the techniques and weaves under study. They are also given a hefty handout and a bibliography (all the books can be consulted in the studio). Courses are organized around the study of a given technique and its variations and applications, which I believe is key to creativity and personal design. Group work is essential to the learning process, especially in advanced courses, because it is challenging to see how the other students are applying the same technique or developing the same pattern. To the same end students are encouraged to take photos both of samples available in the studio and samples woven by their fellow students.
Paola Devizzi and Giulia Pils, long-time collaborators of Paola Besana, are currently offering weaving classes. Info concerning these classes can be found at the bottom of the page.
Down here, you can read how Paola Besana described her approach to weaving didactics and how she structured her classes.
I also offer theoretical and practical workshops. They generally last two or three days for six hours each day, with a lunch break, and can be held on any day of the week on request by at least three people. Theoretical workshops on a specific subject involve examining and discussing several manufacts and samples, and doing recognition tests. Classes can be of up to ten students. Practical workshops, which are limited to a maximum of four students, concentrate on hands-on study of specific techniques.19
Students work on individual looms and with selected yarns. In all courses and seminars they are given course notes with detailed instructions, a bibliography and a list of suppliers and other useful addresses, and they can consult books in my weaving library. Seminars on ethnic looms include all the necessary material to make the looms. The library is also open by arrangement to students with specific interests. Visits to the studio, preferably on the days when the library is open for consultation, can be arranged by email.
Manual weaving courses on four and eight shafts designed for those who want to approach weaving and need to learn basic techniques and for those who want to acquire specific textile skills, deepen their knowledge of particular techniques or look for support to develop a personal project.
Courses in textile culture and merchandise intended for those who want to explore ancient and contemporary textile production in its historical, productive and iconographic aspects up to those related to trends and languages of visual culture.
For further information on the complete offer and the next courses dates write to
Telaio a pettine liccio: corso base, corso avanzato di tessuti traforati. Sono corsi di 14 ore su due giorni.
Telaio a quattro licci: corso base, corso base avanzato, corsi superiori, quali: effetto di colore, tessuti lanciati a due blocchi, tessuti popolari (lanciati a quattro blocchi), a garze da rimettaggio e a giro manuale, tessuto doppio, armature su rimettaggio a punta (waffel e diamantino), krokbradg, broccato d’ordito. I corsi sono di due o tre giorni.
Telaio a otto licci: armature base su telaio a otto licci, tessuti damascati.