MAWS 2022 Instructors

The Helena Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild is excited to present this wonderful slate of instructors for the 2022 MAWS Conference in Helena, June 21–26. Check out these fiber visionaries!

Deb Essen

Weaver, designer, teacher

Deb Essen has been weaving for 25 years. She is the author of Easy Weaving with Supplemental Warps and has recorded several DVDs on weaving with supplemental warps, pin loom weaving, profile drafting and color in weaving, all on Interweave Press. In 2004, she completed the Certificate of Excellence in Handweaving: Level 1 through the Handweavers Guild of America and is an inducted member of the Montana Circle of American Masters in Folk and Traditional Art. Her business, dje handwovens, creates kits for handweavers available in yarn shops across the United States. The website is

Jane Fournier

Spinner, teacher

Jane Fournier is a native of New Zealand who grew up spinning wool. Since moving to the United States more than 30 years ago she has enjoyed exploring the wealth of other fibers now available. She holds the Certificate of Excellence in Handspinning, with a special study of handspun yarn for lacemaking, and has written for Spin-Off and Shuttle, Spindle & Dyepot. Jane and Nola Fournier, her mother, are co-authors of the book In Sheep’s Clothing: A Handspinner’s Guide to Wool.

Jane’s yarns take full advantage of the huge range of color, texture, and character available to those who create their own yarns. And with extensive experience in a wide range of fabric construction techniques, she focuses on creating yarns that are truly useful and will excel in whatever textile they are destined for.

Jenny George

Knitter, teacher

Jenny is a knitter extraordinaire and an extremely patient teacher, believing in her student’s ability to conquer challenges. A knitting instructor who can simplify and help solve problems is a treasure that few people are lucky enough to have. Jenny never leaves home without a knitting project, even when she and her husband go on motorcycle trips. Many individuals and groups have been the recipient of her hats, sweaters, and scarves. Jenny spends at least 15 to 20 hours weekly knitting, and has the unique ability to visualize and explain the knitting process. Her pet peeve is poorly-written patterns, and luckily for her students, she can help navigate to a solution. More than once she has helped knitters over the phone and by email. You will leave Jenny’s classes with a solid understanding of the project and instructions that are clear and concise.

Karen Griffing

Spinner, flax processor

The transformation of a stalk of flax or a clump of wool into a piece of cordage or yarn, and then into a useful item, has always fascinated me. As a child I made hammock-like nests of baling twine and tried to twist grasses into rope. In the 1970s I learned to spin with a drop spindle, and the world of fiber arts opened up. I have been growing and processing flax off and on since 1989, using homemade scutching, breaking, and hackling tools. There is a special feeling of accomplishment and connection with the past when fabric is made from the very beginning—a seed—and I would love to pass on what I have learned.

Joanne Hall

Weaver, teacher, designer, gardener

Joanne is a weaver, teacher, and author with a master’s degree in textile design from the University of Minnesota. After teaching at the University of Montana and Cal Poly, she started the Elkhorn Mountains Weaving Studio in Montana, where she weaves tapestries and delightful Scandinavian textiles, and teaches classes. Joanne has made seven trips to Sweden to learn about Swedish weaves and looms. Author of Tying up the Countermarch Loom and Learning to Warp Your Loom, she is very knowledgeable about looms and how to make them work. She teaches for art centers, weaving shops, and guilds throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Tammy Jordan

Fiber artist, spinner, wool producer

Tammy is a fourth-generation fiber artist who enjoys sharing her passion with everyone she meets. Her love of sheep, wool, writing, and inspiring others to learn led her on the path of running her own business, Goldieknots Montana, which specializes in Montana grown wool, locally processed yarn and spinning fiber, and Made in Montana handmade gift items. She excels at educational programming in fiber arts, ranging from fiber preparation to completed projects which she lovingly refers to as “Fleece to Fashion.”
Tammy participated in the Montana Art’s Council’s MAP Program in 2016 and has taught fiber-related classes throughout the United States. She has been spinning, knitting, and felting for more than 10 years and is a member of the Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners, current member and past secretary and co-chair of the Prairie Handspinners Guild in Billings, Montana, is a member and secretary of the Lincoln Council for the Arts, and recently began the Lincoln Fiber Circle in her new home of Lincoln, Montana. Prior to moving to Montana, Tammy lived in Southern California and the Pocono Mountains in Pennsylvania where she was a former Humane Education specialist for the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Linda Kubik

Weaver, clothing and fabric designer, sewing educator

As a weaver, Linda Kubik has valuable insights about the design of handwoven fabric for garments as well as techniques for garment construction. She has taught weavers to sew since 1991 and has originated many of the handweaving sewing techniques frequently used today. She has provided countless home seamstresses the opportunity and the joy of sewing with handwoven fabric.

Linda authored the book Sew Something Special: Sewing with Handwoven Fabrics in 1996. It was revised and updated in 2007 and 2015, and is currently out of print.
She started her pattern line, Elements, in 2000, and now has 18 patterns, which are available for purchase on her website.

Trudy Moffet

Spinner, weaver, seamstress, teacher

Trudy Moffett has been spinning for 20 years, using various fibers to produce a variety of yarns. She is an active member of the Helena Weavers’ and Spinners’ Guild and participates in many different kinds of workshops. She has been teaching for 8 years. You can see some of her work at the Helena Farmers Market and Montana Made Fairs. A skilled spinner, Trudy will show you how to use a short backward draw, how to use a drafting zone, how to apply the correct tension, and how to ply your singles. And she’ll teach you spinning lingo, too.

Liz Moncrief

Spinner, weaver, dyer, fiber artist, instructor

Liz Moncrief is a retiree from the U.S. Forest Service in Colorado, who made the move to Washington in 2014. During her career she also maintained a small business of spinning, weaving, dyeing, and loom rehabilitation. She has exhibited several woven art pieces in Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, and now Washington galleries. She has given workshops and retreats for the Estes Park Wool Fest, Scotts Bluff Fiber Festival, Pagosa Springs Fiber Fest, Northwest Regional Spinners Association, FiberFusion, Fibers & Beyond, Utah State University, and Colorado State University.
In 2017 Liz received an award from Complex Weavers Association—a National organization—for a woven art piece on exhibit at the Jansen Art Center, Lynden, Washington. Since then, she has juried into the Northwest Art Beat Studio Tour in her weaving studio. She is a member of the Seattle Weavers Guild, Skagit Valley Weavers Guild, Whatcom Weaver’s Guild, Peninsula Weavers Guild, and is the membership chair for the Association of Northwest Weavers Guilds, covering 5 states and 3 Canadian provinces. Liz is also a frequent contributor to Handwoven magazine. She is currently a weaving instructor at Skagit Valley College, Mount Vernon and Oak Harbor campuses. Her weaving and dye studio can be found at

Laurel Orthmeyer

Spinner, dyer, felter, needle-felter, weaver, mohair producer

Laurel started her fiber journey 25 years ago when she purchased angora goats (love that mohair!) to eat knapweed on her farm. Her fiber addiction quickly grew to include weaving, dyeing, knitting, and wet- and needle-felting. Laurel’s work has been shown at the Holter Museum of Art in Helena and she has won numerous awards for her creativity with fiber, including Best of Show at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. She has studied with Pat Sparks, Ayala Talpai, Yekaterina Mokeyeva, Julie Williams of Australia, Annemie Koenen of the Netherlands, and Karliina Arivlommi of Finland. She is an indie dyer and sells her dyed-mohair locks, spinning/felting fibers, and colorful yarns at fiber festivals in the Montana area.

Bev Polk

Weaver, designer, teacher

Bev Polk grew up surrounded by fiber arts of all kinds and began exploring them about the time she learned to ride a tricycle. Her step-grandmother, and later, her mother, were weavers, so taking a class while in college seemed like a natural progression for Bev. Her first loom was the only furniture she and her husband had when first married nearly 50 years ago. Bev currently weaves full-time out of her “Weaverbird Studio” in Wilsall, Montana and sells her work at various art shows mostly around Montana. She was inducted into the Montana’s Circle of American Masters (MCAM), in Folk and Traditional Art.

Annette Schipf

Weaver, designer, teacher

Annette Schipf has been teaching weaving and dyeing classes since 1987 through adult education, private classes, at various weaving guilds, and seminars at state weaving conventions. She is a member of Gallery 16—a local co-op art gallery—and has been active in the Montana Association of Weavers and Spinners (MAWS).

Annette graduated from Montana State University with a degree in business marketing with an emphasis on clothing and textiles. She worked in retail fashion in Seattle after graduating and 4 years later chose to move back to Montana and settle on the family ranch. This opened up the opportunity to begin the adventure and love affair she has had with handweaving ever since.

Annette has had pieces selected and/or won awards at a national weaving convention, the MAWS juried competition, the juried art show at the state fair, and more. Her own handwoven pieces have been sold locally, across Montana, and in California and Massachusetts. She still thinks it is important to stretch her knowledge and continues to take at least one workshop a year from a nationally-known instructor. One should never stop learning!

Bonnie Tarses

Weaver, textile designer, teacher, spiritual trailblazer

Bonnie is a textile designer specializing in one-of-a-kind and custom handwoven textiles since 1960. From the time she began her weaving journey, she was drawn to the color symbolism in all ethnic textiles. “I continue to be amazed by the fact that weavers of old attached special meaning to the placement of every thread.” In search of a set of personal symbols, Bonnie developed several techniques that have become her trademarks—Color Horoscope Weaving, Woven Words, and Turned-Weft Ikat (a twist on a traditional theme).

Originally from the East Coast, Bonnie first learned her craft at Rhode Island School of Design. She later moved to Montana where she had a brief stint as a weaving shop owner. In 1980, Bonnie settled in Seattle where she operated her colorful weaving studio until 2010, when she returned to live in Missoula, Montana