Woods Hall Craft Shop was our final destination, after our long venture from the mountains of northern New Mexico to the grassy woodland shores of Madeline Island. I was invited to bring a little taste of our region, via a Southwestern-Style Tapestry Weaving Class, to a part of the world that specializes in multi-harness weaving and beautiful handwoven rag rugs. The class was to take place in the Weaving Studio at Woods Hall.

You can imagine my surprise, when I walked through their doors for the first (and second and third) time, greeted by stacks of incredible rag rugs, shelves of handmade pottery, racks of locally made quilts and clothing and a wall of local yarns! These were just the things that caught my eye at first glance. Once I began to explore more, I found handspun yarns, handcrafted soaps and candles, beautiful jewelry and even Rock People! The shop at Woods Hall is a dream for anyone who loves things handmade and the world of crafts.

My next surprise was a beautiful pottery studio, where locals are invited to come create their works and take classes to improve their skills. Then we headed up the stairs to the weaving studio. I had no idea what to expect. As I rounded the corner, a smile spread across my face… I was in love! Looms after loom after loom filled the beautiful open space. Large windows on either side of the studio let the light filter in, casting rays of sunshine onto the beautiful wooden machines. To me this was an absolute treat, knowing I was going to be able to spend the next few days warping and playing with all of these different makes and models, from a sweet little homemade counterbalance to a huge Öxabäck with more treddles than I had ever seen!

Throughout my stay on the island, I learned a lot about this amazing jewel of a weaver’s paradise. Started by the church in the mid 1900’s, Woods Hall serves as a place for the small population of year-round residents to gather in the cold, isolating winters, creating community around crafts. In the summer, the retail craft shop serves as a tourist attraction, where locals are able to sell their crafts they created over the winter months. Genius!

Below are some photos of this incredible place. If you fall in love like I did, you can also visit the Woods Hall website by clicking here. Enjoy!

Woods Hall

Woods Hall

The two-story studio space of Woods Hall, attached to the shop. Pottery on the first floor, weaving on the second.

The two-story studio space of Woods Hall, attached to the shop. Pottery on the first floor, weaving on the second.

MI WH Shop 1

A beautiful display of rugs and a loom that the local weavers use.

Shelves of stunning pottery.

Shelves of stunning pottery.

MI WH Shop 3

Stacks of handwoven rag rugs. (We couldn’t resist and brought a few home with us!)

MI WH Shop 4

A rack of quilts with more rugs in the background.

MI WH Shop 5

Natural yarns made from sheep raised at the local Fly Away Farm.

Hand-spun beauties, also from Fly Away Farm. (I had to get one of these too!)

Hand-spun beauties, also from Fly Away Farm. (I had to get one of these too!)

Beautiful handwoven shawls and scarves (this photo doesn't do them justice).

Beautiful handwoven shawls and scarves (this photo doesn’t do them justice).

Rock People! Wonderful little sculptures created by a local man.

Rock People! Wonderful little sculptures created by a local man.

Rock People... These were just fantastic!

Rock People… These were just fantastic!

The view as you reach the top of the stairs leading to the weaving studio!

The view as you reach the top of the stairs leading to the weaving studio!

More studio shots... I just couldn't get enough of this place!

More studio shots… I just couldn’t get enough of this place!

MI WH Studio Warping 1

I spent two days warping the looms for class…

MI WH Studio Warping 3

With lots of help from Elsi Rae…

MI WH Studio Warping 2

Mostly in the way of encouraging kisses.

MI WH Studio Warping 4

I think she loves looms as much as I do!

MI WH Turtle

My breaks consisted of observing a little turtle Grandma found for Elsi…

MI WH Deck

…and gazing over the beautiful Lake Superior from the studio deck.

MI WH WSW Yarn

Ready for class! Our Rio Grande Yarns, ready for the students to arrive!

Ciao,
Teresa

PS Having been in fiber my whole life, I was amazed that I had never heard of Woods Hall. It made me curious about what other hidden fiber gems must be out there. Is there another one that you know of? Please leave a comment if you have. I would love to hear from you!

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