In May I spent a lovely week with Stacey and Graham at their beautiful home in Nérac. I did the weaving textures course.
I’m a bit of a loom-geek, and was looking for weaving classes to take while on an extended stay in France. I was delighted to find out about Stacey and her 140 year old jacquard looms. I’ve woven most of my life, but this was a complete turn-around from the shaft loom weaving I’ve been doing. I loved the mental exercises of figuring out the jacquard heads and how they relate to how the finished fabric looks, learning new muscle memory in the weaving sequences and the punch card machine, the discipline of cutting and lacing 200 jacquard cards, and the dance of these old looms. I imagine that over the years so many weavers hands have passed over them, and it was delightful to be one of them. The setting is beautiful, Stacey and Graham are wonderful hosts, and even the roosters, Casserole and Tarquin, are fun to be around.
The weaving course was a revelation and Stacey a great teacher. Learning to set up the warp was exacting but once I started to actually weave it became so rewarding. I’m amazed at what can be created and I love the idea of potentially being able to make my own textiles. We were royally looked after and fed very well by Graham and I so enjoyed meeting Stacey and Graham’s local friends, visiting beautiful villages and trying out the local cuisine. The accommodation was beautiful and Bailey their golden retriever a total delight. Overall a truly wonderful experience.
The hospitality of Stacey and Graham is beyond words. The weaving lessons have been very well planned to my needs and worked through with me so that I totally understand. I am going back home with much more knowledge and skills than I came with.
After a ten-year hiatus from weaving, rekindling my love affair with the loom was long overdue. Finding that perfect refresher course could have been a challenge as I was determined to combine an intensive review course with a supportive professional instructor where hands on weaving lessons would take place in a unique setting. A tall order but as it turns out not unrealistic… thanks to the Loom Room France.
It was an unforgettable 5-day weaving holiday that met all my expectations and beyond… Located near Nérac, France in rural Gascony, The Loom Room was the perfect weaving experience with its weaving studio in an 18th century stone barn. The sleeping accommodations overlook a large garden and orchard where chickens roam, cats play and lunch is served outside under the shade trees.
With Master Weaver, Stacey Harvey-Brown guiding the lessons in warp, weft, twills, balanced weave, the cross and all the loom accoutrements, her experience and expertise made this an outstanding weaving refresher course. Her instructional style was to ensure the student completely understood the principals and could produce a project step by step as well as problem solve any issues. The lessons were tailored to polishing up forgotten skills and honing new ones maximizing my weaving time with her.
Although weaving is the centerpiece of the experience, each day is layered into a whole host of complementary activities. Fresh regional food and wine are served and meals are tastily prepared by Graham, Stacey’s husband and resident craft beer brewer! Excursions to local medieval villages, street festivals, shops, restaurants, farmers market and artisans’ studios round out the total encounter.
If you are looking for that special weaving experience, excellent local food, cozy accommodations, a cultural adventure wrapped up in handwoven fiber, this is it! I highly recommend it.
I am writing this reference to share my wonderful experience during a four day weaving class with Stacey Harvey-Brown. This October (2017) I attended her workshop in Nérac and spent 5 nights in Stacey’s beautiful French country home.
Stacey is an excellent teacher. She is one of the few instructors I have had, in any discipline, that ensures that students really understand the material. She explains concepts in different ways based on each student. The way she explained concepts to me was different than to the other woman in class. She could grasp when I understood. This is a hands on class, and by that I mean MY hands! After learning a concept or technique, I would then explain the process to Stacey.
I cannot recommend Stacey’s classes enough!
Stacey and her husband, Graham, could not have been better hosts. My husband accompanied me, and Graham was a terrific host to him while I was thoroughly engrossed in weaving. Our accommodations were spacious and comfortable. Graham is a great cook and we enjoyed wonderful homemade meals prepared with fresh local ingredients.
If you have a non-weaving partner, be assured there is so much to see and do in the area.
I look forward to many more classes with Stacey!
I had a fantastic 4 days with you and learnt so much. I can still see those funky chickens!! The best birthday gift I could give myself! You are such an inspirational teacher – it all comes from the heart. I just learnt so much, even things I was sure I would never get my head around like reading a design on a piece of fabric and understanding how to make the draft for it! Your patience, encouragement and confidence in my ability to achieve what I wanted to do on the 4 shaft has just got me so fired up it’s hard to keep a lid on the ideas in my head I now want to weave. Maybe it’s a good job time is the lacking factor at the moment!!
Not only did I have such fun weaving and challenging my brain but the luxury of staying in your wonderful old house with great company -what more could a girl want! I have already recommended you to friends but I will definitely be back for more!
Thanks so much for the information. Most of all, thanks so much for the wonderful experience of meeting you and being opened up to all the amazing possibilities of fiber arts. I am truly inspired by the pieces you have created and can’t wait to get moving on my loom once again. I don’t know if my mind will ever wrap itself around all the technical aspects of weaving you showed me, but it was sure nice to have a peek into all those little rooms. I hope to devote more time to “playing” and seeing where that takes me. I am thankful for your family’s hospitality and felt warm and cozy in your home. You have created a wonderful atmosphere for learning.
I found it hard to believe how much I learnt from you in just four days! I think the most important thing I gained from the course was confidence to try things out and to not be afraid of trying things that people would previously have said were beyond me. I really enjoyed it and most importantly I got out of it exactly what I wanted. The course was for me a great success and I thoroughly enjoyed the time spent hiding away from the world in your workshop. I would like to try and arrange something for the new year if you can bear to have me back !
I spent a weekend with Stacey learning the ins and outs of warping up using a sectional warp beam on her 24 shaft AVL loom. Stacey not only provided hands-on help continuously but had also gone to the bother of writing all the instructions up and binding them into a short manual to take away. In the weekend, I managed to wind on a 5 m silk warp at 60 ends per inch and 12 inches wide using this method and also to weave a sample length in silk to take away. Stacey was very encouraging and I have taken the plunge and gone onto sectional warping on my own loom – using Stacey’s helpful manual to guide me.
I just want to say thank so very much for fabulous weekend. I enjoyed myself thoroughly and found the whole subject fascinating. I am now looking at for a loom. I am now looking at images in a completely different light, thinking how could I weave those shapes, colours etc? Cannot wait to have a go again, and no doubt I will be seeing you again for further instructions.
I first met Stacey the Weaver seven years ago when I attended a weaving weekend at her and Graham’s lovely house in Staffordshire. Her knowledge and passion for weaving is infectious and she awakened in me a spark that, despite not being able to weave again due to work and travel, remained lit. Both now living on the continent, it seemed we were destined to meet again.
In a gorgeous house just outside Nérac, Stacey and Graham have created a weaving workshop, a kitchen producing three yummy meals a day, a home with comfy rooms, with pool and menagerie (and microbrewery!). Myself and another student got to work in the workshop, where Stacey’s almost 360 degree library provided ample inspiration. We quickly got ourselves into an easy flow of work, and when the weather became hotter as the week progressed, we spent some afternoons exploring the countryside – don’t forgot this is Musketeer and Armagnac country! I brought my non-weaving partner along for the week and any concerns I had about whether he might get bored were completely unfounded – whilst I was weaving he proved a willing apprentice in beer making and otherwise relaxed in the beautiful garden.
We left restored and with my weaving spark rekindled. Thank you both for a fantastic week.
My trip to The Loom Room in France was enjoyable and fulfilling. The idea of developing my weavings skills and relaxing in the South of France seemed perfect, and I gained more than I expected. Some people go to Thailand for a yoga retreat and the best of us go to South of France to weave. Stacey and her husband Graham were very welcoming and accomodating.
I explained to Stacey where I was with my work and how I wanted to move forward with it. Stacey took this on board and taught me skills that weren’t just useful, but also inspiring. She is a great teacher, who really helps you to help yourself. I came home full of new ideas, many of which solved creative/technical issues I’d been having.
Not only did I enjoy learning but also seeing the local history and beautiful countryside. The itinerary was well curated so there was a balance to the week.
The weaving course stay was really wonderful. Having four of us was so much fun. From the moment you picked us up to our drop off, you and Graham were wonderful hosts. It takes a lot of energy to “be on” for 4+ days. The rooms were very nice and the weather was for the most part agreeable. The outings were unexpected and really a value-added. Having lunch out and medieval castles were a great way to explore the area. I am sorry we brought that dreaded cough/fever with us. The class was really perfect for the other two students. Both came away with some real excitement. I loved talking about art theory resources as a bonus. I would highly recommend that people come and enjoy your knowledgable fun approach to weaving.
I thoroughly enjoyed my workshop with you, it was a dream come true! The way you have the workshop setup is brilliant, learning how to “read” how each one of the ‘babies’ is set up, doing the sett samples, designing my one design, fixing and correcting the mise-en-carte, punching all those cards and then finally weaving my sample gave me a huge understanding of Jacquard weaving as it was done in the olden age and also makes me appreciate those wonderful pieces of weaving one sees in museums a lot more. Your workshop gave me a good grounding and whatever loom I might acquire in the future, it will be of great benefit to me.
We did enjoy our stay with Stacey and Graham at La Tuilerie. They provided everything to ensure we had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday as well as a learning experience. The rare orchids in their meadow were an unexpected bonus. Graham’s meals were delicious. The trips to nearby villages and the glassblower, escorted by Stacey, ensured we got to know something of the history of the area and fitted in some sightseeing. One evening Stacey and Graham took us to a fete in the nearby town of Nerac and we were able to glimpse something of the life of people in this part of rural France. The Honeycomb Hybrids course taught by Stacey went well and we have her booklet and the samples we wove ready to study further at home. It was lovely to be able to concentrate on weaving for a whole day or half a day and then be greeted by a tray of apéros and a glass of wine before a delicious meal. It was helpful to be able to look at Stacey’s many samples and her inspiring library too.
I’m in the process of warping up my loom with a honeycomb inspired deflected doubleweave sampler. Your course has definitely re-energised my weaving.
I had the pleasure of staying at La Tuilerie. A lovely comfortable home. Stacey and Graham made me feel so welcome, and nothing was too much trouble. The weaving course was tailored to my needs and I was able to try new things on a different loom. Stacey provided me with some comprehensive notes to support my learning. She was so patient and helped me overcome my mistakes and even completed my unfinished piece when we ran out of time. I would thoroughly recommend a stay here either as a tourist or student.
We really enjoyed our time with you and Graham. We were well fed and watered and very relaxed. I enjoyed spending time in your studio. It was interesting to try tie ups on different looms and to study your lovely woven samples. I came home with some good workshop notes feeling enthused to continue with honeycomb hybrids. The outings were good, particularly the glass blowers studio and the night market.
A couple of weeks ago I completed a five-day workshop with Stacey Harvey-Brown at her studio in Nérac, France. I just wanted to share what a wonderful experience I had, both weaving and exploring SW France. Stacey is an excellent teacher with A LOT of patience. She clearly understands that not everyone learns the same way and adapts her teaching methods accordingly. We spent most of the time studying Honeycomb Hybrids but along the way there were very important recommendations for improving ergonomics at the warping board, and while threading and weaving. I especially appreciated Stacey’s suggestions to improve efficiency while warping from the back – something that I am only now converting to as I originally learned to warp from the front. The five-day workshop also included two very fun half-day visits to surrounding villages that date back centuries and are so picturesque and full of charm. Stacey and her husband, Graham, were the most hospitable hosts and went out of their way to make us feel comfortable in their house providing great food and a very relaxed atmosphere.
I highly recommend anyone who feels they need either a little encouragement in their weaving or wants to learn something new or just have a great experience with a very knowledgeable weaver – to take a break and spend a few days away from it all in Gascony, France with Stacey and Graham.