Impressions: Cathryn Amidei’s three weeks in China

TC2 loom setup in room

Our representative in the US, Cathryn Amidei was in China for three weeks in December. And from what she tells us, it was quite an enriching experience! Here’s a first person account describing her stint there:

Cathryn writes…

The Fiber Department at the School of Public Art and Sculpture at the China Art Academy in Hangzhou now has two TC2 looms. They invited me to teach a 3-week course in Digital Weaving on the TC2 this past month. Vibeke taught this course last year


They also recently hired Jiachen Liu – as a studio technician and teacher (with glasses). She is a recent graduate from The School of the Art Institute in Chicago.  We met briefly when I was on a service call there and we spent a fair amount of time face timing and emailing to prepare for this course. It wasn’t long before we were finishing each other’s sentences. 



This picture is of Yan Huang, myself and Jiachen (L-R) in Suzhou for a sweet weekend. Yan Huang is the new director of the school and spent three months last year travelling through the States visiting schools and connections- she visited with me for 12 days and had Thanksgiving at my house! 



The class met every day from 8:30 – 11:30 with studio hours that followed each day into the night. Many of the students had no experience in weaving and so at first they were pretty intimidated. 


It didn’t take long though before they were excitedly weaving away. I must say though, that this was the first time I saw teamwork in the way that these students practiced it! 



As you can see the expressions on their faces have changed remarkably as the work is cut off the loom and they get to see what they can and what they did do! 


All students were required to weave 10 different samples and 1 final project. They made sample books and a presented their final project.. I have to say I was very emotional during their presentations after watching everyone work so hard for 3 weeks.  


Two of the projects were students attempting to deal with their impression that the loom is a printer. One project was about “printing money!”  The other was using printing paper as the weft. At the end of the presentation I told them they could have the rest of the time off…but they wanted to hang out! (more tears from me of course!)  So, we had a fun party practicing practical weaving knots. That is the honest truth.

I also experienced every kind of weather. It was a little too hot, perfect, rainy and it even snowed. 


I took a slow boat down a river with Jiachen and Guo Yaoxian. He taught an amazing fiber and technology course at the school that ended just as I arrived. I even bought a new phone cable at an apple store. Jiachen asked me how I knew exactly where to find the cable in the store…I told her, “it is exactly where it is always is in every apple store. “