CW Seminars 2012

The seminar titles and descriptions and schedule have been posted to the CW website. Registration does not begin until April 15th but you can start thinking about your choices in seminars. You might want to do a little research on some topics before deciding. There are more seminars in each time period and the conference will be a bit larger overall; I think the cap is 200 people including instructors. Each of the CW teachers gets to take workshops, too- we only teach one or two seminars during the conference.

There will also be two tours and two main speakers, plus exhibits and a fashion snow as usual. I have been to all of the CW seminars so far and am looking forward to this year's conference. We started these in 1988.

Bonnie Inouye


Posted on Sun, 01/15/2012 - 23:08

I'm looking forward to going.  See you there!

Laurie Autio

Posted on Mon, 01/16/2012 - 13:16

I so wish I could attend, but will be unable to this year!! Will be teaching in Minnesota for two weeks in place of going to CW....CW Seminars is my favorite conference! Have fun.

Posted on Thu, 05/31/2012 - 03:12

There are still some openings for attending CW Seminars in September, 2012.

I finally finished creating my handout pages as a seminar teacher. All registrants will receive a USB drive with all the handouts, while those attending a seminar will get printed pages for that seminar. Also I have taught both of these topics at previous CW Seminars, I have brand new material and new woven examples in both fields. I love sharing new concepts with my CW friends! Sharing is what CW is all about.


Posted on Thu, 05/31/2012 - 12:40

As a new member of CW I was looking forward to attending the seminars, unfortunately when I logged in 4 hours after the registration had started all the seminars that I was interested in were full- every one, of every day. Should have set a timer.  Sure I could have gone on the wait list but it's a lot of money  in order to attend 1, maybe 2 seminars, if I were lucky, of real interest (to me), so I just closed the page in disappointment. Since these are seminars, as opposed to workshops, we can't understand why more places can't be made as interest demands. Perhaps the venue has too small rooms? Anyway,  was sorely disappointed. I just went thru the process again in order to see if more places had opened up but no. I would like to say I felt that the registration fee is  reasonable and affordable for the quality of instructor/topic, but way more than I can justify for socializing.

Posted on Thu, 05/31/2012 - 13:15

Liese, please copy and paste your comment you posted above here:

That link will direct your thoughts to the proper folks and is the appropriate forum to give feedback to the volunteers that run Complex Weavers.  Give them a couple of days to respond.  

Regards  Deb McClintock, CW Membership Chair VOLUNTEER!

Posted on Thu, 05/31/2012 - 14:01


As a younger weaver working full time, I gauge my conference activity pretty carefully. I feel like I have to pay for a conference 2X = with $$, and then with precious few vacation days, and that actually means more to me than the money. So I too, want a great return on my conference dollar.

I have attended Convergence since '98. At this point, I am getting pretty picky about what I will take at that conference for that price point. 2010 was my first CWS (at 1/3 of the cost of Convergence). I wasn't quite sure about all my lecture picks, I knew some were going to be time-fillers for me, because I had not developed an interest in those topics. I thought I would just give it a shot, since I was attending Convergence anyway.

Sometimes it is the experiences that you don't plan for, that have the most significant impact. There were so many aspects of my CWS experience two years ago that I had not anticipated — and that are still making big waves in my weaving life. The networking was amazing! It was exciting to have the opportunity to meet so many virtual friends face to face. And topics I had very little interest in have actually been some of the subjects that have stuck with me the longest since the conference. (For me, it was the "you don't know what you don't know" process.) 

If you have never attended, the other aspect I found really interesting & appealing is that I felt like I was in college again. A baseline of common knowledge is needed, and the content was typically delivered in fairly quick succession and depth. The difference was having other "professors" sitting right next to you. So even if you aren't at an accelerated level, hearing some of the questions posed by experienced weavers was incredibly helpful, especially in unfamiliar topics. 

Actually, I admit I had the opposite reaction to the 2012 listing—I felt like there were multiple attractive options for each time segment, so if I didn't get my first choice, I was pretty happy settling for one of the alternatives. (This will only be my second CWS. And no, I didn't get every one of my first choices either time.) Having woven regularly for nearly 20 years now, I might bring more background knowledge of the topics and instructors to the table, so that could have flavored the offerings in my eyes.

If you want to send me a PM, we can chat about the topics remaining to see if they would be worth your time or not, depending on your interests and where you are at in your weaving journey. (I tried to take a peek at what was still available to point out possibilities, but think that is only revealed when you pursue registration.)

Understandable if it doesn't work out this time — but hope to see you there at some point in the future!


Posted on Thu, 05/31/2012 - 17:46

Seminar titles can throw you off. I remember a discussion in the hallway of our dorm during CW in 1994 in Minnesota. The women across the hall from me stopped to tell me that they heard excited reports about my seminar on advancing twills. They were surprised because they had ignored this topic, thinking that "twills are for beginners".

Sometimes I take a seminar on something that I have never tried, just to see if I might like it or maybe find a new concept to apply to my own work. Doing this at CW means that my teacher assumes that we are all very intelligent people with some experience in a variety of interlacement methods and we want to learn as much as possible in the time given.

I have taught for 6 Convergences and I have to approach that very differently. They usually put 80 to 100 people in the room, so I have to start at a very basic level. I cannot pass samples around the room- it will take too long. Other aspects change, too. At CW there are usually 40 or 45 people in the room, depending on the venue. I can feel the anticipation and the serious interest. Discussion continues after my seminars, with questions or comments coming during meals or other social times. CW attracts serious weavers and many repeat attenders.

For those topics you wanted but were filled, you can study the handout pages on your USB drive, find the teacher and ask her questions. Since this is a small conference, it isn't hard to find people.

You can attend any of the study group meetings that seem interesting, even if you don't have time to join one now. It is fun to see their samples and hear what they are doing. You also meet authors of books and articles, which is fun when you are reading and can "hear" that voice.

The last two CW seminars filled completely in a day or two, all seminars, everything. I wrote because some people might assume that this one is filled, too. What changed? The timing- not summer- and the location- not with Convergence. Various reasons for both.


Posted on Thu, 05/31/2012 - 22:37

I should mention my guild mate was wait-listed in 2010, and it seemed to me like she had a high number (30?), but she got in. 

A newbie question. If I met someone at the conference who got a class I really wanted, and I ended up with a class they really wanted, could we just trade tickets for that particular lecture?

Posted on Fri, 06/01/2012 - 01:27

Sally, the best place to ask your question is directly on the Complex Weavers Seminar "contact us" page.

Everything is run by volunteers, give them time to answer your question.  I can assure you that not all our volunteers use Weavolution but they do get their emails from the Complex Weavers web page and are happy to help you.

The main page for Complex Weavers is here for all the other good stuff we have to offer. 

Speaking as the Complex Weavers Membership Chair...Deb Mc


Posted on Fri, 06/01/2012 - 03:59

CW is really a very friendly group. One year, 2004, they actually tried just letting everybody go to whatever seminar they wanted. It was not safe- there were people sitting in the aisles and standing in doorways, all packed together. And I suppose that some other seminar at the same time had a rather small number in attendance.

I have heard about people swapping seminars in previous years. Some years they gave out little tickets which were easily exchanged. Anyway it is a small conference and you can easily find somebody who was in the seminar that you really wanted, and ask them about it. You can also volunteer to assist at your regional conference or guild and see about getting that teacher another time.


Posted on Fri, 06/01/2012 - 18:11

Deb, I did as you suggested, hopefully my addition to the process will help others in the future.

Thanks for your thoughtful post Sally. Perhaps my focus in weaving should not be so narrow but 0 for 6 was too much for my optimism.

Bonnie,  it was very interesting to read of your past experiences but may I venture to say that perhaps at a Complex Weaver's conference you would feel the same vibe in that room whether there were 40 or 100 people. And that limiting  exciting & popular seminars to so few, when held in a region densely populated with weavers and  CW members, seems a sure fire recipe to disappoint  and thereby limit attendance.


Liese Sadler

Posted on Sat, 06/02/2012 - 21:48

Liese, I have been to all of the CW seminars and they used to be even smaller. It feels very different from other weaving conferences. We never have used facilities with very large meeting rooms for seminars, although we have one for the keynote and someplace suitable for the fashion show. The vibe in my seminar room in 2004 (when they said to go anywhere) included apprehension- it was a rather long, narrow room packed with chairs and standing people. Nobody could move and it got very stuffy. (We should not put more people into a room than the facility allows.) The people in the back could not see my slides or the woven examples that I was holding up. In my seminars in 2006 and 08, I had nicer rooms like small auditoriums with banked seating and they offered me a microphone; everybody could see and hear easily.In 2010 we were in a hotel so the seminars were in "meeting rooms". I don't know what the seminar rooms will look like this year. But we have 4 or 5 seminars per time period and assume roughly even numbers of participants. If one topic gets an overwhelming number of requests, they sometimes add a second time for a repeat of that topic.

The first time I taught for a big weaving conference (1991) I thought it did not matter how many people were in the room. But it really does feel different. When there are more than 50, I cannot see if everybody is following me or not. I cannot answer all the questions that come in during the short break unless I omit the last and most advanced parts of my prepared talk. More people means that there is a wider range of levels and more questions and comments. When I ask if there are questions, some are not really questions- somebody wants to share that they tried this one time and used red and orange...or whatever. They just want to talk. But I have found CW people to be respectful and eager to learn generally.

I was the keynote speaker for two conferences and that was a different sort of experience. They were not huge conferences but still it was in the evening, for a much larger group than I am used to seeing from a stage. I had to be entertaining and remember that not everybody was truly interested in learning from me about my specialties.

If we paid more to reserve a larger space to have a bigger conference, it would change some aspects. The board has discussed a lot of different options. For this time, people were concerned about having smaller numbers applying because it is in September (not easy for teachers to leave home) and it is not with Convergence for the first time. We are using a conference center owned by 4-H, not at all like the facilities used by Convergence. Most of the previous CW Seminars were held on a college campus having a space for small conferences. We need quite a bit of lead time to reserve a campus facility and were unable to do that in 2010 when HGA was so late in announcing the location for Convergence 2010. This was a contributing factor to the 2012 location.

I understand the problem. But we are not likely to pay for larger conference facilities if we do not fill registration this time, just as a practical matter. The board considers all letters and notes and has long discussions. Laurie can tell you about this first-hand.

This is an intimate and friendly conference with lots of sharing and we all learn from each other.

In 2008 and 2010, my seminars filled within about 5 hours of the opening of registration. I am well aware of the problem because many of my weaving friends complained that they could not get into my seminars. But 0 for 6 is very discouraging! I am glad you wrote to CW about this. I would be discouraged, too.

yours, Bonnie

Posted on Sun, 06/03/2012 - 14:02

I was on the board for 9 years (1999-2008, as study group coordinator, VP, Pres, and Past Pres) and can assure you that the board members read and, as Bonnie says, discuss at length any member letters which come in. They work really hard to find the best solutions for the organization as a whole and look at issues from every angle.

There has been a strong feeling that maintaining the intimacy of this conference is important to the experience.  We had many discussions about what the size limits could be and still keep that aspect.  Over my memory limits have crept up, from 100 to perhaps 200 (I believe that includes instructors). As a participant and occasional instructor, I can tell you that size does matter, for all the reasons Bonnie lists. 

Something you might not know is that the instructors teach at most two classes so that they can participate in the conference.  They generally do not recieve any travel funds, though their registration, room, and board are covered if they teach two classes. Having the instructors also be participants makes a big difference to the feeling of the conference.  Going to a larger conference and having fewer instructors who teach in most of the slots with bigger classes (the model for most area conferences and Convergence) lowers the diversity of the offerings and viewpoints, and generally means you will only get the biggest name teachers, teaching to the broadest audience, and the most popular topics. The current mode allows for specialized topics, some very high level classes (don't see many of those at area conferences and Convergence), new teachers, teachers who teach just a single topic or two, and repeating great teachers (like Bonnie) at many Seminars.

Best bet - get your name on the waiting list for everything.  Slots do open.  I had to drop out late last time, but someone was very happy to take my place.  Some Seminars have filled within hours, others have taken months.  Register ASAP when the materials come out. 

My two cents to the board on the topic would be - I do not want to have to sit at the computer at the minute registration opens.  I would like to see them go back to treating everything that comes in before official opening as arriving at the same time (opening minute). Yes, that makes it a little more difficult to run registration automatically, but it should be possible (having done it by hand).

If there is a huge interest and a lot of people being turned away, I would prefer to see two separate Seminars planned and offered rather than increasing the size to 400 or whatever.

Either way, hope to see you there sometime!

Laurie Autio

Posted on Sun, 06/03/2012 - 14:10

Forgot to mention - some people plan open slots.  The time spent in casual conversation with other weavers during the limited free time can be as or more valuable than time spent in classes. I don't know if it is happening at this Seminar, but in the past there has been a study room with the notebooks from many of the study groups available to pour over. I've spent a lot of profitable time with these books.  They are a great way to learn, and also to decide if a study group is right for you. Eat your meals with someone different each time - almost everyone from newest member to most famous will welcome you. Soon you will have lots to do in your free time!

Laurie Autio

Posted on Tue, 06/05/2012 - 14:00

Ironic! One of my guildmates was following this thread, went to the CW site, and ended up registering for the conference this weekend! When she sent me the list of what is still available, I had to laugh. Some of the lectures still open are the ones that were MY first choices. (So go figure!)


Posted on Thu, 09/13/2012 - 11:47

We are many!

Last night was the keynote, (and a sample she showed as part of her presentation was posted here on Weavo awhile back by one of her students—the waffle weave with bright colored plastic!)

At the VIS Arts Center was the extraordinary CW exhibit (and stayed tuned for the award for most popular choice), along with a reception following. 

Today, seminars, study groups, fashion show, maybe a cat nap...


Posted on Sun, 09/16/2012 - 03:05

Here is a small sampling of some of the items displayed in Off the Runway.


Posted on Fri, 09/21/2012 - 19:01

On one of our 6:30 a.m. walks, we encounted this Humpty Dumpty lawn ornment.

Thankfully, I WAS able to reassemble Mary Underwood (mostly), so she could drive back to Michigan later in the day.

(Nope. No king's men were in sight that early in the morning.)

Anyone else have any ususual CWS adventures to post?


Posted on Mon, 09/24/2012 - 00:54

We missed YOU, and there was a big UK group attending this year, so you would have had lots of travel buddies to cross the pond. DO consider it for 2014.

Along with several other "virtual" friends, Sharon C and I got to finally MEET at CWS, so it was a terrific experience. (She was a smart cookie, she volunteered to work registration, so she could put faces to names. Good advice for a first-timer.) And she totally surprised me when she had my package pulled so quickly!

Posted on Sat, 09/22/2012 - 20:57

Sally, I've sure enjoyed reading all the CW Seminar posts (on several weaving lists)...pleased to hear that you all had a grand time!!