Rosemary Wexler is a professional handweaver and educator specializing in barn loom techniques. She makes clothing yardage, domestic goods, and reproductions of historic textiles.
Meet me in the loom is a joint practice between an experienced barn loom and myself. Its name references the whole crowd of conspirators—material, mechanical, social, conceptual, spiritual, biological, aesthetic—that converge in the act of weaving. And you’re invited to join us here too, for a short or a long stay.
I started studying weaving because I saw a textile made in the year 100, and it, astonishingly intricate and alive, sparked an epiphany. Over two years of intensive study, I became a production weaver under the unparalleled direction of Master Weaver Kate Smith of the Marshfield School of Weaving, with a focus on 17th-19th century craft. My steadfast community of mentors also includes Nelly Wolf, Norman Kennedy, and Justin Squizzero. While learning is a lifetime’s work, I have also been helping preserve historic methods through teaching at Marshfield since 2021.
- Eaton Hill Textile Works
- Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum
- Colonial Williamsburg
- Ralph Harvard, Inc.
- Fallon & Wilkinson
- Barn Loom Foundations
- Floatwork Design / Overshot Inlay
- Reverse-Engineering Profile Drafts
- Warp- and Weft-Faced Block Rugs
- Rigid Heddle Weaving
After learning on various modern looms, I now work with barn looms. These were made in early New England, descended from European tools, at a time when all cloth was made by hand. Their design prioritizes efficiency, versatility, ergonomics, and portability. Surviving barn looms are exquisite testaments to craft, which with attentive care move as gracefully as they did when they were first built. Each one was fitted to a specific weaver’s body— and was imbued with the history of every user and era since. The loom in my studio is approximately 300 years old and previously resided in the Vermont History Museum.
My techniques are accordant with those that would have been used on these looms originally, as closely as we can reconstruct. Entirely body-powered, they rely on highly specialized, exacting, patient labor. The resulting cloth is durable, beautiful, structurally transparent, and period-accurate. While carrying on the core wisdom of this lineage, I also bring my own artistic vision to the work with exuberant geometry, intuitive colorwork, and experimental juxtapositions of method. Every piece is one-of-a-kind because of the live conversation between my hands, the fiber, the loom, and all the forces that meet in it.
Anything is possible as long as it's out of the ordinary.
One joy of this craft is creating entirely custom cloth— zones built with intention (a.k.a. kavanah) from their smallest interlacing elements. With this level of granularity, we dream tactile dreams into physical reality, and I am happy to discuss weaving the textiles you’re imagining. My current interests grow out of simple forms, loud surfaces, absorbency, themes and variations, asymmetry, devotion, and gravitational force.
For general bearings in this niche, here is a nonexhaustive list of genres of projects with reference starting prices* (USD). Specific quotes are provided based on complexity, scale, materials, and other needs.
|Towels, Napkins, Placemats x4||200|
|Shawl, Tallis, Curtain||600|
|Rug, Robe, Skirt||800|
|Bespoke Garment, Coverlet||1,200|
|Wholesale, Upholstery, Reproduction||200+/yd|
* No project is too big or too small. I sincerely hope to offer exuberant handwoven work to anyone, regardless of resources, and am happy to discuss alternate pricing. I also welcome partial trades. 50% of revenue is donated to Black trans people's healthcare and housing and community bail funds, and will be until everyone is free.