The fuzzy sheep, llama and alpaca stuffed animals sitting high atop shelves have the best view of what takes place in the White Rock Weaving Center. From their vantage point, they watch the fibers of their cud-chewing counterparts woven into scarves, wall hangings, towels and rugs by beginner and experienced weavers alike.
Stopping at each loom to offer advice and check her students’ progress is instructor Anna Barry. Fourteen years ago, Barry opened White Rock Weaving Center — “It didn’t occur to me that [the name] would be a tongue twister to some people!” Touted as the largest spinning and weaving shop in Texas, the store nestled on Tavaros just off of Garland Road maintains a 6- to 12-month waiting list for weaving classes.
Before pursuing weaving, Barry worked as a high school teacher and counselor at Bishop Lynch High School, but felt a career change was in order. She pursued a master’s degree in pottery at Texas Woman’s University, and during her final semester, she took her first weaving class, which would be followed by many more. That was more than 23 years ago.
Barry is the kind of devotee to her craft who drops subtle weaving factoids into conversation; for example, the term “shuttle” originally referred to the wooden weaving tool that holds the yarn as it is sent back and forth across the loom.
“Weaving has evolved from a process that was necessary 200 years ago to one that is creative and self-expressive,” Barry says.
The weaving center also offers instruction in spinning, basket weaving, painting with wool, and felting. “She thought she would never fill the building,” muses assistant Cheryl Williams, as she shows off rooms brimming with looms, spinning wheels, yarn and other supplies. But the soft-spoken Barry is humble about the store’s success: “I’m grateful to have customers, to have this business, and that things worked out.”
• Weaving classes cost $120 plus the cost of yarn for five weekly three-hour sessions, with 5-7 students in each class. Call or drop by the store to be added to the waiting list. 214.320.9276 or whiterockweaving.com.
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