One requirement for being an exceptional teacher is to love the field of study, and Pamela Bliss adores weaving. “It is a wonderful combination of art and engineering,” she says. What is more important — she loves people. She says, “Every time [I teach], it is personality meets loom, and it is always fascinating to watch.” Moreover, her classes are made up of people from all walks of life. She has taught oncologists, engineers, nurses, social workers, other teachers, people with disabilities, and children, to name just a few.
Pamela respects her students’ intelligence and their own creativity. She says that she teaches her students her way of doing things, but emphasizes that her way is not the only way. Her motto for teaching: “There are no rules, only consequences.” Also, she never tells a student that he/she cannot do something. She simply encourages them to think through the process and ask the question, “What is the reason that I am weaving this way?” This philosophy allow for a tremendous amount of freedom to grow in the craft.
Underlying the weaving and teaching is a much deeper concern: Why make things manually in the first place? “There is a refuge in making things,” she says. For her, and she hopes, for her students, constructing things with one’s hands is a positive way of dealing with stress. It makes a space where a person can get in touch with his or her own peace and creativity and gives that person the ability to better deal with difficult situations. It is soothing to the soul.
Weaver/teacher Pamela Bliss is a master craftsman who grew up in a creative family and recalls an experience while traveling in Norway where four women were knitting on intricately patterned sweaters and chatting a mile a minute. How in the world could they do that? An interest in fibers developed.
Eventually, she enrolled at the former Skyloom Fibers in Denver and learned to weave. She teaches at Recycled Lamb in Lakewood, at Lakewood’s Washington Heights Art Center and for the Wednesday Weavers, who meet at Augustana Lutheran Church. She also dyes yarn for Recycled Lamb and Treenway silks. She started weaving on a rigid heddle loom and graduated to a four-shaft loom, then to a 10-shaft Macomber — plus eight others in her studio.
–From an interview by Tanya Swegler, 2013