Chris & Bob Gustin
Homestead Weaving Studio, LLC
Handwoven “recycled rugs,” clothing, scarves, looms, and classes
October hours: daily 10–5
Year round by appointment
At Homestead Weaving, the working studio of Chris and Bob Gustin, cast-off materials, as well as pre- and post-consumer waste, become beautiful and durable functional art.
“It’s part of my mission,” says Chris. “The materials are too nice to become part of the waste stream.”
Chris studied journalism and weaving in college and later worked at a weaving studio in Pennsylvania and a weaving shop in Boulder, Colorado, before opening her own store and studio in Nebraska. The Gustins spent 18 years in the Evansville area, working at a newspaper, raising two children, and maintaining a weaving studio. Since moving to Brown County in 1999, Chris has expanded her studio and her product line, but still focuses on the recycling mission.
When Bob retired from his job as a newspaper editor, he joined Chris in the studio.
“I’m still learning,” Bob admits.
Chris creates rugs, runners, shawls, scarves and household items, all woven on 20 floor looms.
Bob builds small potholder looms, tapestry looms, and spool racks and other equipment with Indiana poplar from a local sawmill, using techniques he learned from his father.
The studio carries kits, which combine the hand-crafted looms with cotton loops reclaimed from defective socks from the Solmate sock factory.
“With 20 looms, there are always multiple pieces ready to be woven,” Chris says. “I am currently weaving rugs, clothing, scarves, placemats, dishtowels, and mug rugs.”
Chris enjoys this variety. She also truly enjoys the design aspect of weaving, including planning the next warp, setting up the loom, and weaving off the final projects.
“Nothing is ever so planned that it can’t be altered or changed in the middle of the warp,” Chris explains. “Experimentation is always enjoyable, like making a non-traditional weaving technique succeed. I’m willing to try anything at least once. Not everything works, but weaving can be a metaphor for life.”
Inspiration comes from nature. The Gustins spend as much time outside as possible, enjoying the surroundings, forest, gardens and animals on their 20 acres.
Chris is also inspired by her vast collection of yarn and sometimes just wanders the studio collecting cones for a future project. Occasionally, like a painter, she uses a photograph as inspiration for weaving.
Chris also enjoys teaching her craft.
“I make my rug looms available to students who wish to come weave for a day,” Chris explains.
The “day-weaving” process involves a minimum of instruction and a maximum of reward – students leave with a finished rug or other item that they have made themselves.
During the tour, the Gustins will be demonstrating weaving on their looms, and letting visitors try their hand at weaving a rug.