Norma Smayda established and continues to run the Saunderstown Weaving School. She is a weaver, teacher, exhibitor, and juror who learned to weave in Norway 45 years ago, returned as an exchange teacher in 1981, and led handweaving tours there for five years.  She has an MFA in Visual Design, and has received several distinguished achievement awards.

In 2009 Norma coauthored the book Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes: Miniature Overshot Patterns.  She has written articles for various weaving journals, and has work featured in several books.  She is Past President of the Handweavers Guild of America, the New England Weavers Seminar, the Weavers' Guild of Rhode Island and is on the American Textile History Museum Board of Advisors 2001 to present. Her special interests include Scandinavian weaving and the lives and works of two historic Rhode Island weavers: William Henry Harrison Rose and Bertha Gray Hayes.  A current interest is exploring weaves using the ondulé reed.



Occasionally visiting teachers such as Peter Collingwood, Penny Drucker, Anita Mayer, Dini Moes, and Leslie Voiers have held classes here.