I am a handweaver. For me this means, as much as possible, preparation processes and weaving are done by hand. I do not have a dobby loom, or a computer-driven loom, not even a fly shuttle, and most likely never will. I prefer weaving without all these mechanical aids, and have no interest or desire in adding them to my studio.

I want to be intimately involved in my weaving, mind, body, spirit, with as little hardware as possible coming between myself and the fabric produced. I prefer pencil and paper for keeping records of my weaving, and keeping them, along with samples, in a notebook. I like having sketchbooks that I can carry with me for keeping ideas, notes, and drawings of possible weavings. I enjoy doing research as needed to accomplish what I want to produce, or simply to learn.

I love the quietness of my Swedish looms, soft clacking of wood, silence of Texsolv or string heddles, the whisper of a shuttle passing through the shed. In winter, quiet music playing; in summer, open windows, birdsong and the wind in the pines.

My Glimakra countermarche loom is ten shaft, twelve treadle, and I work within those limits. The single unit drawloom has ten ground shafts and ten treadles, but with the drawcords will allow me to weave nearly anything within the limits of the width of the loom and the number of drawcords available. They are enough to keep me weaving for the rest of my life, and with the great pleasure of being handweaving.

I have memories of looms and textiles seen long ago in Scandinavia; memories of looms and spinning wheels in museums in New England, as well as memories of antique looms and coverlets that were at The Looms in Mineral Point, Wisconsin, where I learned to weave. Simple equipment used to accomplish beautiful weaving, taking the time it takes. I am working now, weaving what I see in my mind’s eye, and creating new memories.

One thought on “Handweaving”

  1. That is beautiful….and is very similar to how I feel….even though I love my computer, I don’t really want it intimately involved with my looms (at least at this point).I don’t keep a sketchbook, but I’ve been pondering it. If there’s anything from your sketchbook that you could share on your blog, or any more you could even say about it, that would be great. (I hope it doesn’t seem like I just asked you to photocopy your diary and post it online!)A weaving teacher once told me that she thinks the limitations of our looms actually help us create more beautiful cloth – forcing pattern and repetition upon us if we’re resisting them.Weave on!Sue

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