Category Archives: weaving studio

Northwoods Art Tour, Summer 2015

The summer Northwoods Art Tour was held July 24-25-26.  As is usual, I use the upcoming event/deadline to do some decluttering, cleaning, and rearranging in the weaving studio, then take a few new photos.

View from the CM loom.
View from the CM loom.

I had decided the two largest looms would stay where they were as I didn’t want to ask Char to move the 4-tube fluorescent lights to accommodate changes.  When seated at the CM loom I have a nice view out to the lake and pines, not something I want to give up. When seated at the drawloom, not a great view, but two windows right there add nice daylight.

A nice, broad view of the room.
A nice, broad view of the room.
Glimakra Regina, flanked by shelf units.
Glimakra Regina, flanked by shelf units.

The Glimakra Regina was on the (above left) west wall, but we turned it 90 degrees to be on the north wall.  One shelf unit was cleared of all yarn and turned into a small loom/equipment storage area. Everything from inkle looms and a table loom  to yarn swifts, temples, extra spinning wheel bobbins are stored there, down to my studio tool box.  The shelf unit on the right is loaded with weaving and sock-cranking yarns.  Other yarns are stored in bins.  Open floor space was available to demonstrate spinning and/or the 1908 Gearhart sock machine.

Woven shibori was displayed.
Woven shibori and other weavings were displayed and for sale.

Woven shibori scarves and “rag” (batik) runners were available for purchase.  I really enjoyed having the 3 panel woven shibori screen back in the studio for a short time.  It is now back at Artistree Gallery, and Char and I are planning a new 5 panel screen.  I’ll have a lot of weaving to do!

Studio view looking south to the loom where I spend a lot of time.
Studio view looking south to the loom where I spend a lot of time.

My work table was moved to the south wall, a new electric outlet was added, and the bookcase (slightly visible on left) was moved back to its original position, now housing notebooks filled with Complex Weavers Journals, newsletters, a notebook filled with loom assembly instructions, and more.

Sarah Zindel (daughter) was my guest artist.
Sarah Zindel (daughter) was my guest artist.

Daughter Sarah Zindel, Celtic Wolf Studio, was my guest artist.  She makes wonderful jewelry, with a particular focus on stones.  She did demos and had her jewelry for sale.

Sarah's jewelry.
Sarah’s jewelry.

Sarah set up her jewelry and demo area in the kitchen, and visitors really enjoyed her work.

Unlike other years, attendance this summer was about one-third the usual number of visitors.  Most of the 29 or so artists reported the same thing, as well as lower sales.  We are all optimistic, though, that the fall art tour, Oct. 9-10-11, 2015, will bring more visitors to the WI Northwoods and our studios.

Northwoods Art Tour banner outside the studio.
Northwoods Art Tour banner outside the studio.

If you are visiting during the tour, watch for the banners!  For more information, visit Northwoods Art Tour.

I’ll be returning home Monday evening, and Tuesday begins the weaving/making, and preparations for the fall art tour.  There is a lengthy list of things to accomplish!

End of summer is nearing, fall weather and autumn color will be here soon. In addition to weaving, we need to cut/split/stack our winter wood which should be dry now.   I enjoy this time of the year and look forward to many happy hours at the looms.

A Workable Studio Space

While working to finish weaving up the remaining warp on the countermarche loom, finishing the sleying of the drawcord warp, cranking more socks, and waiting for other socks to dry, I thought I’d share a few pics of my “new” studio space. Building a new space or adding on to my home was not an option, so I took over the main floor of my home (except the kitchen), bringing looms, equipment, and yarns down to my former living room and laundry area, making my work area accessible to visitors.

My countermarche loom, where I spend a good deal of time, sits in front of the big window looking out at Torch Lake. A stereo is nearby for public radio and classical music. In warmer weather, open windows and doors, a (Gregorian) windchime and birdsong are all the music that are needed. There is a porch the width of the house, a wonderful spot to sit and spin on nice days, as well as washing fleece and setting out drying racks.

Although not set up in this pic, the sock machine is most often set up between the two looms, giving me space to move about and a bench on which to set cones of yarns for socks about to be made.

The drawloom needs a long wall, and it was positioned so the bench would be near the windows for daylight. Ratchets are positioned for easy access to advance the warp. A 22″ 8 shaft Harrisville sits nearby for smaller projects.

Shelving units holding cones of weaving and sock yarns sit in a darker corner away from sunlight. The desk area is Command Central. A vintage Gallinger rug loom sits nearby, awaiting weft prep.

A wide variety of sock yarn colors allows many different combinations of colors, over 85 so far.

Most of my weaving reference library lives to the right of the desk; various weaving publications are across the room and upstairs.

Lastly, the laundry room was rearranged to accommodate a sewing table as well as a cutting table. Drying rack, ironing board, and washer and drier are nearby.

This has turned out to be a far more convenient arrangement than what I had before. Of course, the living room is now upstairs but we’re getting accustomed to that. Now, when I got to my work, it’s to a pleasant and organized space. There are additional bins of sheets (for rag rugs), more cones of yarns, fleece, etc. upstairs and in the basement, fairly well labeled.

There is still work to be done. When temps are warmer and windows and doors can be open, the walls need linseed oil and floors need to be refinished, but the studio is well on its way to being ready for visitors. This evening, back to my loom…

The Great Studio Swap Part 2

Today, at long last, I had enough extra hands to help move the drawloom from a second floor room down to my new studio space, the main floor of my home. The loom dismantles quite quickly, everything was carried down, each of us had pockets full of bolts, nuts and washers (and instructions to remember which part of the loom each pocket of hardware came from). We re-assembled nearly everything, still needing to add the upper and lower lamms and the treadles. The shafts need work as they are tied in the old way, no Texsolv on them yet, though I’m considering it. The drawcord warp will need to be unwound, re-threaded in the reed, and beamed again, or completely replaced. A trip to the hardware store is needed to check for heavier cord for the counterweights.

Still, I am so pleased this change in location of my weaving studio is finally taking place. More swapping of furniture and weaving equipment will take place over the next couple days.

I’ve been working on a 15 yard cottolin warp, unbleached and white stripes for a series of towels and table runners. As my loom is a horizontal countermarche, there are cords running down the middle of the loom, so warps are made in two halves then beamed together. Pics of back-t0-front warping will be added soon.

Welcome to Shuttle Works Studio

My interest in weaving began in May 1979, during a visit to “The Looms” in Mineral Point, WI, owned and run by the late Ken Colwell. The museum had a wonderful old Norwegian counter-balance barn-type loom, a Jacquard loom and a working table-size Jacquard loom. In addition, there was a large collection of spinning wheels, and an outstanding coverlet collection.

In the classroom area were several Glimakra countermarche looms, and upstairs was a loom with an opphampta attachment, a single unit drawloom, and an AVL computer-driven dobby loom. I knew I would return.

Being newly married, it took a couple years before I expressed my desire to spend a week at The Looms to attend a Beginning Weaving class, and did so in Summer 1981, followed by an Intermediate Weaving class in 1982. Before returning home, I ordered a 10 shaft Glimakra countermarche loom, which I still weave on today. Each summer for about ten years I would travel to Mineral Point and attend a weaving class, or Colloquy, an annual gathering of members of Complex Weavers. Around 1986, I brought home a used, 10 shaft Glimakra single unit drawloom. I had just started weaving on that loom, when we moved to the northwoods of WI. With three moves in five years, the drawloom has been disassembled for the past thirteen years. I am now looking forward to learning about damask and drawloom weaving.

Marriage, three children, and homeschooling were priorities over the past 21 years. While I continued to do some weaving and spinning, the strong desire to pursue my interests in fibers never left. Now that my oldest daughter is attending college, and my two teens attend high school, I am now able to pursue my weaving and other fiber interests.

In order to make my studio space accessible to visitors, we are about to move everything from a large upstairs room to the main floor of our home. This is going to be interesting.

The photo above is of a quiet moment in Shuttle Works Studio.