Honestly, my favorite rigid heddle loom is……

29 12 2011

If you’ve read the rigid heddle loom review, you may have used it to help you find the right loom for you, based on your criteria. If your criteria is cost alone, you bought the Beka, If you are specifically interested in using your rigid heddle loom for tapestry, hopefully, you got the Penelope. If you are traveling, and want a compact loom, you probably got the flip, or the Kromski folding loom. Whatever your specific criteria or expectations are from the loom, the review offered some guidance.

Through the years that I’ve had product reviews up, people have drawn from the reviews their own conclusions as to what my preferences were. So, tonight, I’m going to tell you what I choose to weave on, and why. For tapestry that I will take with me,  I like a rigid heddle loom, and use the Penelope II. It doesn’t have the ability to use the rigid heddle as a beater, and that’s fine with me. It limits the loom in it’s use for continuous, pattern weaving, but it’s just right for me for tapestry. I can warp it with a nice long warp also. Because I use an upright tapestry floor loom, the upright feature of the Penelope is a natural choice.

Of the horizontal, rigid heddle looms, I choose the Ashfords. I have two of them. One is narrow and one is wider. Both have stands. I may even have 3, couldn’t tell you for sure, tonight. I like the heft of the loom in my hands,  like the stand for the Ashford, and I like the colored rigid heddle. The thing I don’t love about it, is the dumb plastic things that connect the warp rod and the warp beam, as well as the front “apron” rod and the cloth beam. Oh well, nothing is perfect, and I often choose favorites that aren’t the most popular looms or items on other people’s list. There you have it;0D

This isn’t to say that these are the best looms. They are the looms that harmonize with my weaving self. A natural “fit” with my weaving quietude. Though I weave professionally, I’m not a production weaver. My work is on a commission basis, because I prefer the peace of weaving in conjunction with my natural rhythms, rather than working on a pushed schedule. Unfortunately, I am most inspired to work by a looming deadline.  My commissions are generally woven on floor looms, but I’ve sold pieces off the rigid heddle loom for respectable money. Don’t undersell yourself, because you are then underselling all weavers and all handcraftsmen.

What’s your favorite loom, and why?  You can respond by e-mail, or in the comments section. I really want to know, and think other folks do too.

Weave joyfully.

C.

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Studio closing- temporarily

2 11 2010

Word does seem to have gotten out. Yes, the studio is closing, but the plan is to close from 3/31/2011 and re-open on 4/1/2012. I’m taking a year to cycle 15,000 miles or so around the U.S. including Alaska, and can’t keep the studio open during that time. It’s been so much fun acquiring my equipment, that I want to do it all again upon my return, so what I have is or will be for sale.

The studio needs to continue to pay for itself until the lease is up  at the end of March, so people are viewing, and making deposits on their equipment or buying it and leaving it until the end of  March.

Equipment for sale is as follows (date it can be removed from the studio is in parenthesis):

Leclerc Tissart upright tapestry loom with 2 harnesses                       (immediate removal is available)

Leclerc Artisat 45″ floor loom   – 4 harness                                              (March 25)

Macomber 16 shaft, 48″ loom with 2 sectional beams + much more   (Immediate removal is available)

Macomber 22″    8 shaft loom (baby mac)                                                (Immediate removal)

Harrisville 45″    4 harness floor loom                                                        (March 25)

8 harness Leclerc Compact 24                                                                     (March 25)

Leclerc Penelope, table top tapestry loom                                                  (November 8)

Kromski Fiddle                                                                                                 (November 8)

Beka rigid heddle loom 20″                                                                            (November 8)

Leclerc Bergere                                                                                                 (November 8)

Schacht 4 harness table loom without reed                                               (November 8)

Assorted rigid heddle looms                                                                         (November 8)

Lillstina 4 harness canti-lever loom                2500 texsolve heddles   (Immediately)

Freestanding horizontal warping mill or reel                                             (Immediately)

hand crank bobbin winder                                                                            (immediately)

wooden swift                                                                                                    (immediately)

Strauch drum carder – petite                                                                         (immediately)





Youth Weaving class

14 07 2008

Wow. Every loom is in use at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond.  My weaving classes are fully booked this summer.  Every loom in my own studios are also booked.

Let’s see what I can tell you…..  we have 8 looms and I have 8 students this week ranging in age from 7-17.  That seems a rather broad age range.  The class is advertised as 9-12, but once these young people get a taste of weaving, they generally don’t care about the ages of their classmates. They just want to get back on a loom.  I love it!  Once I get a chance, I’ll put up pics of these kids doing their work. Today, everyone got their warp measured out.  Everyone is doing a rag project, but here is the difference:

The 7 year old is doing a 5 epi rug  – –   120 ends

The 10 year olds are doing  6 epi rugs — — 144 ends

The 12 year olds, and/or returnin students are doing 8 epi rugs or 192 epi

The 17 year old is doing 12 epi, and is doing placemats…… 8 of them!

We have a wonderful week ahead of us, and I hope you will check back to see their interpretation of my instructions on how to dress the loom, and their projects in progress, and completed.  They often have to sit/stand and work with the looms in various odd juxtapositions to reach everything they need.  If you remember, 5 years ago, I had an 8 year old that threaded the heddles squatting. The entire time she threaded 144 ends, she squatted inside the body of the loom!  It was a wonderful improvisation to make it work for her.  Turns out she is a squatter.  I’ve know very few American squatters, but do have a 65 year old friend who squats rather than sitting very often.  He is also known to turn himself upside down and stand on his head around the campfire every once in a while also.  Life is too good, isn’t it?

More tomorrow – with pictures.

Cherri