After my last post, (where I was so happy to get such positive feedback on reuniting with my loom - thank you!) I was asked by several of you to share photos of the loom, so I am :)
(Oh, and please forgive the lighting quality, I have been busy with outside commitments and the days that I have had a chance to be home, have been a bit overcast. Plus, I realize now that I should have taken a few more photos to better illustrate my post, but alas, I didn't and must make do with what I have.)
Okay, here is the loom... it is a 26 year old, 4-harness Artisat Leclerc jack floor loom, given to me all those years ago by my parents, as a graduation gift from art school. (By the way, no textiles were taught at this school, and all my teachers thought I was nuts to want to pursue weaving... and quilting hadn't even occurred to me at that point.)
The "jack" part means that on this type of loom the harnesses are lifted or pushed upward when the foot peddles, (or treadles, as they are more accurately known as) are stepped on. The 4-harness part refers to how many harnesses or shafts there are on the loom. Each harness is filled with wire heddles. When you warp the loom you place the warp threads through the slots in the reed, and then through the holes in the middle of the heddles. The design of your weave pattern is based on what thread goes through which heddle, on which harness, and which foot peddle/treadle that harness is tied to, and in what order you treadle those foot peddles!
For example, if you wanted to weave a simple plain weave, (over one, under one...) on a 4-harness loom, you would thread your warp threads through the slots in the reed, and then you would thread the first warp thread through a heddle on harness #1, your second thread through a heddle on harness #2, your third through a heddle on harness #3 and your fourth thread through a heddle on harness #4. Then you would repeat the process... 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4, and so on and so forth.
You would tie harnesses #1 to the first foot peddle, harness #2 to the second peddle, #3 to the third peddle and #4 to the fourth. Then when you were ready to weave you would step on peddles one and three which would lift harnesses #1 and #3, creating an opening or "shed" that you would pass your shuttle through, (the shuttle holds the weft which is the thread, yarn, or in this case cut up fabric that you weave with). After each pass of the shuttle, you beat the weft in place with the beater and the reed. Next you would step on peddles two and four, thus lifting harnesses # 2 and #4, throw your shuttle, and beat the warp into place.
Repeat that above process over and over and you get cloth!
And then you can keep the cloth whole, or cut it up and make things, like this pincushion... of which I had hoped to make a whole bunch of before Christmas, but so far this is it.
Better one then none, right?!
And speaking of Christmas... may you have a blessed one. May you find yourself in the warm embrace of family and friends. May your hearts be filled with love. May peace and goodness rain down on you and yours. xo