Tuesday, April 14, 2009

deconstruction for reconstruction

Yesterday I took apart my 60" Cranbrook countermarche loom. This is no small feat! Everything comes apart and is reduced to solid maple lumber. I got this loom four and a half years ago, after I graduated from NSCAD. It used to belong to a friend of my parents who had been storing it in a basement in Cape Breton for 20 years. After I got it, it took a while before I had the space to actually set it up because of its large size. Before this loom, I had never worked on a countermarche weaving system. With some research, I discovered that this loom and its shed system is really the Cadillac of looms! The engineering allows for the warp threads to both rise and fall when a shed is opened by pressing the treadles, creating a larger space for throwing weft material through. Another great feature about this loom is the fact that the treadles can lock into place when pressed with your foot, enabling the weaver to stand up, move around and work on sections of the weaving with tapestry or inlay. It is an eight harness loom, but so far, I have only set it up to use four of the harnesses...I hope to play with eight harnesses in the next year. This is the loom I use for my artwork and larger woven works - sadly that means it doesn't get used as much as it should because it often gets sidelined by scarf production to bring in my income. Another amazing thing about this loom is the fact that I paid only $200 for it - brand new, this loom costs approximately $7000, it was a steal!

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