Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Looming stuff ...

He’s doing fine. Duracell bunny!

So it turns out he injured his neck on Wednesday 15 October. He went to the University Medical Centre, saw the doctor, got referred to a physio, and for an x-ray. Physio said it was a strain/sprain and to ice/heatpack it. He got the xray done before the end of the week, but the doctor didn’t look at it till after the weekend. Then got told to get a CT scan, then the MRI. He has agreed that NEXT TIME (and there will be a next time, different injury) he’ll go straight to Emergency. At the worst he’ll have to wait a few hours and be told there’s nothing wrong. At the best, hopefully he’ll be treated correctly right away.

ART  ... well, sort of art ... or maybe more craft.

Remember how I said I was interested in Backstrap weaving in the last post, but discovered I couldn’t actually sit still long enough? Well, then I started researching loom weaving, found a loom on Trade Me, wasted $47 buying the darn thing ... (yes, I will admit I wasted my money ... sigh).

The heddle is cool, and reuseable ... But I could have actually bought a brand new heddle cheaper ... (that’s the ‘waste’ part ...)

So anyway, I wondered if I could make a ‘proper’ loom – like an Ashford or something ... quality time was spent on teh interwebz researching ... And eventually, I found some lovely technical drawings for an Ashford Rigid Heddle Table Loom ...

And here’s the result so far ...

From the back:

From the front:

I’ve ordered a pair of ‘reed support blocks’ (the part that holds the heddle/reed up when you’re weaving). Once those arrive, I can start putting it all together.

Challenges that remain in its construction:

  • Ratchets and pawls to go on the right hand side to control the cloth and warp beams (the two big pieces of dowelling). I’ve made two pairs out of a plastic chopping board, so we’ll see how they work.
  • Cutting down and smoothing out the beams – they have to be made narrower to fit into holes on the left and right sides of the frames ... hacksaw and chisel work to come.
  • Apron bars – these attach by string to the beams, and you attach the warp threads (the long ones) to them, and then wind them up onto the beams.
  • Making a second reed/heddle. The one I bought is a 5 Dent (5 holes per inch) which is for really loose weave. I have ‘reeds’ (actually wires) that I brought ages ago when I was interested in tablet weaving. I’m going to use some of the timber I bought for the apron bars to try to make a finer reed/heddle.
  • Putting the whole thing together.

 This is what all the parts are called:

 Mine is going to be 40cm wide, by 62cm long. The heddle I have is only about 25cm wide.

And, when I looked on my bookshelves, sure enough, there's a book called 'Rigid Heddle Weaving' - that I must have bought in the tablet weaving days - which is ... 8 years plus ago? Fortunately nothing much changes.

Of course, once you start getting interested in weaving, then the natural accompaniment is .... spinning ... so I've been reading about spinning, and how to make a spindle, and a wrist distaff ... and I bought some wool at the craft fair on the weekend .... you can see where this is going, can't you?

But first - I have an essay to do - due on 23 November ...

And this weekend, an Encaustic Workshop with Trish Baldwin - three days of hot waxyness! We're just waiting for one more parcel to arrive, that was held by Customs because they wanted GST paid on it - scumbags!

more later ....

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