Sunday, January 1, 2012

Phoenix Rising

Happy New Year! Guess what has been added back into my life for 2012? Give up? Nah, you probably guessed. I am bringing back weaving into my life after a few years off. I took a couple of weeks off to think about what direction I needed my life to go. We have had such a roller coaster ride the past few years and settling here on the Oregon coast has allowed me to catch my breath and re-evaluate. My loom has been in pieces and has been in storage and then stored in places here and there in the house. I came to the conclusion that I needed to either sell it (try to sell it, again that is) or use it. The problem is, the loom is not exactly...um...compact. Before I share the pictures, I have to break off a minute and give a shout out to the weaver's spouse everywhere. I have found that in general they are wonderfully supportive of their weavers and put up with tripping over a lot of large equipment and fiber. My spouse is definitely one of these. The only way I could set my big loom up was for us to move out of the lovely large upstairs bedroom and into what was previously the painting studio and a wee bit smaller. He didn't even blink, in fact, he was the one who suggested it. A weaver's hero!  I have spent the last week packing, scrubbing carpets and walls, moving it all upstairs, setting up our bedroom downstairs and rebuilding the loom. Our "new" bedroom is cozy and clean and the loom is built. I still have stuff to put away but I will be able to paint tomorrow. Here are a couple of photos:

Oh yeah, for those who don't know, the loom is a 60" AVL modular production loom with 8 harnesses and a single box fly shuttle. The loom grows up to be a 16 harness dobby loom with the addition of some rather expensive parts. I hope to eventually acquire those parts but that is a future post.
Up until now, she never had a name but now it is obvious, her name is Phoenix.
The loom was in even smaller pieces than what was originally shipped to me. I am the one who has built it, deconstructed and packed it, and then rebuilt it. I believe it is important to know how my loom works. The re-building went faster as I knew how it was supposed to go and I did a careful job when I took it apart. Everything was labeled, hardware was bagged and labeled and not a piece was missing. Nothing was broken, dented, or scratched, which was rather amazing. I have a couple thousand texsolve heddles that I had carefully removed and tied. They went on fairly easy but, there are a lot of them so it took a bit of time. I am pleased to say my hands remembered exactly how to handle them fast and efficiently. The feet of the loom are cushioned with layers of non-slip padding and area rugs protect the exposed wood floor.
So, I had hoped to be able to get the warp on tomorrow but I still have a few things to put away and I have to rebuild the spool rack and find my bobbin winder. To start with, I have two 18 gallon bins of yarn, all of it cotton, linen, or rayon. I am going to be focusing on plant fibers and some of the human constructed fibers such as rayon and bamboo.
I still have a lot to say but I will save that for future posts. Renee Weaves! is back in addition to continuing my art blog (click on the "paint" link above). The weaving blog has a new look and will have a slightly different focus and direction. It is a new year after all! I have removed the glossary and a few other things and will be adding different things along the way. Most of all, I will be posting about weaving and selling handwoven items.
Thanks to those who hung in there, and to those who are returning or are new. Please feel free to leave comments and stay tuned!
Until next week,
-Renee

4 comments:

Theresa said...

Good,good, GOOD! What a wonderful start to the new year. That is quite the serious loom. I doubt I would have remembered how it all went together but it sure looks fine all set up.

Shirley Klock said...

Wow, Renee! You have been busy. That upstairs room does make a nice loom studio - but do you have room for your painting studio? I think we may have to add-on! There's a lot of creativity going on in that house. I love it.

Dana said...

Wow Renee. Your energy is an inspiration. I'm looking forward to seeing what you weave, what you paint, and what you paint on what you weave. Happy New Year!

Renee said...

Hi all, thanks for the comments! -Theresa, I did have the binder of poorly written instructions that came with the loom. Between that, the pictures I took, and my memory, it, thankfully, all went together quickly and easily.
-Shirley, we love filling your house with creativity and music. I think the house approves as it feels like a happy place. No worries, I have just enough room to paint and we seem to sleep better in the downstairs room as well.
-Dana, so good to hear from you and I love the turn of phrase you made with the weaving, painting, and painting on the weaving! I couldn't have said it better.