Well now I’m slightly loomless as I’ve sold my digital loom and looking to revamp my studio space – with more – SPACE. The loom has gone to a great home at http://fibresofbeing.wordpress.com/ so it will grow and develop more beautiful textiles under another artists hand.
Packing up a loom isn’t easy and almost overwhelming but with lots of bubble wrap and cardboard I felt more in control of it. It went off in a backload with a company that specialises in pianos and antiques so it was well cared for. They even had a padded truck.
Strangely the space it leaves in my studio is allowing me to think more clearly about what I want to do and how to progress in textiles. What does the word ‘progress’ mean in this situation. I think it means to develop work that is more focused while maintaining my very diverse interest in textile technique and construction of all kinds from around our world. I am just so curious about how textiles are made that I want to understand and have a go at every loom and technique on the planet.
For example, an abstraction of weaving that I love is the soumak technique. Soumak Workbook by Jean Wilson is a terrific place to start to learn about this technique. It is really a variation of macrame but executed on a warp. Rodrigo from Brazil has a video on how to do soumak on his site (scroll down to the bottom).
Whole rugs are made with this technique and it’s fun for human fingers to do, gaining skill and speed with every twist. It is also often used as a base and finish in tapestry frame weaving but its decorative and surface texture provide a wonderful variation in traditional weaves, especially within a plain weave.
Illustration from Soumak Workbook by Jean Wilson