Friday, May 11, 2012

Why weave?

I started weaving in 2005. Actually, my first encounter with a floor loom was in 1973 when I attempted to weave on a Glimakra Standard that was the only piece of furniture in my friend's New York City townhouse living room.  My only recollection was how enormous it was and how awesome it felt to toss the shuttle across the warp and catch it on the other side.  I now own that same loom and still enjoy tossing the shuttle across 45" of warp and catching as it emerges on the other side.

Laverne & me
Although weaving is now a permanent part of my life, I still wonder why.  The answer is all around me. So many wonderful things have happened to me because I took up weaving.  Most center on the people I have met through weaving. We speak the same language and never have to answer the question at the title of this post.

When I began to call myself a hand weaver, I looked around for others who were obsessed with this craft and found the Yahoo groups.  I soon became frustrated being unable to post pictures and add files easily to the posts I wrote on the various weaving boards.  It was fun connecting with other weavers and reading about their struggles and successes and I wanted to see their woven items.  I do believe a picture is worth a thousand words.  I wrote to Syne Mitchell, former publisher of Weavezine, and asked if she was interested in starting a social network, like Facebook, specifically for hand weavers. She declined due to the time constraints of her writing and referred me to Tien Chiu. And that was where Weavolution began.  Soon, Alison G. came on board to help manage the financial part and the three of us launched Weavolution a year later. A year after that, we launched a very new and improved Weavolution which still thrives under the new ownership of Erica and Oli, two American ex-pats living in the UK.
The founders of
Claudia, Laverne & Janet at MSWF
It doesn't end there. I met so many wonderful people on and around Weavolution. I attended more fiber shows such as Maryland Sheep and Wool (MSWF), Rhinebeck, Shenedoah Fiberfest, etc. I spent time with store owners, vendors, distributors, wholesalers, yarn reps and more. They became my peer group and, as Weavolution grew and improved, my weaving (and my health) suffered. In September 2011, Erica and Oli bought Weavolution and Alison and I walked away from the day-to-day and became regular citizens and advisors to Weavo.

I now spend most of my time weaving, spinning, knitting and lurking on Weavolution, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yahoo groups and other social networks.  I volunteer for the Spinning and Weaving group that is part of TNNA.  I enjoy spending time in my studio on a broad variety of projects.

Claudia warping a  Schacht Flip
Introducing people to these time honored crafts of knitting, weaving, spinning and crochet is very humbling to me.  Think about if for a moment; every piece of fabric we encounter is either woven or knit.  Everything!!  So when I ask why weave?  It's quite simple, we weave because we can.  

1 comment:

Meg in Nelson said...

Sometimes I ask myself this question, when I see that I can only weave an inch or two a day, or require ten days to weave a short and narrow scarf. One days I'm threading some 2000 warp ends, I just crack up loudly, in my basement, and reminisce about my old self, and my friends, who used to, or still do, get paid for showing up in the office. Nowadays I joke that I have too much stash and equipment and it's easier to keep going than to try to get rid of everything, but truth to tell, I don't know why I stick with it.

Other than that clearly it gives me great pleasure.

But do take care of your health, Claudia.