Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I'm weaving least the header...a start

When Pat was here the other day we were talking about the pipe looms, making stands for them, looking at Archie's plans and thinking about modifications for our purposes. I started thinking again about building the black pipe loom that he's designed. I bought the parts when I was at the Penland concentration class that he and Susan taught in 2001. But I didn't get the pipes cleaned and assembled while there. Once I got home, the pipes were in the garage for awhile and then finally sort of "went away" with someone who was going to clean and paint them for me...well, I didn't follow up to get them back...and those particular loom makings are long gone, I guess! I really hated that I'd let them get away from me. So as Pat and I were talking about looms to use with students I decided to try galvanized pipe.

At the local hardware "big" store I was mulling over Archie's plans and figuring the sizes I needed to adapt to a smaller galvanized pipe based on the black pipe plans. Then I noticed several smaller sizes of the black pipe in the bins. OK, rather than going with the galvanized pipe I thought I'd try a version with the 3/4" black pipe, rather than the 1" pipe...making it a bit lighter for me to drag around. All this happened last Friday. So, I left the store with a cart load of pipe, tees, elbows, threaded rod, nuts, wire brush, spray paint. I got degreaser somewhere else, had steel wool and sandpaper--and I got to work!

By this Monday I'd had time to get all the parts and pieces cleaned and the loom assembled. I put it in the back yard on plastic sheets and spray painted it. At the end of the day, my husband helped by putting one more coat of paint on and we took the loom inside the studio.

Yesterday I warped the loom, using the method Susan Maffei described and demonstrated with her large pipe loom when we were at Penland.

In that way, she warped with the loom horizontal, one end on the feet and the other end propped up on stools. Here's my loom with the warp in place before I put it back to vertical. To warp, I stood inside the loom for most of the warping and put the warp on in a continuous loop, 4 ends in each inch. When the warp got too close to the side for me to still be inside the loom I stepped out and reached over to finish. The back and the front warps, 4 at back and 4 at front, were then pulled into a flat plane of 8 epi as I inserted the shed stick and wove the foundation at the bottom.

Today I spaced the warps above the foundation, twined across, then made leashes. Header was woven in using the same cotton seine twine as was used for the warp.

Tomorrow, I'll hitch the bottom and weave a hem--and then decide what to weave!! I have a 30" width on the loom and the ability to weave about 30+/-" high. I have several of the fiddlehead studies that I'm considering and will make a decision tomorrow.

BUT I'm feeling much happier now that I've got a blank warp ready (almost) to begin the next tapestry journey.

And, the May tapestry trip isn't over yet! Three more days of the woven journal. I have plans to go to an opening of an exhibit in which I have a tapestry and that trip will take me out of town for the last two days of the month. But I'll be taking the small loom will be with me so I can complete my woven record of May, 2008. What fun this has been!


  1. Nothing inspires me more than a brand new warp, just waiting to become a tapestry.

    It's kind of like a blank canvas, so ripe with possibilities. I love the new pipe loom. Do you need another loom? I certainly don't, but I'm tempted anyway.

  2. Hi Jan,
    I feel the same way about the new much potential. I hope I'm up to it!

    Do I need a another loom??!! My husband asked me the same question the other night--and my answer is, "Of course not! But I like to know what options I can recommend to students!!" I've made great use of the 12+ pipe looms I've made, according to Archie's plans. Those go with me to school, to the Folk School, will be at Arrowmont and Penland with me, too. Have loom(s), will travel and teach!!

  3. I also made a galvanized pipe loom from Archies' plan several years ago. Mine has a 36" weaving width and who knows how much length!
    I made it to share the fact with students, so they know they can make a sturdy, simple loom for about $100.I love the loom, and use it constantly.
    As well I have two smaller Archie looms, the latest a copper one I made to take to a recent workshop with Archie and Susan while they were in Australia for the Tapestry Symposium.