Saturday, March 13, 2010

back to the kudzu once again

I'm getting a few more inches along in the kudzu tapestry.  The top edge of the cartoon is barely hanging over the supporting dowel (the dowel isn't visible in this photo).  Soon I'll tie a supporting cord from side to side on the loom to help hold up the top of the cartoon.

I'm using handy wrought iron hooks of a couple of lengths to hold the dowel in place behind the warp and the cartoon.  These have worked just great.  I used the single pair early in the weaving when I had more length to the cartoon, then dropped the dowel down by slipping a second hook on each side as the weaving grew longer and the cartoon shorter.

The dowel holding up the mylar cartoon is resting on a couple of wrought iron hooks.  I've taken the tool tray off for the photo and it's sitting on my sheepskin covered bench in the foreground of the photo.

The hooks also turn out to be a great place to park the bobbins to get them out of the way when I'm not using them.  

I'd like to get this off the loom before I leave for the class I'm teaching at John Campbell Folk School--that starts on March 28--but I'm not sure I'll make it before I need to begin prep work for the class.  I want to do new photos for some examples in my handout; my teaching assistant for this year will be coming to the studio on Monday to work with me on that.  She's a graduate of the art department at North Georgia College & State University (her degree is in art education), has woven quite a bit of tapestry, and was an assistant at the Folk School a couple of years ago.  I'm looking forward to working with her and those who'll be there in a few weeks.


  1. Tommye, is this a Shannock loom? If so, the cartoon bar should move lower. At least mine does. Those holes along the side bars are for bug O-rings on bolts that go through the holes and hold the cartoon bar. If yours were missing, I bet you could get them from the Shannocks, or even in a hardware store. I can send you a photo, if you need one. It would make adjusting the height of your cartoon support bar much easier!

  2. Hi Kathy,
    Yes, this is a Shannock--I bought it from someone who'd bought it from someone else--the cartoon bar wasn't with it (although it was mentioned in the accompanying instructions). I've always make-shifted for cartoon bar holders but I'd love to see a photo of yours--I can visit my friendly hardware store once I see what I'm looking for.

  3. That's a clever idea, one never quite knows how to support the cartoon and it's bar. Kt.

  4. Kaite,
    I've also used various ways to support cartoon bars--like tying a cord vertically at both sides from two points, top and bottom of the loom. The cartoon supporting rod is held with that cord.
    Kathy Spoering just sent me a photo of the eye bolt that is for this particular loom and once I've picked up a couple at the hardware and put on the loom, I'll photograph that for the blog.

    For frame looms where I don't use a supporting bar, I use a method shown to me in a workshop once upon a time to hold up the cartoon--that's placing an X of strong thread across the back of the cartoon, tying it at the bottom of the frame on one side and stretching it diagonally up and attaching to the frame. Same is done at the other side.

  5. What a cool idea with the hooks. I've been cutting up file folders and looping them around the frame on the very small loom - I slit the ends vertially about an inch from the ends to complete the loop. That wouldn't work on anything bigger so I'm glad to see your hooks!
    The kudzu looks great!

  6. Jennifer,
    the fun things about the hooks is that I can also use them for scissors, tape measure, and other assorted things. I usually pick up one or two at the Folk School craft shop when I'm in Brasstown. Allanstand has some, also--several of the Guild blacksmiths do them. I've got ones hanging on every larger loom I have doing assorted duty.
    Your file folder idea is good. You could probably also use the velcro straps one can get at the hardware--or make a strap with velcro tabs on the ends... hmm...I could do that with inkle weaving... another thought...

  7. Thanks Tommye, i've not used a cartoon bar, instead i've often attached the cartoon to a length of cloth which i've tied or taped to the sides of the frame. I like the X idea tho. That's another of those "why didn't i think of that" solutions. cheers, Kaite