Playing Catch-Up

Because I took such a long, unplanned vacation from this blog for the last three months of 2015, there were several events of note which haven’t been mentioned here.  The most significant was the decision to purchase a second loom — an eight-shaft Baby Wolf made of cherry, with a matching bench.  Meet Beulah, who arrived in late September ~


The Baby Wolf is far less complex than the big AVL production loom, yet will still give me many opportunities for designs both simple and complex.  It feels small and friendly, and has the loveliest oil-finished smoothness on every surface.

Because it is a traditional loom, the body mechanics of the Baby Wolf’s use are very different from those on the AVL.  That’s a good thing, as the repetitive motion of weaving — as well as the scritchy postures often assumed during threading — are hard on one’s body.  Being able to switch back and forth between the two looms makes it more likely my body won’t develop significant problems.  Since I already have an underlying neuro-muscular condition of many years’ standing, I’ve learned to adapt and to coddle where necessary.  Varying the tools I use to do this work makes longevity in the craft far more likely.

The second significant event of the fall was a five-day weavers’ retreat in early October, of which I was the organizer.  We gathered here on Whidbey Island at Camp Casey, near Coupeville — fourteen people (including myself and instructor Kathrin Weber from North Carolina) from places scattered around the West and Southwest.  I’d never organized such an event before, but with a few minor exceptions, it went off without a hitch.  Plans for the 2016 event are already well in hand.

Below are some photos from that week, both weaving and dyeing.  You can see that no one was shy about the plunge into intense color.

Jean Flores' warp

LaJean's warp

Off loaner, home to be woven

Pam's weaving



Pat's cloth

LaJean dyeing

Jean dyeing

It was a wonderful event, with women who mostly hadn’t met before, yet who all have a deep and abiding love for this craft.  The new friendships formed during that week, and the continuing connections we enjoy, enrich both the weaving we do and the commonality we share on so many levels.

For me, the underlying motive that persuaded me to take on this sometimes-challenging project grew out of my awareness that weavers — like almost all artists and craftspeople — generally work in solitude.  The creation of a community of weavers who know each other, depend on each other, encourage and inspire each other, has long been my dream.  That week, and the one coming later this year, represent (among other things) my ability to shift the dream into reality.


Categories: Uncategorized | 7 Comments

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7 thoughts on “Playing Catch-Up

  1. I would like to be added to your mailing list with info on any upcoming events. I’m in Tx but am hoping to travel for a workshop or two.

  2. Denise Jahn

    Can you please tell me w h at kind of a loom the second picture down is. It has the Orange and black warp on it. I bought one second hand and am not sure which model it is. Thank you.

  3. This is fabulous! Love every work and photo. You are the BEST!

  4. Margaret Elwood

    Great report. Thanks!

  5. Sharon Mathews

    Loved this update!

    Would also LOVE to receive additional info on your workshop:camp 2016.

    Please add me to any alerts or info !

    Thx & I look forward to meeting you & sharing your passion in 2016

    • Sharon, thanks for your comment. I tried sending you some information about the weaving retreat via your email address, but it was turned back. You can find me on Facebook if you wish — RainShadow Textiles — and we can connect there.

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