Making your living as a weaver isn´t a case of sitting peacefully at your loom all day. Here´s a couple of photos of me tying up the pedals on my loom prior to weaving a new series of linen scarves.
The tie-up is just one of the many processes I need to do as part of loom preparation of my countermarch loom to weave a new design. Of course, pedal tieups are not really something you can really do in live demonstrations as they´re not that photogenic and people prefer to retain a romantic image so often associated with craft.
So most people never really think about the loom preparation – and often think that the actual weaving is the “hard bit”.
“You must have so much patience to do that” people always tell me when they see me weaving at a fair. Actually the weaving is sometimes pretty straightforward and relatively quick compared to all the other elements of “weaving”.
Most of the time which I spend on weaving a piece is design and research, dyeing, loom preparation, finishing and business stuff. The actual weaving is a relatively small part of my work as a professional weaver. Food for thought! But does the public really want to know this? Behind the scenes information I think is always interesting….
Talking of which, have a look at the last image on this post. This is a photo taken by Claire Diamond, my volunteer assistant, just a couple of days ago. Builders are coming as of next Monday to do some improvements in the studio. Adolfo the plumber came early. 3 days early to be precise.
And so obviously we weren´t quite prepared for him. Scarves had to be woven and computer admin done. So we shared a few yarns with Adolfo, perched somewhat precariously on a stool with his blowtorch whilst we carried on working underneath. You´d probably be shot by the health and safety police for doing this in the UK these days but here, where ideal conditions aren´t always possible (I did, however, offer Alfonso the use of our steel step-ladder!) you just use your common sense and take special care…. Refreshing really.