Thursday, July 29, 2010
about 30 yards of scarves....
I have two soapboxes - one for each foot, obviously. :^)
One is wet finishing. The other is issues of ergonomics/efficiency.
Handweavers can in no way compete with industry and looms that weave hundreds of picks per minute.
A handweaver is therefore by definition making 'slow' cloth.
People tell me they aren't interested in working more efficiently because they don't want to 'hurry'.
Working efficiently isn't hurrying. It's working with the least amount of wasted effort as one can.
Working ergonomically is working with the least amount of damage to the body. Quite often the two turn out to be - if not the same - closely related.
One of the big issues I see when I teach workshops is that people sit on chairs/benches etc., that are too low. This is very bad for backs. Another issue is how people hold and throw their shuttles. If a weaver only ever weaves narrow fabrics it's not terribly important. It becomes much more important when warps become wider - and longer. Throwing with poor technique can cause lots of problems with necks and shoulders, wrists and thumbs.
Weaving takes time. Lots and lots of time. I don't want to do it any more slowly than I absolutely have to. I've spent years studying, analysing and tweaking my technique. I am more than happy to show others what I do and how I do it. And why I do it so that they can decide if my techniques (I say 'mine' but many other production weavers do as I do) are appropriate for them.
To this end I produced CD Weaver which shows how I wind the warp, beam it, sley it, and how I weave it off, including video clips so that the processes can be seen in motion.
I also present seminars and workshops.
Next year I've been asked to be at the John C. Campbell Folk School Jan. 9-15 for a workshop called The Efficient Weaver. You don't have to be very experienced to take it - just interested in working more efficiently/ergonomically.
You can contact the school here http://3.ly/9EKb
NEWS has also contracted me to do seminars on both my soapboxes. I don't think their webite is ready yet, but I'm sure it will be soon.
And last, but not least, I have video clips posted both here (click on the video clip label) and on my website http://laurafry.com/
Currently reading A Darker God by Barbara Cleverly