There’s a pretty common thing that happens when someone sees a weaving demonstration for the first time: First a combined look of wonder and confusion about what is mechanically happening on the loom. Then a brief moment of bewilderment that anyone would have the desire/patience to sit there and actually weave long enough to make something. Then comes the glazed over mesmerized daze, before something along the lines of “I could watch that for hours” is eventually murmured. Many weavers speak to the meditative qualities of weaving. I often refer to weaving as really productive daydreaming. It certainly takes concentration, skill, problem solving, and a lot of planning, but the repetitive nature of the task carries with it the ability to sooth and calm.
I’ve made a sort video for the .0001% who may actually be serious when they say “I could watch that for hours.” For those of you who have never seen someone weaving in person here is a little view taken from the weaver’s perspective. This is a low action and very repetitive video. No fancy special effects, just 9 minutes of the shuttle being passed back and forth, the harnesses moving up and down, and the clank-clank-clank of the dobby box advancing the pattern forward. My feet are positioned under the cloth and they are pressing down on treadles to manually raise the harnesses.
In this video I am weaving on my AVL mechanical dobby production loom, from the early 1980’s. Most of the items for sale in my shop were woven on this loom, the rest were woven on my smaller LeClerc loom. All were woven by me here in Southbury, CT.