Sunday, July 31, 2011

So nice to be able to help ...

So, I had an email from a woman in Michigan last month with an unusual story. She had a friend who was going to move last fall and had a yard sale where she sold a Cranbrook loom. When she finished packing, she found that she had a couple of pieces left (specifically the cloth beam and the stand for a warping mill). She posted it on C****'s list but didn't get any response so she moved and left her friend, Sandra, with the pieces and the mission to find the rightful owners.

Sandra did her best, but to no avail, and finally wrote me with the story. I composed the following message and posted it on my used equipment page, not expecting too much, because that would be a slim chance for them to read it:
Missing loom parts? Did you buy a Bexell Cranbrook loom, model J-45-7912-573 from a woman named Jane in Michigan last September? If so, you might be missing a couple pieces of the equipment which Jane found when she moved. The pieces are a cloth beam and a stand for a warping reel. If you are the original buyer of this loom, you can contact s******@**** and make arrangements to pick them up in Troy, MI, or pay for shipping. 6-27
Yesterday I received an email from Sandra with the following good news:
Your Classified Ad worked like a charm.
I just turned over my orphan loom parts to the current owners of the Cranbrook Weaving Loom Model J-45-7912-573 who found the information on your website's Used Equipment Ads just last night.
The current owners got the loom off e-Bay last September from the people who bought it from the Moving Sale.
Thank you again for your help in finding the owners; it was a long shot that paid off.

It just made my day.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

With temperatures hovering above 90 degrees and the humidity feeling about the same, Chris has decided it's a good time to clean out the studio's back storeroom.
All sorts of lost treasures have been found in this process, and, feeling a little overwhelmed, she has decided to part with some of these goodies, many of which she stuck away long ago for future use. Among the items she'll be listing for sale on in the next few days are:
2 lamm sets from a Baby Wolf loom. Not sure where these came from, but they appear to be functional. $25 each/$50 for the pair.

a homemade tension box with one reed, $25:

a funny little knitting board for making bags, $5 with current project.

A specially made device we think is used to increase tension during sectional warping:
Oak wood with aluminum pegs, $15.
Leclerc tension box, with instructions, almost new condition, $125.
Meanwhile, the Indiana summer goes on, with the sunflowers which survived deer snacktime opening up to soak in some of the rays, and a hibiscus we had all but forgotten about bursting into bloom.
On the looms are rugs, loopy mohair for shawls, mixed cotton/rayon in cool blues and purples for clothing, and a jeweltone scarf warp.

On the CD player is an obscure little classic album by Terence Martin called “Even Trade” and a new release called “Wilderness Songs and Badman Ballads” from Tim Grimm, an excellent singer-songwriter who lives in Columbus, Ind.

The thought of the moment is from poet William Carlos Williams:
"So much depends
a red wheel
glazed with rain
beside the white

Ah well, back to the storeroom and a favorite loom. Oh, yeah, if you're interested in any of this equipment before it goes up on the used equipment page, leave a comment ... or leave a comment anyway just to say hi!

Monday, July 4, 2011

After the tour

We're recovering from the 2011 Studio and Garden Tour, which was last weekend, and we enjoyed visiting with about 200 people who came to the studio over the three-day event and during the week since then. The numbers were down from previous years, but we had some nice conversations and met some good folks.
Some of the visitors came all the way from Fort Wayne to catch a live painting demonstration by Douglas Runyan, who lives in that area but was a guest artist at Homestead Weaving Studio this year.
Doug specializes in pastels and oils, and we're fortunate to have a nice sampling of his paintings on display and sale at the studio through October.
We are hoping we can convince him to come back during the fall tour for a weekend pastel workshop. He finished a couple of landscapes while demonstrating during the tour.
Fiber artist Marla Dawson also had a guest artist spot at the studio for the second year
and provided weaving demonstrations throughout the weekend. Marla is a superb weaver, knitter and teacher.

Among the tour guests were a half dozen who arrived in a pair of snazzy Model A Fords.
We spent much of the time weaving "peace flags," a variation of Tibetan prayer flags.
Visitors wrote their thoughts and prayers on strips of fabric which were then woven into a small flag. Here's a sample of those. The gardens were in bloom
with a special attraction being this stand of hollyhocks which graces the side of our house.With the studio tour completed, we're able to take things a little easier until the fall tour comes around. But in the meantime, we're thinking about our next show, which is Chautauqua of the Arts in Madison, Ind., in September. If you've never been there, give it some thought. Madison is a quaint little town on the Ohio River, and each year hundreds of artists and food vendors set up shop along the streets. It's a pleasant vibe, and a good way to spend a weekend. The town itself is dotted with historic buildings and artsy little shops, so there's something for everyone.

On the looms at this point are placemats and runners, rugs and clothing. We're about half done with a big six-foot wide rug being woven on the two-person loom, a shaggy black and white piece with accents of brown. It will end up being about 6' x 10' long.
Chris is about to finish up special orders from the tour (hopefully by the end of the week).

The newest addition to our family of looms is a 50-year-old Norwood 22-inch four-harness loom, made of cherry wood in Baldwin, Mich. Does anybody know when Norwood moved from Baldwin to Fremont, Mich.? This would help us date the loom with a little more precision. It was purchased from a weaving friend in Nashville, Ind., but the loom saw a former life at the University of Wisconsin's weaving classrooms. This becomes Loom No. 24 for Chris, with about half of them in use for current projects.

Speaking of cherry Norwood looms, our daughter Erin, a child psychologist living in Minneapolis, has decided to give up her four-harness workshop loom, a great little loom with artistic lines and great portability. It's listed for sale on our used equipment page on

Check it out: You can't buy these anymore, and there are few available in this nice condition.

Chris has also been busy handing out free advice to new loom owners who like the idea of weaving and buy a loom but don't have much of an idea how to do it. She calls it the Weaving Crisis Hotline, and it's open on an as-needed basis. It goes hand-in-hand with her used equipment page, where individuals wanting to sell a loom can list it free of charge and make a donation when it sells.

Stay tuned, and remember that we wouldn't have naught to wear if it wasn't for the work of the weavers. Or something like that.

People visiting at the studio during the tour ...

A common sight ... Chris weaving and talking~!