Monday, January 25, 2010

Moving On

After a relaxing and contemplative holiday, I am back at weaving and am looking to take it to the next level--a habitable shelter based on woven tectonics.  In thinking about how to approach this task, I did a lot of research about portable back strap looms, which are the most primitive type of loom and are still being used to make tents of the Bedouin people.  I constructed my own back strap loom with a little help from some online sites and started weaving away.  It works in the very same way as my traditional four harness LeClerc loom, but to explain it a little better, its the difference between a standard or an automatic transmission in an automobile.  I am doing all of the work in the back strap loom, while my LeClerc has all these wonderful bells and whistles to do the process.  As my focus for this study highlights weaving as being more process-based rather than the product-based, this type of loom further stresses the notion of process. It attaches to your hips and another stationary object to create tension on the warp.  The plain weave, the simple over and under, is the only type of pattern available on this type of loom and is accomplished by yarn-made heddles that I manually pull up and down to create space for the shuttle. I've attached several pictures about the first loom prototype and the fabric it produces.  A little more on the big picture: I am looking to  arrange several back strap looms around a tree and have the resultant fabric comprise a shelter of my design.