After a long hiatus, which I am most apologetic, I'm back sharing my experiences to the world. My thesis adventure has ended with spectacular results, but I am looking forward to more weaving and architecture opportunities in the future. I am going to do a little recapping to start by posting all the graphic, written and woven work I've completed since the midpoint (December 2009) of my study. I feel as if I have abandoned this blog resource and would very much like to awake it again as I start taking the first steps away from academia.
My study led me to working with the versatile and ancient tool of the back strap loom. Below is an excerpt of my thesis describing how the back strap loom became an integral module for weaving space:
The final design concept of weaving space led to weaving objects off of the traditional loom and exploring weaving in three dimensions while still keeping the ideals of material memory and maternal structure. Additional research on the history of weaving in primitive cultures led to the discovery of the backstrap loom and its portable and modular characteristics relevant to this study. According to a textile exhibit entitled The Fabric of Mayan Life, the backstrap loom is “a fairly simple and mobile type of loom, as it largely consists of sticks and a strap worn around the weaver’s waist to apply tension to the threads as the fabric is woven.” The loom is then attached to a stationary object, primarily a tree, to maintain and adjust tension. The basic design of this type of loom, as compared to the traditional heddle loom, allows complete flexibility in weaving, as it can be used anywhere. Additionally anyone can quickly be taught to use it and it also can be adjusted to any size body or weaving expertise. The very elegant and simple fabric produced from the backstrap loom and its extreme versatility is an inspirational module in the interpretation of weaving space to provide shelter. With a jump into the human scale and an extension into the vertical plane to wrap three-dimensionally, the woven section lends itself to creating a habitable space. The three realms of basic architectural shelter—roof, floor, and wall—are achieved through small planar adjustments to match these elements. Furthermore, with a repetition of the woven modules radially around a stationary object a complete enclosure is constructed.
The following images depict the human form using the backstrap loom and some inspirational graphics for the shape of the final woven construct.