The loom, alas, is sidelined until Monday at earliest. After chattering with AVL and poking around in the dobby box, we’ve traced the floating shaft #17 problem to a defective wooden “finger”. The bad news is that by the time we diagnosed it, it was too late to get the part this weekend. The good news is that AVL actually had the part in stock! This particular part is unique to my loom, which is an obscure model of AVL loom that was only manufactured for a year or two, back in 2000 or so. If they hadn’t had some old fingers stashed away, it would have been a custom order and would have taken three weeks to get made. And been a lot more expensive to boot. Fortunately they did have it somewhere in a dusty storeroom. They shipped it on Friday, which means I should get it Monday.
(And a big thank-you to AVL for providing free technical support for my secondhand loom, which I didn’t even buy from them! I have been impressed by their responsiveness and technical knowledge. It’s a pleasure to work with them.)
That does not mean that I’ve been idle! I’ve been hard at work re-re-revising my lesson plan and handouts for my two-day workshop on the creative process. That is a terrible title for the workshop, because it really doesn’t convey the depth and breadth of what I’m covering, but I haven’t been able to come up with a better title. It’s basically my proto-book, compressed into two days of teaching, and covers a ton of stuff: brainstorming ideas and designs, what makes a good design, how to critique designs, and how to design experiments to test/improve your designs. The title makes it sound light and fluffy (I think, anyway) when there is a ton of solid, meaty, useful stuff in it. If you can think of a better title, please comment away!
Anyway, I will be teaching the workshop March 15-16 in Fort Collins, Colorado, in conjunction with Fiber Celebration 2014. I’m jurying the show, so I’m arriving a few days early so I can do the judging in a leisurely fashion, rather than trying to cram it all into a few hours.
Meanwhile, my brand-new Bluster Bay shuttle has arrived! You may recall that I sent a load of exotic woods off to Bluster Bay a few weeks back. Well, three of the four woods proved unsuitable, but the fourth one (fiddleback pink eucalyptus) worked out gloriously! Here is a photo of my new beauty:
The wood is beautifully iridescent (or perhaps holographic?) – the patterns appear and disappear as the angle of the light changes, as you can see in this short video:
I now have four Bluster Bay Honex-tensioned shuttles, each in a different, gloriously beautiful wood:
From top to bottom, they are: fiddleback pink eucalyptus, wenge, bubinga, and marblewood. Being from Bluster Bay, they feel wonderful in the hand, and the woods are so beautiful they could double as display pieces.
I am considering adding a fifth shuttle in curly maple, to round out the collection, but I have to admit that at that point I would simply be collecting shuttles, not using them. While I have actually done a five-shuttle weave (the taquete peacock feathers), I’ve only done it once in seven years of weaving. But the shuttles are beautiful, and isn’t it wonderful to have beautiful tools?
And, finally, the event you’ve been waiting for! Here, fresh from the World Wide Kitten Wrestling Federation, is the champion match between Tigress and Fritz. Notice how cleverly Tigress gets Fritz into a headlock early on, and how Fritz uses cunning and superior strength to flip Tigress over and escape the headlock. The judges deemed this match a tie – what will the rematch bring??