Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Oxaback Drawloom

Early in the year I was in Waihi Beach Gallery and Ana suggested I should make my weaving art for the wall.  Yeah yeah I thought, I like the dance of throwing the shuttle, beating the beater,seeing the cloth grow.
Then I was sitting at the table bemoaning the fact no one wanted my beautiful garments, all anyone asked for was blankets.  Well said Peter what would make it easier to weave the blankets.  Oh a 60 inch wide loom I answered and the subject was dropped.  I have always woven my blankets double layer to get the width I needed.
Three days later a friend in Coopers Beach, Northland advertised a 60" wide Oxaback drawloom for sale.  Never in my wildest dreams had I imagined owning a drawloom and must admit I'm still not sure of the workings of it. 
It wasn't convenient for Agnes or I to pick up the loom until mid March and, of course, by then Covid-19 was just arriving in New Zealand and we were at Level 2 shut down. (I think we had something like 5 cases.)
One morning Peter said pack your bag, I think we better go collect your loom.
The day we dismantled the loom and loaded the trailer the country went to Level 3 and we were told that wherever you are in 48 hours time is where you have to stay through Level 4.  Since we are both over 70 and shouldn't have been out and about anyway we scarpered home without even stopping in Auckland to see our kids.

Meet Maude
I call my loom after Maude, my maternal grandmother who was a wonderful needle worker and seamstress.  Unfortunately she died 2 years before I was born.

Who would have thought I would spend 6 weeks of total lock down inside a loom trying to get the countermach system working.

Before agreeing to purchase the loom we realised I'd need a fly shuttle system which Peter studied intensely and built from what was to hand.  Remember we were locked down.  An old rimu book case provided the wood for the box, kwila decking extended the beater to attach the box to and also provided a bar near the top of the beater to attach the cords and later to attach a light.

At Level 2 we were able to go to the city to get timber for Pete to build my seat.  And what a seat it is; sloping top adjustable height, solid on the ground and a tray to put my "stuff" in.
The only thing I need now is a coffee cup holder.
The Taj Mahal of seats.

1 comment:

  1. Oh what a wonderful addition to your studio. I had a 36" Oxaback Countermarche loom a number of years ago and it was a joy. I wish you many, many happy blanket weaving days!