Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Big Bertha becomes a Draw Loom….

One of the highlights of this summer was the arrival of a new barn loom from CT….left to us in the will of a former student, Douglas Carl. It was the longest most beautiful loom that we had ever seen and there were quite a few mysteries about where is originally came from and why the extreme length. Word spread about this unique loom and at the end of the summer we received a visit from Pat and Victor Hilts, who came up to VT just to see it. They were excited about the possibilities, their excitement spread to us, and before we knew it, they were back in October to help us build a draw loom attachment. Pat had built one on her barn loom in Wisconsin and was eager to see if the length of this loom would be work in our favor to set up 20 pattern shafts. And so the work began. It was a group effort all around and even Craig Evans, a former student from way back who had come to visit Norman, lent a hand. Through the whole process the big question in everyone's mind…..especially Pat's!…was is this going to work?? As you can see….it certainly did! We will be offering classes on "Big Bertha" starting in the winter so if you have ever wanted to weave some really complex patterns….give us a call!
Big Bertha….our new barn loom before….

Some books and photos to guide us on our way.

Pat and Justin deciding on how the attachment would be built.

First step…adding the 5 Shaft Counter Marche for the ground harness.
Justin starting work on the couper box.
Placing the couper box in positon.
Adding the levers to the couper box using sewing machine bobbins and washers.
Justin tying up the ground shafts.
The pattern levers in place.
Justin at the drill press.
Adding the draw levers.
Justin spent alot of time in this position!
Kate threading the pattern shafts on another loom.
Pat and Kate carefully moving the threaded warp to beam on.
Penny Scroggins, Sandra and Pat helping with the beaming.
The warp on and pattern shafts hung.
Justin threading the long eyed heddles on the ground shafts.
Craig Evans and Justin mounting the front bracket.
Justin adding the holder for the draw cords.
Craig starting the tie-up of the upper levers.
The cross shed…believe it or not, it's supposed to look like this!
The first bit of weaving to see if it really works.
A little tweaking to the ground shafts to make them behave better.
And our first pattern in process!
The front and back sides.
The "crew" ~  Victor Hilts, Norman Kennedy, Craig Evans, Kate Smith, Justin Squizzero, and Pat Hilts.

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome and very exciting. I am thrilled that the barn frame looms lend themselves to modifications and there are folks willing to undertake said modifying. I am looking forward to seeing what unfolds from this in the future. Kathryn McMahon Wojciechowski NY