Common Threads, Guild House Shuttle Display

by | Jul 17, 2023

DeeDee has organized a fascinating display of shuttles at the Guild House. Swing by the Guild House this summer to check it out. On view through early August.

From the Contemporary Handweavers of Texas Newsletter Archives
Common Threads
by DeeDee Woodbury
CHT President 2014

I am a collector (ok – a pack rat), and one of my beloved collections has overgrown the antique bread bowl that it rests in. So, as I try and compose my column for this issue, I have my collection of shuttles spread out in front of me. I am stalling on the writing, while trying to decide where the collection will live next. The first old shuttle I found is well worn, with bits of fuzz and dust. There are grooves worn into the wood from where the thread ran out. Holding it in my hand is a pleasure. It evokes thoughts of who used it, how many yards it wove, who carved it for her? It tells me a story.

The reason we love the things we love is because of the stories that go with them. One shuttle was a gift from a Finnish friend, who knows of my Finn heritage. It has reindeer antler tips! Another shuttle has initials carved inside. Thirty years ago, right after I moved to Texas, I was given a Texas-made yarn blocker. It is very rickety, but it has the same initials carved on it as the shuttle. Stories!

Our weavings have stories, too. The story begins during the process of dressing the loom, if a journal was kept on the bench beside you while weaving, you could jot down the events going on around you while you are weaving the project. Those stories are woven into the cloth.

When your cloth goes out to live in the world, it takes your stories with it!