Diane’s Weaving Autobiography:
I bought my first loom in about 1974 (a Union rug loom, 2 harness, counterbalance) from the tract home builder where I was an
accountant. They had too many antiques for one of the model homes and had just shoved the dirty, rusty old thing in the garage. I said I would haul it away for $20.
I cleaned it up, replaced the cloth beam, tied new string heddles and scrubbed all the rust off all the metal parts. I warped it downstairs the first time thinking it made a wonderful statement in the living room.
I bought yarns and ski shuttles from the local arts and crafts store (which is still there in Tempe, Arizona) and was amazed when another patron asked for a bobbin winder. I could not imagine weaving with a shuttle that had a bobbin inside. How could you possibly get enough yarn on it to make it worth buying a winder? A couple of turns of the yarn I was buying would fill the bobbin in a minute! What a difference 25
years of experience can make. I still have those ski shuttles, but I haven’t used them in 20 years or more.
When visitors started using my loom as a place to park their drink glasses, I partially disassembled it while warped and dragged it upstairs to a guest room which became my studio. I used it for many years, even adding a couple more homemade shafts, treadles and tied more heddles to make it a four shaft loom. It lay in pieces in storage while we lived overseas in Brazil and Colombia. Then it went back into service when we settled in Houston again. It has come full circle and is back in storage in my garage since I have two eight shaft looms in my studio.
Joining CHH about 25 years ago gave me a reason to call Houston my home. I am a fourth generation Arizonian and having lived abroad a couple of times, I always dreamed of going back there to live forever among the cactus and the mountains. My family were desert rats and we wandered the west hunting rocks. My mother always wanted a rock garden and she would insist on bringing back the big ones from every camping trip we took.
I will probably never get to/choose to retire in Arizona now — too many friends in Houston, too many memories of good times, too many looms to move.
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Getting Down to Brass Tacks: Cotton warp painted with Sabracron Dyes at Art Camp 2002. Repp weave about 7 inches square including the black wooden background.
Runner, Red Square and Red Opposites are all from the Little Red Riding Hood Swatch Swap 2001 warp. Treadling variations on diversified plain weave. The runner is the largest–about 20″ wide and 45 long. Detail.
Kimono (see detail) is pieced of cotton fabric which was stenciled with rice paste and painted with natural dyes. “Resist Temptation” was the name of the dyeing class I taught at the 2001 CHT conference and I wore the kimono to the fashion show luncheon.
Crone’s Sage Advice (and detail) is a collage of woven sage green silk, silk wrappings, and ceramic beads combined with calligraphy about the uses of the herb sage and a tiny bottle of dried sage from my
garden. Woven in 1999. My mother happened to come for a visit during the time there was a sample of this yarn on my loom and so I taught her to weave on this.