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MY PASSION FOR WEAVING DATES BACK TO ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, WHERE TEACHER JULIA LOSO KEPT A SMALL TABLE LOOM IN HER CLASSROOM FOR ALL THE SIXTH GRADERS TO TRY OUT. WEAVING A RED AND WHITE TABLE MAT IN THE HONEYSUCKLE PATTERN BY FOLLOWING A PRINTED DRAFT, PRESSING THE APPROPRIATE LOOM LEVERS, AND THROWING THE SHUTTLE WAS A POWERFUL EXPERIENCE FOR AN 11-YEAR OLD, AND THAT WAS WHEN I BECAME A WEAVER. THANK YOU, MRS. LOSO!
Thirteen years later I bought my own four-shaft loom and a weaving textbook and taught myself to weave through trial and error. This was in the Sixties, when highly textured, freeform plain-weave constructions full of lumps, bumps, seedpods, and other excrescences were in vogue. My keen interest in loom-controlled pattern was definitely out of fashion, but I persevered in learning more about pattern weaving on four- and eight-shaft looms, and then on dobby looms.
In the Eighties, the family acquisition of an Apple computer led to the epiphany that weaving and computers are close cousins, and my AVL dobby loom found itself connected to the computer. Suddenly it became possible to explore thousands of pattern possibilities in a few minutes and weave only the best ones. The hours spent designing with graph paper and pencil were no more.
Reading Masson & Roussel’s “Shaft Weaving and Graph Design” led me to the fascinating world of network drafting; my experiments culminated in the publication of my first book, “Network Drafting: an Introduction,” an attempt to interpret and clarify this topic for handweavers. Now twelve years later “Network Drafting: an Introduction” is in its third printing.
I found that I enjoyed teaching and writing about weaving, and for several years served as contributing editor to Weaver’s magazine. I have taught subjects such as one shuttle weaving, network drafting, double weave, rug weaving, multishaft design, satin and lampas at schools, conferences, and workshops.
In the late Nineties I was introduced to the incredible TC-1 (jacquard type) loom, developed by Vibeke Vestby, and I became the lucky owner of a TC-1 of my own. At Vibeke’s suggestion, I began exploring ways of designing for this loom using only Adobe Photoshop as my software. A fortuitous meeting with multi-talented weaver and teacher Bhakti Ziek led to an eventual collaboration on the book “The Woven Pixel: Designing for Jacquard and Dobby Looms Using Adobe Photoshop®.” My years of experience with weave structure and more recently with Photoshop had found an appropriate outlet.
In this millennium I continue to weave and write in my South Carolina home/studio, which I share with Bruce, my husband of 45 years. Thanks for visiting my website.