On the naming of looms

I name some of my looms, in recognition that we are partners in this great adventure of weaving. I haven’t mentioned this to you before, because, until recently, there was only one named loom in my studio–Honey, my Schacht Standard floor loom. This began as a reflection on her sweet temperament, but she has grown into the name, becoming a rich, golden shade of maple with the passage of time.

New looms have been arriving since I moved to Sparrow Hill, and here are their names.

My Glimåkra band loom is Birgitta, which is the Swedish form of Brigid or Bride. I have spent time in devotion to Brigid, keeping her sacred flame alight, and it is an honor to have a loom named for One who is identified with healing, the arts and poetry.

Geneviève is a Seidel tape loom.  She is French-speaking, but is interested in all sorts of bands, both complex and simple. She is named for an old friend.

Mme. LeClerc, the newest arrival, is still a bit of a stranger to me and we are not yet on a first name basis. Hopefully Geneviève will help her feel at home.

The various tapestry and hand looms don’t have names. I’m not totally sure why, but I think it has something to do with the difference between looms that are simple frames and looms that have moving parts. Frames are more akin to tools than to partners, and thus they do not expose the elements of personality and identity that more complex looms reveal.

Do you name your looms? How do you coax a shy one to feel at home in the studio?

Bar the door, Charlie, they just keep coming!!

Yes, I have another new loom. This one is a workshop loom, a LeClerc Compact, with 8 shafts. Mme. LeClerc came from a loving home in CT, where she was treated kindly but seldom used for weaving. I think she will be very happy here, in a house where French is spoken.

I never thought I wanted an 8 shaft loom, since I weave so much plain weave. Recently, I’ve taken an interest in some of the block weaves, repp and twill alike, so there’s a reason for having more shafts. These weave structures make sense for household goods, placemats, runners and towels. I’m weaving some rather small and thick towels on the warp which came with the loom.

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