Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Cast of Characters part 1




It really is time for some introductions! I have 3 looms at present, two of which are oldies but goodies.

The first one up is the Murphy Counterbalance loom. He's all oak, solid and has a 42" weaving width, 4 harnesses and 6 treadles. This loom was made in Seattle around the late 40's/early 50's and I'm told patterned after the Allen Looms of the same period. He'll fold up but not with a warp on. This was my first loom and he is sweet, friendly loom to work with and priced right for a starter package at $400.00 with bench and other goodies! Good shed, easy tie-up and treadling and such a good sport with fussy warps! Murphy is my go-to guy for anything except rugs. The picture shows him with a curtain warp on him. The curtains are a canvas weave out of Davison's book and grace my studio window.

My second loom was a gift from my father. I saw the ad for it while I was visiting last year and we both thought it a pretty neat thing! She's a Thought Products Barbara V
loom and is like the transformer of the loom world. I can set her up for free form tapestry, 2 harness tapestry, counterbalance, countermarche and jack modes. She sports 8 harnesses, 10 treadles and is solid cherry. She was built in the 70's and purchased new by a weaver on Long Island NY. Her name was Joan Rague and Barbara proudly carries the brass plate with Joan's name. After Joan passed on the loom went to someone who (horrors) packed her up and let her sit in their garage for
quite a long time. She was purchased by a tapestry weaver who kindly cleaned up
all the tapestry components. He decided she was really too big for his needs and I am where she ended up. BV has a 64" weaving width and lives in my home as a countermarche loom. She came to me across the country in pieces and we spent the summer putting her back together, attending to her 8 cloth weaving harnesses and giving her 1600 new inserted eye heddles. Restoring this older loom has been a labor
of love and awe. Honestly, the commuter bench that came with her has given me more fits than the loom herself. I have her warped up for doing rugs right now. She's heavy, robust and that overhead beater is ideally suited for a good hard beat.


The third loom I'd like to introduce is a wonderful Woolhouse Carolyn 12 harness
table loom. She may be small (23" weaving width) but she's a smooth weaving little powerhouse. She came to me from a lovely weaver up in BC Canada ( see Susan at Thrums on the blog list) with all sorts of goodies, many of which I have not had a chance to try out yet! Carolyn has a long bamboo warp on her for two scarves. I am very slow on this loom and the pattern has 56 shots to complete one repeat. What was I thinking!!! It was so wonderful (after the summer -long slog of putting a loom together), to pull Carolyn out of her small group of 3 boxes, put a few screws in and have a lovely loom all set up in front of me ready to go! She was purchased as my workshop loom but she i
s so pretty and quiet to use, I have her up in our bedroom. I can weave and look out over our back 20 through the big windows. She is also light enough that I can move her up and down the stairs easily without help. That was the point wasn't it.
The studio is rounded out with a Timbertops
Leicester Spinning wheel. This was one of the last wheels James Williamson made himself. The spinning wheels are now being produced in Wales I think and
Anne & James have finally started a true retirement.
It is a beautiful wheel and spins like butter.
One note, please forgive some of the photo placements, I am just learning how to navigate around
this blog so things don't always come out how I plan them. Not just true of blogs either!

Bond Update: He left a calling card so I would know he had visited. Clean licked cat bowl and the piece of wood I had placed at the break in point had been moved.



5 comments:

  1. Nice cast of characrters! I have only used one of those manufacturer of looms. We don't see too many Murphy's and Barbara's up here. A friend has a Macomber and that's rare up here.
    Yes, Leclerc rules and so does Woolhouse (here in this province of BC at any rate)

    Looking forward to learning more about them as you post.

    Susan

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  2. Wow!! Cool looms!!! That transformer loom is really something!

    I'm in a winter of loom restoration right now! When I fell in love with this loom long-distance, I didn't realize how much work it would be to clean it up. My husband was all "Oh, don't worry, if it's what you want we can clean it up." And he was right....but I don't want to be sanding and cleaning - I want to be weaving!!!

    Good to hear that some one else made it out the other side of that process!!

    Sue

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  3. I am searching for more inforamtion on your 'Murphy' loom. I think I have one like it but can't find much information. Any clues on where to look?

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  4. I have a Barbara V loom, I put it together but can't figure out the cable system! Any suggestions. I do have the original manual, but the instructions are not very clear. Is there any you tube videos that you are aware of that are helpful? I would love to put it to use, I got so frustrated that I took it apart and now it is in the downstairs in pieces again.-Heather

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have a Barbara V loom, I put it together but can't figure out the cable system! Any suggestions. I do have the original manual, but the instructions are not very clear. Is there any you tube videos that you are aware of that are helpful? I would love to put it to use, I got so frustrated that I took it apart and now it is in the downstairs in pieces again.-Heather

    ReplyDelete