Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Mirrix Experiments

One of my relatives who is very familiar with with horizontal looms, but not with small tapestry looms (okay, it was my Dad) was asking me about this new Mirrix loom that I purchased so I'd have something portable to take with me when I'm away from home. Here are a few explanatory photos.
Shedding Device

Warp is wrapped around top and bottom bar and there is a coil at the top that can be changed with different spacing.
Things I have noticed so far:
1. I have a lot of trouble bubbling correctly when the warp is vertical! This is going to take some getting used to or I'm going to have tendonitis before you can say "extensive wrist flexion for prolonged periods of time."
2. The Mirrix is a great little loom! I love the shedding device which seems to work smoothly and effectively. I purchased the Mirrix heddles and they were so easy to put on. I couldn't face the thought of making 200 heddles, so I looked at it as an investment in sanity. Of course I haven't woven much more than this, so maybe I should get back to you on how much I like this loom.
3. The new beater I bought for my foray into vertical tapestry weaving is great. Thanks to Lyn Hart for recommending it! It is the Maggie fork from Magpie Woodworks. I didn't get the weighted version yet Lyn, but probably will get one of those too! The teeth are part of a dog comb and they are smooth and strong. I really recommend this tapestry beater! If you don't believe me, ask Lyn.
4. The first piece I am doing is a design done by a 9 year old friend of mine (well, she is now 10, but she was 9 when she drew this cartoon for me--I'm a little slow at getting to this project which shouldn't really surprise anyone). The subject is a unicorn and I can't help having visions of the unicorn tapestries at the Cloisters in NYC. I sort of hope she'll let me enter it into one of the Convergence shows, but it is up to her! It is her design. What 10-year-old wouldn't want her name on a piece in a Convergence or ATA show? (I realize this probably means absolutely nothing to a 10-year-old who lives in Mississippi, but maybe a bribery trip to SEE the tapestry in Albuquerque would work.) Weaving something realistic is a significant departure from my usual weaving, so the whole thing is mostly a crap shoot anyway. I won't even talk about the fact that this piece is distracting me from the much-needed work I have to do on the body of work for the shows in Albuquerque and Germany for my Bauhaus Tapestry Project.