Backstrap Dialogues - PDF Download
Half story, half instruction, this 56 page pen and ink comic follows the circuitous process of adapting to a new tool--from angst to shedding mechanisms--and explains how to transform a collection of sticks and string into a pleasurable, functional and super portable loom.
a post-exhibition flirtation with a minimalist loom--
a brief experiment in spontaneous tapestry text--
the world’s slowest ticker tape machine,
recording my life as it unfolded at nine warps per letter,
five letters an hour
in a ribbon of words that would eventually,
like most holiday diaries,
peter out when I got back to my real work.
I mean, what could I accomplish, really, with a couple of sticks and some string?
Oh it began well enough: the loom worked brilliantly for tapestry,
the form and pace ideal for composing as I wove.
But far from being limiting as I had so blithely supposed,
the loom was too bloody versatile,
its potential as a cloth making tool elevating a bit player in my creative psyche
into the star of her own show leaving me,
the Storymaker—narrator of this creative life— in the dust.
Tapestry words? Who needs words when you have light? Arghghghg.
This comic, then is the story of a reluctant creative transformation.
And because there is a dearth of information about using a backstrap loom for either tapestry or the rigid heddle open cloth with which I became obsessed, the second half is technical (loom construction, shedding mechanisms—string heddle, rigid heddle, and finger picking— and on to fabric finishing), so you want to try too.
Yes, I’ve been bewitched by some sticks.
Want come too?
Just be warned…