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About Me

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Francestown, New Hampshire, United States
I am the owner of Mirrix Tapestry & Bead Looms (www.mirrixlooms.com) and an avid tapestry and bead weaver, among other things. Needless to say, I love my job!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Warping for Bead Weaving on the Mirrix

I had a three hour session today with a lovely woman who was new to bead weaving on a loom and was purchasing her first Mirrix.  It was so much fun to watch her go from the: "I don't quite get what this is about stage" to the "Ah ha, I totally get this shedding device."

But she wasn't the only one who learned something.

We were both having a hard time putting on the second set of heddles. This was a function of the color of the warp and the lousy light today due to overcast yuck out there (I am most often blessed with deep, brilliant, fabulous light and hence am very spoiled).  But it was also a function of:  that second set of heddles is harder to put on than the first.

So I came up with a new idea that worked.  In our PDF instructions we tell you to use the thin metal rod that ends up inside the spring to pick up one warp in each dent.  You then put your first set of heddles around these warps.  This helps you see the second set of warps in relationship to the first set of warps.  What I discovered is:  if you use another rod (this could be anything from a piece of cardboard to a chop stick) to pick up the second set of warps, making sure to bring those warps to the right of the first set, this makes putting on the heddles easy. You don't have to pause to look for the warp because all the warps are clearly marked by the second rod.  They are also already placed on the correct side of the warps with heddles.  Failure rate goes down to zero.

Don't have pictures though.  I will take pictures the next time I warp a loom for bead weaving.  Right now I am trying to get though a zillion tapestry/bead cuffs for my upcoming debut on Beads, Baubles and Jewels.

Have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Warping for Bead Weaving on the Mirrix

I had a three hour session today with a lovely woman who was new to bead weaving on a loom and was purchasing her first Mirrix.  It was so much fun to watch her go from the: "I don't quite get what this is about stage" to the "Ah ha, I totally get this shedding device."

But she wasn't the only one who learned something.

We were both having a hard time putting on the second set of heddles. This was a function of the color of the warp and the lousy light today due to overcast yuck out there (I am most often blessed with deep, brilliant, fabulous light and hence am very spoiled).  But it was also a function of:  that second set of heddles is harder to put on than the first.

So I came up with a new idea that worked.  In our PDF instructions we tell you to use the thin metal rod that ends up inside the spring to pick up one warp in each dent.  You then put your first set of heddles around these warps.  This helps you see the second set of warps in relationship to the first set of warps.  What I discovered is:  if you use another rod (this could be anything from a piece of cardboard to a chop stick) to pick up the second set of warps, making sure to bring those warps to the right of the first set, this makes putting on the heddles easy. You don't have to pause to look for the warp because all the warps are clearly marked by the second rod.  They are also already placed on the correct side of the warps with heddles.  Failure rate goes down to zero.

Don't have pictures though.  I will take pictures the next time I warp a loom for bead weaving.  Right now I am trying to get though a zillion tapestry/bead cuffs for my upcoming debut on Beads, Baubles and Jewels.

Have a great Thanksgiving!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weavezine Podcast with Claudia

We recorded this podcast with Syne Mitchell last spring.  I am thrilled to announce that it is now on the Weavezine website:  http://www.weavezine.com/audio/54-claudia-chase-mirrix-looms

"This episode our guest is Claudia Chase, the founder and owner of Mirrix Looms.  We talk about tapestry and bead weaving, and her journey with Mirrix.  We also discuss politics, what it's like to hear color, and other fascinating topics.  After the interview, Claudia features in a special holiday-themed out take."




Please listen to it.  I think you will find it entertaining.

Happy Thanksgiving . . . I love this holiday!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Treadle

Lately, I've only been using the treadle when weaving on the Mirrix Loom (I have been using the 16, 22 and 32 inch looms).  Of course, silly me, I only have one treadle here so I have to keep moving it around.  Fortunately, the switch only takes a couple of minutes.  However, Layna would say:  that's a couple of minutes you could be writing about the treadle in your blog.

I am writing this blog and eating a cheese sandwich which I am trying to keep away from the cat who loves to eat anything I am eating.   My treadle is currently attached to loom with a tapestry/bead weaving on it.  And that's the surprising thing.  Well, not really surprising.  You just have to think about it for a few seconds to realize how logical it is that using the treadle for a thin piece is even more logical than using it for a wider piece.  Why?  Because with a thin piece you are constantly changing the shed.  With a wider piece, if you are sticking to the fell line (weaving a straight line of different threads versus building up individual shapes) you change the shed, weave in all your wefts, change the shed again.  It might be many seconds before you change the shed again.  But when you are weaving a thin piece you are changing the shed every few seconds. Obviously, this adds quite a bit of time to the weaving process.  This might not matter to you.  When I am trying to pound out a bunch of tapestry/bead cuffs it does matter to me.  Also, it is less tiring to simply step on one side of the treadle since there is little movement and you barely have to touch it to make change the shed.

Another situation where the treadle is perfect is when you are building up individual shapes.  I do this a lot.  For example, if you are weaving triangle and you have decided to weave the triangle before you weave the space around the triangle.  You will be changing the shed constantly in a short period of time.  The treadle makes quick work of it, if anything in tapestry can be quick work.

I have re-fallen in love with the treadle.  I've always loved it.  It was the first thing we designed after designing the loom because in a way it was why we designed the loom.  I wanted a portable loom that could accommodate a treadle (and a stand, but I wanted the treadle more!).

Kathe Todd-Hooker inspired me to be re-inspired about the treadle.  She fell in love with it.  So I dusted mine off and hooked it up and said to myself:  What gives girl?  Why aren't you always using it?

I think the answer was almost as simple as:  complete laziness or I forgot to put it on or it's in the other room and I don't want to get it . . . great excuses like that.  Come on Claudia!

So I will be asking manufacturing to send me a few of these treadles so I can just hook one up to the three looms I am using and not find an excuse not to use it.  I have a bunch of cuffs I have to weave.

Treadle:  http://www.mirrixlooms.com/accessories.html

There she is!