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Christina Hesford is a hand weaver focusing on woven artwork for galleries, public, and private spaces.

New Loom: the Leclerc Weavebird 24 Shaft Compu-Dobby Floor Loom

Journal of a textile artist and hand weaver

A journal of art, news, events, reviews, and opinions from artist Christina Hesford.


New Loom: the Leclerc Weavebird 24 Shaft Compu-Dobby Floor Loom

Christina Hesford

A new loom. A 24-shaft, Leclerc Weavebird with two beams, to be precise about it. To be the first person to own it, to build it from the ground up, piece by piece, to wind on the first warp, to pull off the first cloth, and to discover all of its quirks and charms. 

It arrived on a pallet, a few months after it was ordered, built by hand in Canada, then shipped across the sea to the UK. Then I had to get it upstairs. But many hands make light work.

The packages were laid out, and the cardboard stacked up. Then the construction. Thank goodness for instruction manuals and life-experience building IKEA flat packs. 

And now, I am weaving on it. It took me a few months to get used to this monster, to learn the new software, to get used to the width and depth, and to learn that this loom likes it when I weave with shoes on, but as Relient K put it, "I'm good, good, good to go!"

So why did I need a new loom? 

Most of my weaving training took place on compu-dobby looms. These are computer aided looms, where the majority of the work is still done by a human being, but it simplifies the weaving process and makes some aspects much less laborious. For example, on my old loom I had to manually put levers up and down for each line of the pattern I was weaving. Now, I can design my patterns on the computer, connect it up to the computer, and using two pedals on the loom, I can pedal through the lines of the pattern. Easy as pie!

A few other reasons:
this loom has 24 shafts! Not 4. Or 8. Or 16. But 24! Innumerable design potentials abound. 
this loom has two back beams. Complexity abilities are multiplying.
this looms is wide. Hello BIG.

I'm not sure what this loom will weave for me yet, but it is a symbol of potential and a step along a road full of possibilities. The possibility of commissions, artworks, and cloth.