Using a tool as a loom: inspiration from students

I had a great email from Sandy Langer this week about her newest tapestries. She has taken my Weaving Tapestries on Little Looms online class and was writing me to show me what she learned. The photos were so great I asked her more questions and she said I could share them with you.

Sandra Langer, exhibit Fiber Journeys, 2017 juried exhibition, Honolulu Museum of Art School, Main Gallery

I loved how she used a large rag shuttle and an itomaki (Japanese silk bobbin) as looms.

Sandra Langer, Rag Shuttle Traveling Through Warps. This piece won the Hawaii Stitchery and Fiber Arts Award.

This is what Sandra had to say about these projects:

I wanted to do a tapestry that was more 3D and small. So I thought about these 2 tools.....they were laying around the house. And being lazy... I thought it would be a fast tapestry.  I was wrong.......again.

I am fascinated with tools from other countries. It takes me back to how other cultures did their spinning and weavings and how they lived. Love playing around with these tools.
I have a spindle from Indonesia that is made of a bamboo shaft and the whorl is a manta ray disk bones from it’s tail. You tweedle with it not really spin it. 

Anyway, I’m now in the process of making a back strap loom. Another fascinating tool.
Just sticks....Sarah Swett did me in!

Sandra Langer, Itomaki--Outside the Box

Sandra Langer, Itomaki--Outside the Box

Sandra Langer, Itomaki--Outside the Box

Sandra Langer, Itomaki--Outside the Box

I love the creativity I see among weavers. This use of old fiber tools as looms/display for tapestry weaving is marvelous. I see a lot of this kind of innovation happening in the online classes and I am grateful that people can encourage each other to experiment and try the thing they really want to do. 

I wanted you to know what I have learned from you.... Don’t ever give up on your online classes.
— Sandra Langer, Hawaii, USA

Later in the week I had another sweet image from Dinah Rose land in my inbox. She wove this beautiful sunset using the cover of my small Petrified Forest NP book as inspiration.  Thanks for sending it Dinah! Aren't those color great?

Dinah Rose, tapestry

Below is the cover of the book she was referencing.

A small book I made about the tapestry diary I wove while an artist-in-residence at Petrified Forest NP in 2016. You can see the whole book HERE.

What do you use for inspiration? Let us know in a comment below.

Happy weaving!