Virtual Loom Building

A quick story on the potential of virtual learning.

Building a warp-weighted loom virtually is something I, Jaymie, never imagined I would ever do for numerous reasons – until 6 months ago I did not know what a warp-weighted loom was; I am a beginner woodworker without a studio space; If I’m honest I don’t quite understand how most looms work; and, I consider myself a hands-on learner without the patience to figure things out unless I’m shown. But voilà, behold my very first loom!

Guided by the fearless David Gowman with Sharon Kallis supporting with the weaving how-to’s and why-this-though’s, myself and two other brave learners embarked on this project over the course of the last few months.

Since late January we’ve been meeting every other Sunday morning to learn how to carve safely and effectively, how to choose sticks based on our weaving needs and dreams, where to drill holes based on our body measurements, and to ask, again, exactly how many hand-carved nails we need.

Mostly though, the reason I choose to show up every other Sunday is for the spectacular company and the joy of seeing everyone carving in makeshift spaces among many other projects. And this community accountability of showing up and carving in a shared virtual space eventually resulted in a real-life loom (I can turn my head to the left and see it as I type this!). 

I still don’t exactly know how to use it, but that’s the exciting part. As this guild comes to an end and the next one starts I’ll eventually make a cloth on it step-by-step – thanks to those willing to adapt in sharing their skills and those willing to show up and learn together through these new virtual gathering spaces.

(If I can do it you can too!)