Ars Longa 011 – Old Bags and New

bag-2

bag-1

Front and back views of a tiny bag (size to fit iphone and id) that I wove using a cardboard loom.

I do not consider myself to be a knitter, but I’ve been doing free knitting workshops on Thursday afternoons at a studio called EWMA (Enterprising Women Making Art) in the Downtown Eastside. EWMA is a studio space and shop run by ATIRA to help women of the Downtown Eastside to develop income and business opportunities. They work with women who face multiple barriers in life: offering workshops to learn to make things; offering a space where they can learn and work; offering a space where the products can be sold. The support they give is practical, maybe even important (http://www.atira.bc.ca/enterprising-women-making-art).

After a month or so of teaching women who may have less patience than I do how to cast on, I had a better understanding of some of them and their situations. I wanted to teach them something crafty that didn’t require any special equipment, something with fewer rules and cautions than knitting, something that you could put down and pick up later, maybe much later, with no negative effect to the work. Knitting is none of these things, so I went looking for these things.

I found a reference to weaving on a cardboard loom and I remembered learning this in first grade. I remembered making a pencil bag which I no longer have. I remembered it being easy enough that first graders could do it. I remembered it being something you could put down and pick up again later. I found some instructions on line, and I tried it. It seemed to fit the requirements perfectly. After all, should you want to weave it is not that hard to find two pieces of cardboard, one to use as a loom and another to use as a shuttle, and some yarn.

coasterI am not a weaver, but I like weaving on a cardboard loom; it is simple enough that it can be done while watching a movie or having a conversation or something, yet it makes a beautiful artifact. This small square was made while standing on East Broadway this Saturday during the Broadway East Art Walk, woven as I stood at my display talking to the visitors and the other artists. It is fresh off the loom, so the ends are not woven in. Its destiny is to be a coaster

Being a bit of a perfectionist I can see lots of flaws in my work, but I’m pleased with the results. I am a great believer in efficiency, and, as is my tendency, I have streamlined the process to make it easier to put together a final product. With some care and polishing, cardboard loom weaving might turn out saleable product.

 

~ by thiscassandra on Tuesday 15 July 2014.

One Response to “Ars Longa 011 – Old Bags and New”

  1. Carboard loom weaving was the part of art class that I looked forward to most as a child — I think we did it three or four years in a row 🙂

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