November 17, 2008

Artisans - Glimakra & Gobelin

I'm wanting to sell my 60" Swedish Glimakra weaving loom. I've posted before about my weaving. I've put out some ads for my loom and some are interested. I'm really afraid though that I'm going to miss it. But I do have a smaller loom (actually several smaller kinds) that most of what I typically weave can be done on. With me felting more, I don't weave as much.

BUT, what I'm really doing, or should I say wanting, is a new loom - a new toy. In evaluating, I can't justify getting another loom without selling this large one. What I'm wanting, having done a lot of research is a Tapestry loom called a Gobelin. It's still another big loom, but more upright. I used to do tapestry weaving years ago and miss the more free-form weaving.

Today's Gobelin looms are copies of looms from the Royal Tapestry Manufactory of Gobelins France, near Paris, where tapestry had been done since 1667. It's where tapestries commissioned by Louis XV were created.

Since for years my thing has been "Fiber Arts", and I love history, and I've taught and done lots of demonstrating, I like being able to talk about tidbits of info (iike some I shared in the earlier post I linked above).

Something interesting is that so many of the fiber arts were originally done by men. A woman I believe invented knitting, but crochet, spinning, embroidery, weaving ... were done by men primarily. Some famous quilters today are men. When my friend lived in Sweden, she said everyone today knits, even in church, and that when she'd get stuck, she'd ask and men could help just as well as women. And we just found out while in Wisconsin that Monte's uncle Click liked to knit (Dawson was knitting this past winter). We think of these things today as women's skills.

Once the era in history left castles and Feudalism, Guilds of weavers, or guilds of embroiderers, etc began, on through the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Apprentices were taken on, still usually boys. The guild laws prohibited the wives and their underage children to be used for their work. Then progression to Journeyman and hopefully passing guild tests to become a Master - and masterpieces were created. Churches started commissioning fiber arts.

But then, technology, and the beginnings of Industrialization in 1764. With the introduction of the Spinning Jenny - it could match the production of 200 hand spinners
(Leonardo da Vinci actually had drawings of my spinning wheel mechanism in one of his books)(I have more tidbits in my spinning/distaff post). And too, women and children worked cheaper than men.

SO ... when someone makes a statement that they can get a scarf cheaper at this store (probably made in an Asian country), what do I say? Men and women have an innate need, we are made in the image of a Creator, to express creativity in varying ways. As Marva Dawn talks about in her Unfettered Hope (Great book) - do you have umteen cheap coffee mugs from discount stores? or do you support a local artist and have a more creative mug? Buy something that tells a story, or compels you to look, touch, and experiment.

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