I learned to weave while studying for my BA in Occupational Therapy at Hebrew University in Jerusalem in 1978. Since then, I have accumulated a tremendous amount of theoretical weaving knowledge, as well as learning some specific techniques from Israeli artists. 

When my husband and I spent a year in the Boston area in 1980, he was looking for a challenging woodworking project and I provided him with it: building a four-harness jack loom from quarter-sawn oak. We had  plans created by a weaver and engineer team (not ourselves!) , but we wanted to adapt them so that when we returned to Israel fifteen months later, or traveled anywhere in the world, the loom would always be able to come with us. The entire loom dismantles, using brass bolts and threaded inserts. While we were working on this very time consuming endeavor, I got impatient and we "knocked together" the four-harness table loom in the same book of plans. The ratchets are a work of art, made entirely from the same quarter-sawn oak, and work perfectly.

Nearly twenty years would pass before that jack loom would be used. Children, building a house and kitchen (another of our woodworking projects), designing and planting an extensive garden, and caring for all of these was time consuming. So I read, I laid my hands on any publication I could find (especially in English), the loom was a beautiful conversation piece in the living room, and I dreamed and planned. The project started on the table loom never was finished, the frustration of having chosen an extremely sticky warp getting the better of me. 

We moved to the Boston area again. The floor loom followed us in the shipment. I staked out a spot in my husband's home office and set up the loom. Then I started looking for a teacher. Time to apply all that latent knowledge! 

Eventually I found Saunderstown Weaving School in Rhode Island. Yes, it is an hour's drive each way, but when the love and obsession drive one, it seldom seems a chore.  I was overwhelmed by the number of looms and people who actually spoke a language to which I could relate. 

This led to my involvement and membership in the Weavers' Guild of Rhode Island, and for two years I served as Vice-President and Program Coordinator. I now serve as the webmistress for the Guild website.

This website portrays my range of weaving, my quest to combine function, technique, and beauty as I perceive it. This quest has led me to realize that each of us has a unique gift, we each have the choice to develop that gift to it's fullest potential. 

As I have continued to learn new weaving skills and techniques, I have also learned a new outlook. It all takes time, and a willingness to live through the various processes involved.  Much as in life, sometimes one must simply go through whatever is before you and there is no alternative way around, so too with weaving. One learns to live with the choices made along the way, and  to make the best outcome possible given the limitations. 

 Acceptance is instrumental in the planning and design process. Some things are possible, while others are not. Knowing the final function of the woven article, the user, the taste of the recipient, all play their roles when  considered. Particular techniques present themselves as the only suitable ones for the  fabric being designed.  The creation of the handwoven cloth is a synthesis of all these elements, culminating in the "dance" at the loom. 

Then the magic: removing the piece from the loom and finishing it. Only then, will  one see how it all comes together into a coherent, beautiful, can't-be-any-other-way,

 Handwoven by Weaverani.


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