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Natural Dye Sampler

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Tapestry Weaving | 2 Comments

mirrixtapssmallI finally got around to finishing my last tapestry.  As mentioned in my last post about it, it showcases two different ends-per-inch using two shedding devices.  And my favorite aspect to this piece is that it is a natural dye sampler.  It measures 10″ X 15.25″

Below is the legend showing which dyes and mordants I used for each color.


Color Theory for Beadwork

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Bead Weaving, Color | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

By Mirrix President Claudia A. Chase

beadsWhat is your favorite color? I don’t have one. When I was a child the answer would have been a combination of pink and red.  I was told early on though that pink and red do NOT go together.  Since pink is born of red, I always found that notion rather silly. I still do.  What I should have been told was:  fire engine red does not go well with pale pink but there are other reds that do! So I painted my room green and blue.  Green trim, blue walls.  The green was soft like leaves before they fall in autumn.  The blue was like a deep sky just after a rain.  I could live with it.

I live with favorite color combinations which have a tendency to grow and mutate over time.  But the themes do not change.  They are my personal themes.  I believe everyone who works in color has within them certain color themes.  It takes a lot of looking back into our heads to find out just what they are. I do have favorite bead colors (which is a combination of finishes and colors, since beads do not any longer exist in the realm of just opaque color) that I rely on as the base of most of my work.  You can tell which bead colors I love the most by the fact that they live in 100 gram packs.  The accent beads live in bead tubes.  By buying large quantities of the beads I love most I allow myself to freely use them.  Since I have a tendency to not want to use up what I love most, this trick is imperative for me to freely create.

The worse decision to make when trying to pick what color bead to use in a piece is the one based on:  gee I’ve got a lot of these beads I really should use.  I don’t think I’ve ever successfully produced a piece on that decision and I can tell you about a whole lot of pieces I’ve cut up and returned to the bead box after having done so.


Protected: Dog Collar Weave-Along, Week 2

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We Admit It… (A little bit about where Mirrix Looms are made)

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Inspiration, Stories, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

manufacturing Mirrix Looms

We admit it; our looms could be made a little faster. We could even make them a little cheaper. 

If we wanted to, we could outsource our manufacturing overseas. We could use inferior materials. We could hire a call center for customer service. 

But we don’t. Because we know that two things matter to our customers.

First, a quality product. A Mirrix Loom really will last a lifetime.

And second, a quality company. Mirrix Looms are not only made in America, they are made at an incredible facility called Sunshine House that employs people with mental and physical disabilities in a supported work  environment.

Sunshine House is located in Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin. From providing group activities to training and supported employment, Sunshine House’s goal is to help people become more integrated into their community and to give them a place where they can be successful. The managers at Sunshine House take the time to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each employee and provide them with an environment where everyone can take pride in their work.

Sandy (the gal in the middle of the picture) is Mirrix’s work floor supervisor. From coordinating shipping to supervising loom-making to helping to develop new products, Sandy does it all. Without Sandy, Mirrix would be lost!

Thank you to all of our customers for supporting us and thank you to everyone at Sunshine House for making our products what they are and our company what it is. Without the amazing customers and employees that we are so fortunate to have, Mirrix would not be the company it is today.


Pictures, from left to right

First row: Don making clips, Karl drilling legs,  Jason making bottoms

Second row: Karen stuffing loom bags, Sandy taking a selfie, Jason deburring  wrench holes

Third row: Erik making wrenches

Rusting fabric

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Tapestry Weaving | 1 Comment

Not a lot of weaving progress to report this week yet, except that two samples that I took off the loom are curing in their respective mediums. The grey is sitting wet in-between an old rusted iron and iron plate (below), and the purple logwood is being over-printed with more logwood chips.  I’ll share the finished pieces next week.

For those of you who have never rusted fabric before, it is the simplest technique ever…


back to basics

Posted on by Janna Maria Vallee / Posted in Social Market for a Mirrix 2014, Tapestry Weaving | 1 Comment

weft faced plain grey


During this Mirrix journey I’ve learned a lot about what I’m capable of doing with a little one around.  Even though the reason I am drawn to weaving tapestry is because of it’s slow factor, having a toddler around has brought my slow cruising pace to almost a complete stop at times.  So I have had to plan accordingly.  That means re-thinking things like the William Morris project I want to do.  If I attempt it at all within my nine months blogging here I think I will have to simplify it to have less colors.   Lately this lack of time (which I realize is not exclusive to child rearing) reminds of my favorite thing to do – make samples!  So my next task will be doing just that.  My immediate plan is to make a series of 5X5 (ish) samples of plain weft faced pieces to dye and embellish after.  This first few will be woven using size D C-lon beading thread as warp on a 12 dent spring, and some fingering weight wools as weft.  So far I have a plain grey on the go (above) with an indigo to follow and then a sage yarn with a variegation of magenta (achieved with cochineal).  I plan on doing some natural dye printing on at least this first one and am really curious to see if the synthetic C-Lon warp affects the way the dye runs along the wool fabric.

It was funny, as I went to weave this plain fabric I felt my feet searching for pedals – muscle memory from years ago when I used floor looms.  I’ll definitely be saving up for a pedal since this Mirrix isn’t going anywhere any time soon ;)

I’ll be in Central Park on Tuesday giving a natural dye tour and demonstration.  Join me if you are in town!

Janna Maria Vallee

Double Shedding Device Ebook

Posted on by mirrixlooms / Posted in Weave-Along 14 | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s here! The double shedding device ebook.

In this ebook you will learn:

  • How to add a second shedding device to your Mirrix Loom
  • Basket Weave
  • Tabby Weave
  • Twill Weave

Get it now! Click below.