Did you ever watch Reading Rainbow? It was a PBS kid’s show that started in the 80s about the wonder of books and reading. At the end of every show there was a segment of book reviews by kids. LeVar Burton, the host, would start off the segment by saying, “But you don’t have to take my word for it!” And then the kids would launch into their reviews. This phrase came to mind when I started planning this post.
We love our new Spencer Power Treadle and have become addicted to using it pretty fast (seriously, it saves so much time!) but we know that hearing that from the manufacturer doesn’t mean quite as much as hearing it from impartial sources. We asked three famous tapestry weavers (full-disclosure, Rebecca and Kathe did help us with beta-testing of the treadle) to write up a little review of the treadle.
We love the Spencer Power Treadle, but you don’t have to take our word for it!
“First of all I love treadles on my Mirrixes. Treadles increase my weaving speed. The Spencer treadle is an incredible addition so much more versatile then my older treadles. It is very easy to affix to the loom. It travels well because of its small size, light weight, and ease of assemblage. Physically it takes less effort to use. Because of the way it is designed it gives a deeper shed and holds the shed open until I change it. It is very easy on hands, because of the the way the shed is held open until it is shifted. The Spencer can be operated with a very small movement of the foot or either foot making it ideal for people with limited motion and/or strength or for those of us who weave long hours each day on the Mirrix. ”
-Kathe Todd-Hooker. Professional tapestry weaver, teacher, author.
Visit her blog here.
“The new Spencer Treadle from Mirrix looms was waiting for me when I returned home from the American Tapestry Alliance Retreat and I was able to put it to good use at a show I was doing the following weekend. I usually take along a 16 inch loom, treadle and easel to demonstrate when I do shows with my Mirrix Looms and tapestry supplies. The first thing I noticed is that the smaller footprint and lighter weight of the Spencer Treadle is going to make my life much easier. Not only is it easier to pack but it is also easier to detach and attach the treadle to the loom which makes it much nicer to travel with. The action of the treadle is so fast and easy that it is much more convenient for changing sheds, weaving and talking at the same time. In a very short time it was becoming an automatic movement for me which should speed up my weaving when I am not demonstrating. There were many watching who had seen me demonstrate before who were impressed with the smooth and effortless action to open the sheds. I was even filmed and interviewed by a local channel 6 special report team about people following their passion while demonstrating at the show. In short, it took less than a weekend for me to become quite spoiled by my new Spencer Treadle!”
-Janette Meetze. Professional weaver/artist and teacher. Visit her blog here.
“I love my Mirrix looms unabashedly. I have a small fleet at this point and I love to use them for my tapestry workshops. They are sturdy, reliable, and they meet my high demands for tension. So it is not surprising that I had great expectations for the Spencer electric treadle by Mirrix. Tapestry weaving is slow and shifting the shed the normal way works well enough (and I can’t even talk about picking sheds—I don’t know how some tapestry weavers do it). Frankly, I wasn’t sure the treadle would make that much difference. I have to say I was horribly, irrevocably, undeniably wrong. This treadle is wonderful. I have really enjoyed being able to shift the shed with my foot instead of reaching for the shedding mechanism. I have tested it on my 12, 16, and 22 inch Mirrix looms and it works well on all of them. I’m afraid I might need a second treadle pretty soon! I love the added speed, I love that I don’t have to reach up to shift the shed all the time, I love that it is quiet and only switches when my foot tells it to, and I love how small it is. My only fear is that the power will go out and I’ll have to go back to the handle. Maybe I should get a generator.”
-Rebecca Mezoff. Professional tapestry weaver and teacher. Visit her website here.
Want to get started with the first ever (we think) electric treadle for a portable tapestry loom? You can get your very own Spencer Power Treadle here!
Last week was a wonderful whirlwind of meeting people, selling looms and soaking in the merriment that is HGA’s Convergence.
For me, the best part was meeting people. From famous tapestry weaver’s like Janet Austin, people we’ve been in touch with for years but have never met like fabulous weaver/teachers Rebecca Mezoff and Janette Meetze, some of the great people from the American Tapestry Alliance (seriously, what an amazing group), some of our retailers and even customers we’ve talked with many times but never had faces to put to names. I also got to spend a lot of time with my wonderful mother (you may know her as Claudia) and my second-mom Miss Joni Parker-Roach of NOA Gallery, which was pretty awesome.
Meeting the fabulous Rebecca Mezoff, and teaching Claudia & Rebecca what “photo bombing” is.
We got to see a fascinating, eclectic small format tapestry show put on by the American Tapestry Alliance and another show in the same building by TWINE (Tapestry Weavers in New England). Being brought up in the world of tapestry this probably makes sense, but I enjoy seeing tapestries at galleries and museums more than any other art form. You can sit there for 30 minutes and stare at one tapestry and be totally fascinated.
At the show we got to introduce our new Spencer Power Treadle, which was a huge hit. I had a great time showing people how it works.
Here’s our booth, with the new treadle all set up (left).
In the picture you can see the security we needed there for crowd control!
In honor of Mirrix’s 18th birthday (which we were celebrating), we had a drawing to win a Mini-Mirrix. It was a huge draw to our booth, as was the birthday chocolate we were giving away. Above is a photo of the drawing. We had John Marshall, known for his antique and original kimonos and metallic threads -he’s the guy we buy the gold from- (who had the booth across the aisle) choose the winner from almost 300 names. The winner was named Ginny and was from NH! She had actually taken Rebecca’s tapestry class at the show, so it was a great fit! Congratulations again, Ginny!
Thank you to everyone who made this show such a success. The people at HGA were dedicated, helpful and even managed to give us hugs and smile on always-crazy moving-out day. The teachers and weavers were amazing. The people there were amazing. It was a great show! Until next time!