A Loom To Last a Lifetime: Stories of Some of Mirrix’s Oldest Looms

From day one, Mirrix looms were built to last a lifetime, and we often hear from customers who have had their looms since the company began in the mid-90s. Here are a few stories/interview from/with some of our longest-standing customers. Enjoy!

Pieces/photo by Deb Bednarek
 
Deb Bednarek

Claudia told me I purchased the first Mirrix but that can’t be quite right because I saw my first Mirrix in an artist’s studio while on vacation in Virginia in the mid to late 1990s. I have been a weaver in one form or another forever and this lovely copper and aluminum loom with beads and fibers woven on it caught my attention. It was so pretty and inviting! I’d been struggling with those. Goofy old bead looms and this looked like it could open up a whole new world of weaving with beads and fibers together. Wow! When I got home to Wisconsin, that loom was still on my mind and I investigated and discovered that Claudia was actually from Wisconsin! Small world. 

I ordered the 12" Little Guy Loom soon afterward from Claudia and it took a while to get here because Claudia said the delivery truck rode over it! But it was ok and I guess she repacked it and sent it my way. That was a long time ago and it is still my favorite Mirrix. The size is very useful for my work and it’s so easy to put aside if I need the space for something else. I am a multimedia artist and focus on creating wearable art most of the time. I also weave on my 4 and 8 harness floor looms, knit, felt and make jewelry combining metal, beads, leather, wire and of course fibers!

Besides weaving scarves and wearable items, I love to weave tapestries and wove many tapestry-like purses on my 12" Little Guy Loom that I embellished with beads. This was back around 2000-2005. Lately, I’ve focused more on jewelry, especially cuffs. I am a retired Art teacher and now have more time to devote to my art. My Mirrix looms get put aside once in a while but are almost always being used one way or another. I love my Little Guy and Lani looms for jewelry items and small tapestries. I also have a 22" Zach Loom that is great for tapestries and pillows. On the bigger pieces, the shedding device is fabulous and essential but I don’t always use it when I’m weaving skinny silk and bead strips. The tension on all Mirrix looms isn’t be beat either no matter what you are weaving. I took a tapestry class a couple of years ago and no one else had a Mirrix and they were quite envious. My loom was warped before everyone else’s and I had no tension problems. Also, transporting a Mirrix no matter the size is a breeze even without a good tote bag! And the no warps method is amazingly easy and saves so many headaches when weaving with beads or fibers! One of these days I have to try weaving with wire. 

I love my Mirrix looms when they are shiny and bright but have to confess that I rarely take the time to polish them as I should. Over the years nothing has broken on them and they are as useable now as they were when they were new. I still have the black plastic clamps; should I be replacing those? They work fine. 

The Mirrix Facebook Group has been helpful in renewing my interest in working in different ways with these looms. Thank you so much for uniting us and sharing what’s possible in this Mirrix weaving world! I included a photo of a few of my more recent bracelets woven on, off course, my favorite Little Guy.

Mary Berry

How long have you had your loom? Since 1997 or so...the 22-inch (I don't think the looms had names back then!) 

Where did you purchase it? 2-B Weavers, in Western Springs, IL
What do you weave? (Beads, tapestry, etc.) Tapestry

Do you still use the loom? Is it in good shape? You bet I still use it!

Have you added to your Mirrix collection since then? Earlier this year I bought a used old-style pneumatic treadle, and I love it. It may be a little harder on the legs than the Spencer treadle, but I like that I don't have to plug it in. It's bad enough to have to plug in a little light I clip onto my easel. I also recently acquired a Big Sister loom.

What features do you like about your Mirrix Loom/s? The shedding device, the ease of warping and how forgiving a process that is, the treadle, the top and bottom springs...the portability...

I bought the loom in the later 1990s for a tapestry class with Anne McGinn at The Fine Line in St. Charles, IL. It was a great class, but I was too busy to practice much. I put the loom away for a very long time a few years later. What happened was that I was weaving a large tapestry of a cat. I walked into my studio (my bedroom) to find that my real-live cat had chewed through half the warps. I just cut it off and went on to other kinds of weaving. Luckily, many years later I discovered Rebecca Mexoff's online classes and giving spirit, and now tapestry weaving is somehow all coming together for me and making much more sense. It's changed the way I see the world and brought so much joy.

Linda Shenk

How long have you had your loom? I have had my 16" 
Mirrix for 22 years.

Where did you purchase it? From Claudia at her Mirrix booth at MAFA in PA

What do you weave? Tapestry

Do you still use the loom? Is it in good shape? Yes, and it is in good shape.
Have you added to your Mirrix collection since then? Yes, I also have a McKinley Loom 
and additional accouterments for both looms.

What features do you like about your Mirrix Loom/s? Portability, ease of warping, shedding device, weaving, appearance and a loom to last forever!
Over the years, I have taken my 16” original loom everywhere with me in my travels around this country. Not once did I fail to see a lack of wonder from total strangers upon observing my loom. Whether it was around a pool, in a park, at a fiber club meeting, in an airport, etc., kids and adults alike, would crowd around me to touch the loom and fiber and to ask many questions. They had never seen such an intriguing sight. I consistently conducted mini-lessons about the fiber and how to weave with it on the loom. I allowed them to try it out and their sense of heightened interest was exhilarating for me. I also told them about Claudia and how I happened upon her booth at MAFA. I explained how pleasant she was and how in our discussion about her loom and weaving, I knew I wanted to weave tapestry. That desire was visceral and strong within me and there was no question in my mind that I had found something I needed to do. I bought her loom to tell stories in fiber. That experience with Claudia and my many stranger friends, has touched me back then and continues to do so today! We weavers, in sharing our knowledge of tapestry with others, are changing lives and advancing our art form.

Those of you who are Mirrix, also continue to change lives and advance our art form through your customers and admirers,..........your Ambassadors in the world of tapestry.

As an aside,..... I am not alone when I say this, that both you and Claudia leave your glorious signature within each person, with whom you come in contact. I am grateful for this association.
 
Paula Singer

How long have you had your loom? Since 1998

Where did you purchase it? Beads by Blanche in Bergenfield, NJ

What do you weave? (Beads, tapestry, etc.) I used to weave beads, the past year and a half I’ve been weaving tapestry.

Do you still use the loom? Is it in good shape? Yes, there is a tapestry in progress right now on my 12" Little Guy Loom.

Have you added to your Mirrix collection since then? Yes. I also have a 16", also from 1998, and about 6 months ago I purchased a 22" Zach Loom2.

What features do you like about your Mirrix Loom/s? The tension. Once you know how to warp your loom, it’s very easy. Loom extenders are also a nice feature. 
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