Select Entries from Mirrix's Why I Weave Contest

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Note: This page contains SELECT entries. If your entry has not been posted here, that does not mean it is not eligable to win or that we did not receive it. 

"Why I weave. As long as I can remember, I’ve had fiber of some sort in my hands. Initially, this meant holding a yarn hank for my mom, twisting a loop of string for cats cradle, or yarning over on a thread spool fitted with nails. Later, I crocheted, knitted, sewed clothes and kids’ costumes, with occasional forays quilting, embroidery and crewel. Although my productivity varied a lot over the years, I almost always have a yarn-based project at hand. Good yarn and good fabric feel so good to the touch! Over the years, as we’ve traveled, I’ve dragged my husband to quilt shows, yarn shops, tapestry exhibits, sheep-and-wool festivals, and alpaca farms. He looked at colors, textures, and scenery, and I admired the creativity of skilled artisans. Trying to improve my design skills, I took a beginning drawing class and fell in love, successively, with pencil, colored pencil, pastels, and oil paints. I discovered that I especially enjoy composition—thinking about how a design will (or should) work—and drawing people. Last year I looked at a figure I’d drawn and thought how well this would look in fiber. And, finally and at long last, it dawned on me that my joy in drawing could merge with my love of fiber and fiber arts. I decided to learn to make tapestry. I am just beginning—I’ve made about ½ dozen small tapestries thus far—and I am far away from reproducing the designs I see in my mind’s eye, but I have goals. I am learning the tactile feel of a whole new type of yarn. I have a new practice… and it quickly became clear that weaving tapestries will take lots and lots of practice. I am pumped and excited at the prospect of creating new art based on ancient techniques that can be reinterpreted again and again with new images. This summer, I will visit the “Unicorn” tapestries in New York’s Cloisters Museum and be invigorated yet again by the artistry of unnamed, underappreciated weavers. And so, with dreams and images in my head, I weave." - Michele B.

"Weaving is a pleasurable experience that produces my creative energy flow. Just the stimulation of being creative and producing something is of a great joy. Finding yarns and threads, matching colors, and creating designs stimulate me spiritually. And for the most part the excitement of being creative and creating and reaching out to others. So that each person can view what you're expressing through this media. And where your ideas are being expressed in a visual form and should stimulate their interest and knowledge about the wonderful craft of weaving." -Fred K.


"I weave because I have felt called to it long before I ever knew what was involved. I wove hot pads when I was eight. I snapped photos of huge floor looms as I visited historic museums in my late teens and early 20's. I sought out spinners and weavers as I traveled South America in the early 2000's, never thinking I'd gift myself the beautiful potential of weaving anything myself. I stumbled across looms on Craigslist a decade ago and wondered where one would even begin on such a complicated journey. So I dabbled in knitting and crochet...and I wasn't hooked. But it all came down to one step: Trusting and honoring myself enough to invest in trying something curious and new. And weaving was indeed complicated...and yet incredibly simple. It was all math and yet, all art. It was earthy, and yet I find myself weaving while gazing outside through a window everyday. Life is an incredible set of contradictions and ironies that I now embrace in my weavings. Teeny tiny weavings. Wall Hangings. Large Tapestries. Woven textiles. I feel so incredibly lucky to have fallen in love with this medium at the young age of 35. There is time to dream, to explore, to play and to keep discovering new wonders about myself and my practice as I weave, configure, plan, and weave some more." -Jeanine E.

"My love of weaving began with my love of natural fiber. Many, many years ago I taught my self to needlepoint, I loved the wool threads in all the glorious colors and the ability to "paint" a picture on a canvas with these threads. Through the years I also did counted cross stitch, and embroidery, and crochet, and tatting, and also knitting. Then one day I saw a woman spinning wool into yarn and I was drawn in by that magic, and purchased a drop spindle and some wool. Since then I have added a few different styles of spindles (still saving up for a spinning wheel), and many different colors and types of natural fibers (sheep wools, alpaca, camel, silks) which I prepare and spin. I came upon a couple of incredible tapestry weavers on Youtube (Sarah Swett, and Rebecca Mezoff) about a year ago and fell in love with the idea of creating weavings with the drawings/paintings I dream up, and with the yarn I spin. I have had a Mirrix Tapestry Loom on my wish list since then, and until that time that I would be able to purchase one I have used a small wooden handheld loom. No matter what I use to create my pictures, it is the journey that is such a delight. ;)" -Paula G. 

"My passion for weaving is extreme. My interest and delight has never waned since I learnt to weave when I was 19. I have explored most types of weaving, thirsted after more info and books and met generous people along the way. But the most compelling reason I weave is its enormous connection to human existence. Sounds like an overstatement, doesn’t it, but it’s not! The ingenuity of different types of looms, equipment and techniques is astounding. When I feel sad about the loss of many skills now I remind myself about the tenacity and innovation that humans are capable of. Another joy that I have got out of weaving is getting to know about how other people live, different cultures and what they value. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the textiles in their lives. Textiles follow us from birth to death. And as weavers we breathe in the warp and explore different ways of being in the weft. We use the cloth to belong or build connections. Learning to weave is more than what it seems, it’s the start of an incredible journey into knowing about our human existence. I’m utterly hooked." -Kaz M. 

"It is my 'Happy Place'. I become totally focussed, able to have a break from normal life pressures. My hands enjoy exploring the varied textures. My mind enjoys the planning, problem solving and completion of the project. The endless possibilities of warp and weft combinations is exciting. Weaving is my Foundation." -Barbara R. 

"I have had a hectic life. When I was young my family moved us from town to town to city to city by the time I was in high school I had been to six different schools and lived in 7 different houses. Something about that became embedded in me. A soon as I was eighteen I was out and on my own. I moved around a lot never staying in one place for too long. Yet I longed for stability I sought grounding. Eventually I slowed down. I went back to school and as I sought my degree so that I may become a clergy person I found my heart called to stillness. I found that stillness in the arts. I took up photography and loom knitting and yet I want something that put the two together. I was on retreat when I saw this beautiful tapestry of the risen Christ rising over the dan Fernando valley. I was amazed by the intricate work. Shortly afterward I was at the Cathedral in Los Angeles and there was a series of tapestries again very photo realistic. I wanted to learn more, so I started researching tapestries on the computer. I learned that these tapestries were so intricate because they used digital Jacquard technology. But in my research, I learned I could make a simple loom and before I knew it I had made my first tapestry. The weaving process allows me to pray and to get lost in the process. It becomes very spiritual and grounding for me though I may have to count rows and pay attention to my weaving pattern It is an art I get lost in. After a hectic day to sit with my loom and just weave the whole day falls away and I find my self at rest in a spiritual centeredness. Though I am still just learning I can play with color and stitches and patterns that can release the emotion of the day. A simple basket weave becomes set to the rhythm of the day. It may start fast and energetic but as that energy is released it becomes rhythmic and methodical and a simple beat to still the day. I can add colors that reflect my mood now or perhaps the mood I long for. In weaving I find ways to speak to my spirit that does not require words it is just for me. I can play with the abstracts and test out different patterns as the mood hits. It stills my heart and allows my spirit to flow, flow from me to the creator and back to me again. It is art, spiritual practice and sacred expression." - Joseph S.

"To quiet the chaos in my mind...there is no simpler explanation for the love of weaving.." -Carrie B. 

"I am a fiber girl. I grew up sewing, making my own doll clothes and eventually my own. Both my grandmother and mother sewed many of my clothes as a child. Then, I was introduced to knitting by a group of women I worked with and I knitted for years and still knit a lot. When we were on vacation years ago in the Southwest, I started looking at beautiful handwoven rugs, and something just clicked that I wanted to learn how to make my own fabric. And that idea did not go away. I now have a beautiful handmade 8 harness floor loom made by my brother-in-law from black walnut and love weaving on it, but it is not made for tapestry. I have explored tapestry weaving and would love a quality tapestry loom to develop my skills and have looked wistfully at Mirrix looms. It would be an honor to win one." -Barbara H. 

"I weave … because it is in my genetic makeup. The art and science of weaving is encoded in the most ancient threads of my DNA. I weave to honor the generations that came before me, generations that created function and beauty as part of the everyday experiences for their families. I weave because it is magical. How can the most ancient plants and animals have shared their lives with us for our benefit and our creations? I weave to fully participate in the world in which I live." -Pam A.

"I've always been fascinated with all things string and have been incorporating beads into that fascination for the past few years. Some time ago the direction of my life was changed in a positive way, in large part due to a particular person and his devotion to art. I wanted to express my gratitude by finding a new art form and unleash my own creativity. I had previously seen a person that made tapestries with beads and I wanted to try this myself. I have made a few pieces so far and seem to have a knack for it. I love seeing the image emerge and my YouTube audience is loving it. I love the current project and cant wait to work on it every day. I have several other projects queued up as soon as I finish the current project. I love sharing what I do. A friend who is a professional weaver recently visited from the Midwest and I think I've inspired her to add this art form to her list of things to try." -Marnie K.

"I am in my late 60s and have always been an arts lover. My ability to draw or paint has not been the best. I have tried other creative outlets with stitchery and rug hooking. I’ve known about weaving but always thought it was spinning wheels and giant floor looms. In 2016 I went to “The Yarn Barn” in Kansas and saw the Mirrix Looms. My heart skipped a beat. Was this to be my new creative outIet?Thousands of skeins of colorful yarns and the beautiful simplicity of the Mirrix on the table in front of me set my imagination afire. I wanted that Mirrix loom and I wanted to be a weaver. A tapestry weaver. it was suggested that I try weaving on a less expensive loom so I purchased a small starter lap loom to see if weaving was for me. I fell in love with weaving and couldn’t get my mind off of the Mirrix Looms. I decided to purchase the 22 inch Zach loom. How does one learn tapestry weaving? I didn’t even know what warp and weft were. There were no classes or shops anywhere near where I live. I started my weaving education with the book, Tapestry Weaving, by Kirsten Glasbrook. Step by step, I followed along but still had large gaps in my education. A book can only do so much. I set out to find an online class. Rebecca Mezoff and the gals at Mirrix showed me their dedication to teaching the art of tapestry weaving on table looms. What joy! The feel of the wool and the colors of the yarn were almost intoxicating. I will always feel I am a beginner with so much to learn. The wonder of weaving is that no matter your age you can create with fabric. Take strands of yarn and weave them into a single and unique fabric art piece. I still get butterflies when I sit down to weave. Excitement and enchantment run through me as I set to work moving my weft through the warp. My mind and spirit still and time evaporates. I am an ageless artist and my canvas is my loom, my paint the yarn. I set aside time nearly every day to weave even if it’s just for a few minutes. It is the process of weaving more than the finished project that lures me to my loom. I realize that art is creating and that I am an artist." -Terri A. 

"I have often considered the question of why I find weaving such a rewarding experience, and I think it comes down to two very simple reasons. The first is that it puts me in touch with a human activity that has been going on for thousands of years and is so full of mythological meanings. From the celestial distaff in Scandinavian stories, to the tales of Penelope, Ariadne and the Fates in Greek mythology, to the many European fairy tales that associate weaving with magic. And this means that, when I weave, I become an integral part of these old and precious cultural traditions. The second reason I weave is that I find that the feeling of the various materials in the hand as I warp and weave is a deeply sensual experience that evokes emotions that are both mysterious and full of meaning." -Thais D. 

"I started weaving 5 years ago on a Schacht Rigid Heddle, I wanted to create my own patterns and style on scarves by using denim and leather, plus my son wanted to have his own hunting scarf made from his mom. (how could I pass that up?) I have made runners for my cousin's wedding ceremonies so they could have in their homes and to wear on special date nights. Each one was made with memories of childhood, from visiting lakes and camping trips. My 6-year-old daughter is now asking to start her own weavings. I will always encourage the hands-on of creating her own artwork. As my grandma taught knit, and my mom is amazing with cross stitch and I am so thankful I can do both of these! I truly love anything made by hand and love." -Patty P. 

"At long last the day lies behind me, I am alone in my room, my loom stands right where I left it this morning. Sitting before colors of gold orange and brown I watch the last of days light cast shadows on work I have questioned, hated and loved; on mistakes pulled out in frustration, no harm, no one will know but us two. Resting before my labor of love I release the last of a long day blessedly interrupted with impromptu thoughts of this moment. I smile immersed in the peace space my space affords me. My place, my joy, my time of tranquil retreat alone at last just we two. Life teaches us to adjust, adapt, tolerate, so we learn to accept, and conform to the demands of employment, a spouse, children in need, the busy of life comes with a price...But now here with you I am set free. Here in the peaceful solace you bring I've found my joy...and the best of me comes full force. I hum, clap my hands - tap my feet... Life is good, Life is sweet... I feel the stir as imagination rises within, filling spaces worn down by the mundane humdrum of obligation. At long last my imagination takes flight I am free like a butterfly released from the restraints of it's cocoon. I fly high over uncharted territory whirling and spinning in colors red yellow, blue, and greens of seafoam and lime. The feel of fabric excites me, textures of yarn titillate. Smooth silks, soft wool the thrill of cloth gliding through fingers anxious to touch, to caress, bringing life to the songs in my heart. My mind zaps through a synopsis filled with glorious visions patterns crossing, intertwining, my spirit rises beholding the grandeur of this gift bestowed unto me. "YES that's it"!, I shout out, bearing witness, to hands that dance the graceful dance of the ancestors. Over under over under - over under - over under. YES I am alive..., YES I am creator...YES I now know peace.. I will sleep well on this night." -Francine W. 

"Weaving, like science, art, and theology, is a process that involves my intellect, creativity, body, and soul. It is about making a product that has a form and satisfies some function. Finally, there is a profound communal, historical, and spiritual aspect of weaving that inspires me. I love the discipline of a process that is done in a sequence, but also requires sequential planning and organizing. I’m required to deal with numbers. They have always been slippery little devils to me. It’s satisfying and gratifying to grab hold of them and make them do my will. Weaving is yoga to my body. To measure a warp is a bending and stretching up and down, side to side. Threading a loom is an exercise in mindfulness and meditation. If I loose focus, I won’t know it till the punishment is painfully evident in the cloth. That is strong motivation for self discipline, to say the very least. Tromping treadles is a dance with threads as your partner. The exertion, rhythm, and vibration involves my whole body, and my arms top off the dance with their throw/throw/thump in counter time. In all my fiber arts, my soul is nourished by remembrance of the thread of practice that stretches back into far pre-history. We know our forbears by their artifacts, and ancient writings. I can imagine the firmament as the original tent of the sky woven by the Creator, dyed all the colors of the rainbow by day, and beaded with jewels and a great pearl by night. When I was studying to be a Christian educator, I was thrilled to discover all the hundreds of times, fabric, thread, dye, and cloth were used to explain a concept or relationship. I have a chatty brain that tends to go all abstract and random unless it has some anchor chain on which to cling. The thing my chatty mind does when left to its own devices, is make up Favorite Fantasies. I’ve made up so many in my life, I stopped numbering them at Thirty Seven point X, and don’t bother to try to remember which one is next. Let’s say this one is Favorite Fantasy #37.3. I want to dye transparent nylon fishing line and weave tapestries that transmit light like stained glass windows. There could even be highlights made with clear, gold and silver beads. It’s why I got a Mirrix loom in the first place. “All” I have to do now is learn how to weave tapestries, and with an unorthodox material at that. If that doesn’t make you laugh, then you are free to roll your eyes instead. As a spinner of three odd decades, weaving gives me an outlet for that favorite pastime and a source of challenges to that other fiber art. Sometimes it is the yarn that leads the mind, and sometimes the mind sees something that wants making. That is a fun tickle into creativity and it makes me smile." -Janet B. 

" In the mid-90’s I was a 30-something journalist in Paris - not an art-writer. I loved all that is textile art & craft. I had been an avid knitter since my teenage years. I was specially impressed by the giant tapestries that were woven – and still are - in the official French manufactures of Gobelins, Beauvais and Aubusson, that in France you can see hanging in government buildings of the Republique. One day, I discovered that one could learn tapestry through a cheap program sponsored by the City of Paris. I signed-up immediately for a summer class, followed by night classes during the year. The director and instructor of the program was Claude-Marie Thibert-Boutou. She had begun to weave in relief around 1976. At that time in France, tapestry as a creative art was slowly dying, crushed under the weight of its high cost. The manufactures’ production was only bought by government entities, big firms or very rich amateurs. None of the manufactures were taking risks in starting experiments with new materials or new shapes. But at the same time, in some East European countries, Japan and United States, where tapestry was not constrained by historical and heavy tradition, many new tapestry artists were innovating in the field. Most of them wove their own creations. Thibert-Boutou was one of them. I became crazy of her giant woven 3D-sculptures. When she was asked by the International Festival of Tapestry in the city of Beauvais to exhibit her work, I jumped on this pretext to convince my newspaper to let me write a series about the French and international tapestry world, from an historical point of view. Well, I had delusions of grandeur, and intended to open the world to my new passion! It was at this time that I bought my first loom. It was narrower than the one I own today, because living in Paris, you need looms to fit in small apartments. When moving to Texas in 2000, I could not take my loom with me. At that time, I did not think of using a small, portable loom to make tapestries of more modest proportions. So I stopped weaving until I decided to reach out to Claude-Marie again in 2013. I flew to France, and took a 3 week-class with her again. This time, I wanted to have enough time to learn even more sophisticated techniques of three dimension weaving. When I left her studio, I had a precious thing… well, not in my suitcase, but rather on the car’s roof, then in the plane - a large second-hand loom that is now in my studio in Durham, NC. And I am a proud member of TWS (Tapestry Weavers South), which allows me to connect with talented tapestry weavers in the deep South where I live." -Helen C. 

"I’ve always woven in some form or fashion with beads and fiber since I was very young, along with crochet and knitting and many other crafts. I do Cherokee Living History Demonstrations on fiber arts professionally and sometimes for the pure joy of it. What’s not to love? Taking beads or yarn and making beautiful art, clothing and accessories just feeds the creative soul. Plus I have the opportunity to educate, combining my love of history and art. While weaving or spinning I share a special story that happened to our people. In 1784, while the men were on a 4 month hunting trip, spinning wheels and weaving looms were given to the Cherokee women in an effort to “civilize” them. Or course, they already knew how to do these things but did not have the looms to do them with other than sticks. They excelled in creating cloth and in fact, made 2 or 3 times more money than the men did from the fur trade. The one problem they encountered were that the looms had metal that would rust if they were kept outdoors as they had previously done. In fact, they did so well economically that the men had to become “gentlemen” farmers (which was women’s work because they land belonged to the woman’s clan) and the women practice the “domestic arts” by staying indoors weaving, which allowed the government to take the hunting land and changed the social structure of the Cherokee people. Of course, for us it can sometimes be more than art but turn into sacred objects used for specific purposes and may in fact, tell a story. A beaded armband, belt, sash, headband was more than a crafted object but embued with the prayers of the one who made it. While weaving has shaped the history of all peoples, it has particularly been impactful for us and this is why I do it professionally. But I do it at home because I LOVE it. ☺ I would love to have a Mirrix to demonstrate with and I appreciate the opportunity to win one and to share my story." -Catherine W. 

"I did a latch hook carpet piece when I was about 10 years old. I liked yarn already back then. I like it a lot but I did not pursue the craft. (More than 30 years after that…) I started weaving very simple wall hanging pieces 2 years ago after I saw some pictures on Pinterest. So I started very simple with a frame loom. Little by little I gave the activity more time in my life. It became a passion. I’m just a beginner but I have a lot of enthusiasm. I like the creative process of sketching ideas, preparing the yarns and finally the act of weaving. The result is not that important (but sometimes I’m impress by what may be accomplished by that craft...and by me). The creative and learning process is what drives me to continue. It takes a lot of time and effort and many mistakes but I find it very satisfying. Lately I started to weave motifs and images. Slowly I’m going to the direction of tapestry weaving. To conclude, it’s like I have opened a bottomless box. The possibilities are endless. My imagination goes wild just thinking about what can be explored, done and weaved. I weave because I can play with yarn and create art like I was a little girl again. It has enriched my life." -Maude P.

"Why does an explorer cross an ocean, climb a mountain or traverse a prairie. Why does a musician compose a concerto or a sculptor create images from clay. The saying goes that “necessity is the mother on invention” and this could apply to many of the exploratory and creative activities of our human species. Ancient and not so ancient people sang and danced to congeal the group’s sense of comfort and loyalty. They carved and painted images of their prey and crops to insure an abundant hunt and harvest. They wove blankets and built pottery for for utilitarian purposes. They even sculpted goddess figurines to worship in hopes of fertility. Humans have been building and molding and sewing and carving and dancing and singing as far back as humans were human. Their arts and crafts, music and dance may have started out as a real or perceived means to survival but as civilization evolved they became less afraid of the dark and creations became art for the purpose of beauty itself. Music and dance were driven not only by aspirations to please the gods & ancestors but to express the inner being and bring forth joy. Pottery used for grain and water became collectable works of art. Metals that formed spearheads were also melded into jewelry for self adornment. Painting became a mimicry of nature and weaving became a story of man’s journey. Homo Sapiens are very creative animals. They are also industrious. Those big brains just like to imagine and plan and make “stuff”. They are sentient beings who see themselves as part of and yet separate from the physical world they occupy. They are aware of themselves in time and space. They can appreciate the beauty around them in a way other animals cannot. Birds choose a mate for their beautiful coloring, lovely song or exquisite dance but they are not really thinking “wow, I really love the tail feather colors on that hottie in the willow tree”. My puppy may find pleasure digging tunnels in the snowdrifts but he does not stop and take note of a single snowflake pondering it’s intricacy and how it was formed. He doesn’t think to himself “I think I will embroidery that image on my doggie bed” Why do I weave. What a question! I weave because I am a sentient being who is aware of the beauty all around me. I weave because I can imagine something that is not right in front of me. I weave not for necessity but for the pure joy of creating. I weave because I love color and texture. I weave because the process is meditative; it diverts me from my neurotic and incessant stream on consciousness. I weave because I want to learn something new, because it is stimulating, challenging and peaceful all at the same time. I weave because it’s part of my DNA. I weave because I get bored watching television. I weave because the process and the outcome are a mystery to me. I weave because I love the feel of wool between my fingers and because I have opposable thumbs. I weave because, like Grandmother Spider, I just have to do it. How else can I catch a fly?" -Patricia H.

" I weave because I am. It is a ritual that has been ingrained into every fiber (pun intended) of my being. I recall weaving items going back to grade school which I still own to this day. They are a sacred time capsule. Touching the materials grounds me to my existence in the here and now. The repetition of structure is a dance, a meditation, a prayer, all rolled into one. When the dance is done, the crystallized steps can be gifted to those whom I love. Thus weaving guides me through the fabric of the cosmos, connecting me to everything in a much stronger way than anything else that I have experienced in existence. Weaving is life!" -Pinar M.

"My first experience with weaving was when I was 5 yrs old and in a Catholic grade school. Back in the 50's everyone had large families so the kindergarten classes had at least 50-60students per class. We had story time and each group had to weave a mat to sit on out of layers of newspapers. I was hooked and decided to find a book on weaving at our local library. It showed you how to make a loom using a picture frame. You needed to pound nails across the top and bottom of the frame to make your loom. My dad had a wonderful woodworking shop that I had played around in since I could walk. I found an old frame and preceded to pound my nails in the top and bottom of it. My first piece I wove was a landscape with a waterfall. It was more of a tapestry piece. I was so proud of the piece so I gave it to my mum. She was so excited and asked me how I did it. I showed her the old frame I had found in the basement. The look on her face was something I would never forget. She was horrified. The frame I had used was an old frame that she brought with her from Sicily, where she was born. I am still weaving and my husband and I built my first loom in the 70’s. I did a lot of rugs back then and they yarn was more like rope so if you made a garment it weight almost as much as you did. LOL. I am now into weaving tapestry, guess I did a full circle. I enjoy weaving and will continue to do it as long as I am able." -Laura A.

"I weave because I can’t not weave. I’ve worked with fiber in various forms for almost 30 years, and I need to feel fiber between my fingers regularly or I start to go slightly crazy. But I could knit, or crochet, or quilt—why weave? Weaving, especially the tapestry weaving I’ve been doing for the past ten years, engages my whole brain. It demands both creative vision and analytical problem-solving. In tapestry, I can convey powerful ideas and emotions in gorgeous, textured color . . . and I can construct cloth according to the demands of warp and weft. I am stimulated by the technical demands and limits of the loom. I also weave because it connects me to the weaving community, across time and space. I love engaging in an art form that has been practiced for millennia around the world. I learn from weaving cultures across the globe when I read books, blogs, and online posts, attend classes, and talk with other weavers. I also love participating in the contemporary weaving community, both in person at conferences, exhibitions and workshops, and online through social media. Weavers are a community that believes in sharing our work and our knowledge with each other. We are fiercely convinced of the relevance of our art form. Indeed, many of us feel the slow, tactile pleasures of weaving are more important than ever in a world ever more dominated by screens and virtual reality. I weave because I will never get to the bottom of weaving. It is simple to learn—over one, under one—and yet it offers infinite complexity. I know that weaving will engage, frustrate, challenge and delight me for the rest of my life." -Molly E. 

"Weaving renews my soul and makes me a better person. I began weaving sticks, threads, fabric,and newspapers,together at the age of four. Weaving for me is insatiable desire to create. I love the process, the feel of the yarn, the manipulation of the threads, and the clank of the bobbins. When I am weaving I am always overcome with feelings of calmness, patience and peace. It makes me strive to always want to learn more. Weaving rewards me with the ability to see the world with excitement and fresh eyes each and everyday. One of my goals in life is to spread the joy of weaving to others through demonstrations, teaching in schools and children’s camps and museums. There is nothing more gratifying for me,then to see the fascination on a child or adults face when they have tried weaving. I am eternally grateful to all of my teachers, guilds, and friends. I am the most grateful to that unknown woman who started a four-year-old on a lifelong journey in pursuit of the joy of weaving." -Sherry H.

"Why do I weave? As a child I had a plastic weaving loom for making potholders. I loved it, though once I used up all the loops that came with the kit, I was done, as I didn’t have anymore. I moved onto other things - sewing and knitting. About 15 years ago I came across some bison fiber. That led to buying a spinning wheel and learning to spin, and then hearing about weaving from other fiber ladies. I managed to find an old table loom for sale and wove a couple of scarves. Life got busy with marriage and children and work. I needed a project that took less space and time, so continued with sewing and knitting. I also started doing a bit of machine knitting and was able to get my Great Gramma’s Sock Machine up and running. I hadn’t lost my interest in weaving though, so when my husband decided to build me a craft room, the first thing I bought to fill it was an old 1950s Le Clerc Fanny Floor Loom. I really enjoyed the process of restoring it and getting it up and running. I have been weaving rugs and lots of tea towels. I am really interested in trying tapestry weaving as well and would love to try a Mirrix! As I have talked about my fiber adventures with family, I have learned that my Baba (Great Grandmother from Russia) was both a spinner and a weaver. When she came to Canada she gave those things up. My other great grandmother had the sock knitting machine and had even attempted to make socks for the war effort. My mom was always sewing, knitting or crocheting when I was a kid. I think that the ancient fibre arts are just in my blood. I love the simplicity of the machines and the elaborate patterns that they can produce. I would love to do a tapestry picture of my Gramma and Grampa’s Farm. I think that weaving and just making in general is in my blood!" -Carrie M.

"I weave because it's one of the few things I can leave and come back to without feeling bad. Suffering from depression has made it so other creative pursuits I enjoyed are no longer interesting to me, but weaving has been such a gentle and kind passtime that I can't help but keep doing it." -Daniela C. 

"My son was born with a severe birth defect that required two surgeries to correct. Along with that, he struggled with a few other heath problems which resulted in many doctor/physical therapy/chiropractor appointments in his first 16 months. Between all the appointments and learning to be a mom, returning to my photography business full time was daunting and I ached to be home full time with him. I had a loom that had been sitting in my closet for 3 years and I decided to pull it out and learn. At the very least it would be a good creative outlet and at most maybe bring in bit of money to help pays the growing medical bills. I instantly fell in love and the first year was a whirlwind of starting another business when my son was only 7 months old and finding my style/voice as a fiber artist. This creative outlet has blossomed into a full time job that I can do at home, which is more than I ever could have dreamed for. I'm so grateful for the fiber community and the support network that has come from this adventure. Both of the surgeries were successful and my son recovered well from each of them. He just started walking a couple of months ago (just shy of 2 years old) with the help of foot braces and that was one of our last big hurdles. It's been such a joy watching him grow and seeing his interest in my weaving. I look forward to the day that I can teach him!" -Kaitlynn M.

"I am Libra and my scales always should be balanced. Since I am working in IT company as a full time employee, digging into all that technical stuff, I also need some time for creative projects. Weaving for me is a perfect balancing process of my life, can't imagine living without that anymore!" -Irena S. 

"I started weaving as a form of craft therapy just over a year ago. After the birth of my daughter, I struggled with postpartum depression and was sent to the emergency room. I knew that I had to do something to help myself. I started therapy, medications, and also took a basic intro to weaving course with a local craft group. Weaving helped me to set goals for myself and to explore colour and texture creatively without fear. It is such a forgiving craft - one that lets me play and "fail" without ever actually failing at all. After a few months of weaving, I started selling my work. Now weaving is not only my therapy, but also the reason I can continue to stay home with my kids. I love to explore new techniques and share my love of weaving with others, whether by showing them how I work, weaving beside them, or creating the perfect piece for their home. Weaving has helped me to build resiliency for the first time in my life at the age of 35. I know that people say this all the time, but weaving really did save my life." -Kate S. 

" I weave as a creative outlet. In the past, I’ve experienced with painting, papier-mâché, and pottery. I love weaving for its meditative quality — I can go deep within myself and use what I find to create a visual representation on the loom. Tapestry is a new medium for me. I love its rich history, particularly amongst women. In the historic fiction novel Hild by Nicola Griffith, weaving is a source of power and inspiration for women living in medieval Britain. The distaff is wielded as a sign of status, and the patterns on the loom as a symbol of women shaping the world around them. In Diné traditions, the art of weaving was brought to the people by Spider Woman. Many years later, the spirit line is used to symbolize the separation of the artist from her piece. I think about this concept while weaving, as my work (although fairly rudimentary currently!) is a labor of love." -Anne B.

"Weaving to me is a way to take a raw material from start to finish. For me, I produce the yarn by spinning it from locally sourced fibers from sheep, goats or rabbits and combine my yarns with objects from nature. Color is added from the plant world growing around me or from traditional dyes. Embellishments are added when I find just the right object - a feather, special rock or shell, a bit of fleece or an antique button or some beads. Sharing my work with others be it a wall hanging or a garment, brings joy to both me and the new owner. And that is what weaving is all about- interlacing my world and connecting it to someone else." -Kathy

" Why do I weave? Could it be because of the thrill I feel when the fiber recently held in my hand bends ands twists together to become a sometimes expected and often a surprisingly beautiful creation? Could it be the calm and tranquility I feel when I rhythmically move the shuttle across the warp? Could it be the closeness I feel to my mother , now gone, who also experienced such joy when creating with fiber? All of the above are true! I guess in any true passion, you are always mindful of what can come next. What else can I learn? What can the next experience teach me? What can I share with others? Weaving has been one of the most extraordinary gifts I discovered for myself at a time when I needed it most. I am very blessed to have found this wonderfully fulfilling and exciting creative process I am thankful every day for all that I have come to know about patience and being peaceful and thoughtful through weaving!" -Karen H. 

"When I was a child, I went to an old falling down house in a field in rural North Carolina. Inside, the only furnishing was a huge loom. I was told that my great great grandmother used that loom to weave cloth in the 1800's to support her family. I knew, then, that fiber was in my blood. I always made little frame looms and wove things. I inherited her great wheel, and her weasel and some of her woven items. I would sew and weave reproduction ante bellum clothes that ended up in museums and felt her beside me and in my heart, and I knew that I had inherited something of value from her. Her house is gone. I was never able to save her loom, but I have saved her in my heart. I have saved the warp and weft of her life in my soul and with every thread I weave, I am connected to the heartbeat of her life and of the threads of my past and present." -Susan C.

" Weaving reminds me of old printers, spitting out text and clip art in tiny dots on joined together paper with perforated edges. In elementary school, my teacher would print banners to celebrate holidays and us children would carefully and reverently fold back and tear off those long strips. That fine motor control I practiced then is the same skill I use now to pick up warps and adjust wefts. I weave, line by line, like those old holiday banners. Weaving is hand work and is digital. A small pun, digits, and also is the digital grid that we use to interface with everything. When I was a teenager, I would draw in MS Paint pixel by pixel. I placed each tiny square of color with precision. That same digital grid is how I decide how to build shapes on the warp. Weaving is also the marriage of image and object, building fabric from scratch. The revelation between empty warp and finished cloth feels mythic: at first there was nothing, and now here is something. Weaving tells stories, textiles are connected to text. The rhythm of shape and color in my tapestries is a poem. I weave because weaving sits at the center of all of these influences simultaneously, and these influences cannot be tangled apart." -Clare N.

"Weaving brings peace and order to the chaos I live in. The colors I use portray my mood and when woven together create beauty. The act of placing the weft and beating it into place helps me accept the feelings and issues at hand and move past the present. Weaving is a happy song, a slow dance. Weaving helps me restore energy and find purpose. Weaving with yarn I have spun and dyed myself can be transcendent, magical and mystical. I am happiest when at my looms. I have always wished for a Mirrix because I think the element of copper would inspire me to take a different direction, use different colors, evoke new moods." -Megan H.

"To save my life and teach others to weave to save their lives while trying to navigate this stressful world." -Wendy B.

"I am an MA student and weave is at the core of my artistic practice. I see the warp as an exciting base structure to build on, in and through. It allows me to create 3D scuptural tapestries by holding in place jesmonite units that I make, folded paper and fabrics, and on occasion stone. The rythmic quality drives me, as does the slow, methodical process. In a fast paced, digitally focussed world it allows space to slow down, think and be creative. The Mirrix looms look fantastic. I particularly like the shedding mechanism and how the loom is free standing. My posture at the loom is poor and my back suffers as a consequence. Owning a mirrix loom would be a dream as at the moment I am working off simple square frames on my lap. It would help me towards achieving my MA." -Jane W. 

"I have an incredibly hectic life. Multiple jobs, pursuing a doctoral degree, step-children, etc. Weaving provides an escape. I can focus on one row, even one bead, and tune everything else out. Maybe sometimes just for a few moments. My normal constant distraction of checking my electronics - text messages, emails, message board posts, fades away. I focus on what I am creating. I absolutely believe this rejuvinates my health through creativity and provides motivation to continue with my various life tasks. I can't imagine life without weaving." -Greta H.

"I weave to preserve culture! My grandmother was a Native woman, blackfoot, and when I was young she taught me how to bead. My father, aside from some spirituality was unfortunately never too invested in the cultural aspects of his heritage, so when she passed away about 7 years ago I lost a my connection to the culture I was raised in. I have both depression and anxiety, and this past year has been especially hard on my family and I. It was all getting to be so much that I needed something to take my mind off of it all, and I picked beading back up! Luckily it was just like riding a bike :) It's helped to settle my mind as well as help bring me back to my roots. I'm genuinely happy when I do it! It's like therapy :D" -Sarah E. 

"I enjoy both the process and the product from weaving. I weave fabric across the spectrum, from fine fabric to rag rugs, but tapestry has always been my first love. I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil, and always return to it from forays into painting and other creative media. To me, tapestry is an extension of drawing. I enjoy the process of creating a composition, and adding color in various ways. Yarn is an exciting medium for color exploration, as well being a tactile medium. After I have completed a drawing, I love watching it come to life on my loom." -Debra T. 

" Joy. Discovering fibers and their possibilities, individually and blended. Imagining designs and moments to symbolize. Opening and closing the shed for the first row of the actual tapestry. Finding and actually solving problems (well, trying to). Advancing the warp as a real sign of progress. Realizing the happiness and sadness of making the last pass of the tapestry. Holding my breath at scissors crunching through the warp. Breathing in at the sight of the whole design. Preparing the project for hanging. Standing back. Breathing out. Breathing in. Feeling inspiration for the next tapestry." -Anne R.

" As an active member of The Society For Creative Anachronism (SCA), an international organization that is dedicated to research and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th century Europe, I have chosen a Persian persona from the 12th Century. I know that Persians are famous for their Rugs and Tapestries, so I decided that I wanted to learn the art of Tapestry and Rug Weaving. My goal is to one day create similar tapestries found from the Middle Ages. At this time, I would like to present to you, my Tapestry: Hello. I would like to introduce myself, I am a Wall Tapestry. I have been weaved by the hands of one who has relearned the lost skill of Weaving. My weaver has spent many, many hours sitting in front of me, and has shared the frustration of removing wefts to correct an error and has shared the joy of finding that perfect fit of shapes and color. My Weaver has also shared the desire to learn and revive the lost skill of weaving. There are many reasons my weaver has hung me on the wall. In the Middle Ages, my fellow Tapestries hung on the wall for decoration, to help keep the cold out or the warm in. Some Tapestries were symbols of Status and were hung for others to see and recognize. Sadly, in the 14th and 15th Century, very few of my fellow Tapestries survived the French Revolution and were burnt, as the gold thread used in the design was coveted. I am not made with real gold, and I am not perfect, for there are many errors in my design, nor am I anything like my fellow Tapestries from history. If you look close enough, you can see where my pattern does not touch, where the string(s) are tucked, where my edges are pulled too tight, or where the colors change without blending, but my weaver has managed to pull me together and now I am hanging on the wall for all to see. My Weaver tells those who ask about me that the challenges of finding the right design, finding the right thread, yarn, wool or type of fiber to use, and that using a lost skill to create something from scratch and ending with a product that is worthy of showcasing is my Weaver’s sole gratification. It is for that reason I hang here with pride. " -Angel C.

" I weave because I have to. I cannot not weave. This passion was probably stimulated by a cardboard loom I received as a child 60 years ago, but in 1971 I truly fell in love and knew I had to learn to weave. In 1981 I was finally able to purchase my first floor loom and take more intensive lessons. Since then there have been periods when weaving wasn’t possible (living room turned into padded playpen for infant and loom folded up), and during those periods I used to get depressed without understanding why. For years I tried knitting and spinning to occupy my hands but it’s not the same. In order to be happy, I have to weave. Kind of a scary thought. Not all textile moments are created equal: planning a piece is fun; warping not so much. Choosing colors is delightful; finding functional yarns for the piece in those colors is distressing. But as soon as weft crosses warp, a calm settles over me. Throwing the shuttles/ carrying the weft removes me from the stresses of my world and carries me into that other world where millennia of craftspeople clothed their families and decorated their homes with textiles. I am in tune with Ixchel the Mayan moon goddess of weaving and healing. For nearly four decades my primary weaving has been floor loom balanced weave. Watching that warp and weft turn into inches and feet and yards of fabric is very satisfying. Thinking about the recipient of the piece inserts my love for them into the fabric. Seeing my weavings in the homes of friends and families is an ongoing pride and connection. Demonstrating and teaching weaving fills me with pleasure as I watch children (or adults) experience that pride and joy in producing cloth. Since 2016 my primary weaving has been tiny tapestries on very small looms. This satisfies my need to take my weaving everywhere (not yet weaving while walking the dog, but it has potential). Weaving tapestry diaries and travel postcards commemorates my life in a way that nothing else can. It also assuages a lifelong angst that I am not an artist. I cannot draw a straight line or a circle much less anything interesting. I cannot paint with beautiful colors. But I can weave beautiful images. Some are scenes (and with time I will improve so everyone sees what I am trying to depict). Some are feelings or events: It’s a wonderful thing to muse on how to weave a happy or distressing day into one square inch. My studio is still filled with big floor looms and backstraps and tiny frame looms for teaching, but my home now fills with Hokett and Mirrix and homemade tapestry looms (not to mention tapestry yarns). Online tapestry classes have opened a new world to me. We have a 92 year-old tapestry student in our online group with Rebecca Mezoff’s class, and it inspires me to think that, although the limitations of aging may stop me from climbing under a big loom— tiny tapestries will allow my joy in weaving to go on for a very long time." -Kate C.

"As a six year old I stood by my grandmother’s side watching her weave on a large ‘barn loom’. The loom wasn’t in a barn by the time I was introduced to weaving, but I was so entranced with watching her that I knew I wanted to weave. She was making rag rugs. As I grew older she enlisted me in tying the knots at the end of each rug. A great memory of my grandmother! I inherited that barn loom many years later. And I wove rag rugs. I also moved on to weaving on table top looms and small hand held looms. I found weaving gave me rest and relaxation. I later learned this was because I was focusing on a specific task and was using both sides of my body as well as with both eyes in a way that helps reprogram how my brain was dealing with trauma. This was called EMDR, “eye movement desensitization and reprocessing”. I taught weaving to students in school, church, and workshop settings. It always amazed me at the ‘quietness ‘of the group when we were weaving. They were being healed in the quietness of their body. They, too, enjoyed going under and over, under and over watching the rows of fiber grow. I passed that barn loom on to the next in line in the family. I now weave on my table top loom, a Saori loom and various hand held looms. I still love the feel of the fibers going over and under, over and under, the packing down of the weft, and the look and the feel of the finished product. And there’s always a special moment when the finished product is removed from the loom. What did I weave? Rag rugs, rag rug placemats, wall hangings, dresser scarves and stoles for my clergy robe. Why did I weave? For the rest and relaxation of it, and especially for the enjoyment of it." -Marion R. 

"Why do I want to weave? In many cultures around the globe, weaving is *quintessential* to national cultures. In "The Women's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets," Barbara G. Walker says that in Greek , Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Slavic and Romani myths, the primary Fates were nearly always weavers (pp. 302-03). Our destiny was 'woven' by primordial powers, and we placated the Fates in order to protect and extend the 'thread' of our lives. We may have lost some of the reverence for - and fear of - weaving which shaped our forbears; but I believe that 'magic' still lurks in a hand-woven creation. Weaving is a remarkable experience in which unsubstantial thread is transformed into solid fabric. Every weaver taps into that primordial power when s/he creates cloth - and I celebrate creative power! Mirrix looms house 'magic' in their frames, because this company employs people with Special Needs to assemble their products. Giving staff members meaningful jobs while keeping high production standards is a true 'gift from the gods.' So...I look to Mirrix to support a craft with ancient origins." -Catherine C. 

"As a six year old I stood by my grandmother’s side watching her weave on a large ‘barn loom’. The loom wasn’t in a barn by the time I was introduced to weaving, but I was so entranced with watching her that I knew I wanted to weave. She was making rag rugs. As I grew older she enlisted me in tying the knots at the end of each rug. A great memory of my grandmother! I inherited that barn loom many years later. And I wove rag rugs. I also moved on to weaving on table top looms and small hand held looms. I found weaving gave me rest and relaxation. I later learned this was because I was focusing on a specific task and was using both sides of my body as well as with both eyes in a way that helps reprogram how my brain was dealing with trauma. This was called EMDR, “eye movement desensitization and reprocessing”. I taught weaving to students in school, church, and workshop settings. It always amazed me at the ‘quietness ‘of the group when we were weaving. They were being healed in the quietness of their body. They, too, enjoyed going under and over, under and over watching the rows of fiber grow. I passed that barn loom on to the next in line in the family. I now weave on my table top loom, a Saori loom and various hand held looms. I still love the feel of the fibers going over and under, over and under, the packing down of the weft, and the look and the feel of the finished product. And there’s always a special moment when the finished product is removed from the loom. What did I weave? Rag rugs, rag rug placemats, wall hangings, dresser scarves and stoles for my clergy robe. Why did I weave? For the rest and relaxation of it, and especially for the enjoyment of it." -Marion R. 

"My love for weaving is inextricably intertwined with my love of nature. When I’m outdoors and find a scene that inspires me, be it a rock, a gnarled tree, a field of flowers, a patch of spongy soft moss, or an intriguing arrangement of fall leaves on the ground, I see colors, textures, and shapes and think, how can I make this come alive on the loom? Jagged rocks become pointed twills, fields of flowers remind me of a bold krokbragd structure. Tattered leaves with veins exposed beckons a huck lace interpretation, and the night sky dotted with stars undoubtedly is a crackle weave. I weave so I can bring adventures in nature to my home when I’m sitting quietly and contemplatively at the loom. I relive my experiences with each beat and watch, as both creator and observer, as a story unfolds right in front of me in the interplay of warp and weft. I watch as the woven texture creates multidimensional illusions to the eye, and two seemingly clashing colors harmonize. The beater is the page-turner for each new line in the story. Often, I get lost in the process and I sit for hours weaving, eager to see how the story develops, to see if I have made my source of inspiration come alive on my loom. Naturalist John Muir says, “In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks,” and this is certainly true for me. The beauty of the natural word is a gift I receive that implores me to interpret it, artfully and soulfully, and to share it. Mother Nature invites me to create a space for her in my home, in my clothing, and in the gifts I give to others. I weave to stay connected to the natural world, and I weave so I can honor that gift." -Sarah B. 

" I weave because it is something that in the chaos of life I can count on. When I take yarn, warp a loom, and begin the process of over, under, over, under I know I will create a fabric. Without a doubt it will happen, 100% of the time. If I have had a crazy day at work, if my kids are bundles of energy, if the news tells of tragedies that tear at my heart, I can turn to my loom and create a predictable fabric. Over, under, over under. But on days when my heart sings, the weather is beautiful, blessings are in abundance and I feel like I want to live on the wild side, I can change my weaving. I can throw in a splash of unexpected color or make use of a pick-up stick to create a new pattern. I can even do both! Weaving can go beyond over, under, over, under when the weaver is ready and able. Weaving for me is secure, stable, wild, carefree, unpredictable, and repetitive all at the same time. Weaving is whatever I make it and what I need it to be. What is created is a reflection of me at the time of production. Weaving is my emotional biography." -Marie M. 

"A few years ago I visited an open house at a local weaving studio, loved the beautiful weavings, tried to sign up for a class and found out that there is almost never an opening. Just a tad put off, I remembered a book about Navajo weaving (by Mary Pendelton) that had been in the basement for decades. My reaction (as with many other crafty things like sewing, jewelry making, house repair, furniture building) was “Yeah, it’s not rocket science, I can do that”. Built a loom out of 2X4’s , dog-eared the book, got a DVD, scoured the internet, bought a bunch of acrylic knitting yarn at Michael’s and managed a semi- respectable first weaving. Many other books, real wool (!) yarn and several looms later I’m still caught in the puzzle of tapestry weaving. How many ways can I warp my Mirrix (7, so far), what makes a great design and what colors work together (I keep trying), how do I get the sides not curvy and the curves not jagged (getting better), and how many times can I re-weave this one section (amazingly, seemingly forever) . After agonizing over the design and colors, drawing a cartoon, warping up, and repeating my mantra “It doesn’t have to be right, just look right”, the weaving starts to emerge, and for minutes or hours at a time my world can be one of color and texture and design . It’s a lot like my professional life as a musician and teacher - a combination of technique, creativity, and beauty that, even though impossible to perfect, entices me keep trying." -Diane F. 

"Why I Weave As the first tapestry on my two year old Zeus nears completion, it is a great time to reflect on why I weave. To do this requires that I answer two questions: How and when did I start? Why am I still weaving? I got hooked into weaving nearly fifty years ago, because it provided the vehicle for my personal creative and artistic expression. I was about ten when my parents took me to Springfield, Illinois, where I was exposed to a lifelong fascination with Abraham Lincoln. I started to draw his image incessantly. From that moment in time, I forever saw myself as an artist. In high school I loved my basic art class, took Studio Art, and discovered my future career. I was going to be an art teacher. What a fun job that would be! In college, I spent extra years exploring painting, drawing, photography, and art history. These became lifelong interests, but my true means of expression still eluded me. It was only at the start of my marriage and career that I accidentally discovered a passion for weaving. My wife signed up for a beginner’s tapestry weaving class, and I joined her on a lark. She quickly lost interest, but I became a weaver. That was in the early seventies. In the beginning, I did a lot of weaving. My first art teaching job was not demanding, and I had plenty of time to weave at home, and even with my students in class. My area art supervisor was especially important in two ways. She created a summer fiber workshop for teachers, where tables were lined with an incredible array of fiber. With little direction needed, we wove! She also sponsored a Spring Break gallery trip to New York City, where my wife and I visited the Cloisters, and encountered the Unicorn Tapestries. Every weaver should make a pilgrimage to this place, a manmade oasis no less awe inspiring than the Grand Canyon itself. It was also in the Seventies that we visited Colorado, New Mexico and Arizona. On this trip I bought my first serious loom, the Hai Penny, which I still use and treasure today. I was exposed to Native American weaving, and incredible landscape, like the Rockies and the Grand Canyon. Both places inspired weavings. A few years later a new, more demanding, teaching position forced a thirty year break from weaving. During this time I gradually moved from teaching art and photography to a new passion. I discovered the gift of teaching illiterate or second language teens and adults how to read. I never forgot about weaving, and always felt it would be my retirement plan. Eventually I completely retired, and all of the elements of the metaphorical tapestry that is my life, came together. I still love to engage in photography, drawing and art history. I run a book club, and tutor ESL adults from all over the world...and above all else, I WEAVE!" -Lloyd P.

"Why I weave The warp, the weft, the warp, the weft, the warp, the weft. Time honored traditions from around the world keeps time still and yet creates beautiful objects to see and ware. All looms become part of you as you weave. Once the woven item is removed it will again change face. The weaving rhythm does not keep track of time it records time. Time we spent on our journey." -Fujie R. 

" When I weave I get to put everything into place everything goes quiet. My fingers once slow and tender from needling my own hand are now agile and move without thought, like a rehearsed ballet dancer. I’m not graceful, I’m not orderly, but when I sit down and listen to the tapping of gathering beads I feel smooth. One row at a time, length after length. Time gives validity to the art I create. Instant gratification, the work you put into your loom is the art you get out. You can frame it, wear it, sell it, gift it, or put it away for a rainy day. A piece full of time effort and planning, a part of you looking back with pride. It was a great day when my grandmother gifted all her beads to me. There are many cousins they could have gone to, but she chose me, and each time I make a new piece there are parts of her in them. That’s my trick, love is weaved into the loom." -Terrie K.

"Why Do I Weave? Because everything is warped here. Weaving is a world of bubbles, butterflies, and cartoons, but also of dents, lice, and sleaziness. I can create eccentric, lazy lines as I move through the hills and valleys. In the passes I meet but then separate. I find open sheds as often as closed ones. I struggle constantly with tension. The Beginning I read for a living. and need a break from language; I want to do something non-verbal and sensory, with colors and shapes instead of words. But I start to realize that weaving works like language: threads intersect in countless possibilities of meaning. We weave words into fabric and threads into stories. In my first tapestry class I work on a rickety table loom; I have to shake it with every pick to make the heddles fall into place. Finally I abandon the sheds and start using a needle, pushing it through the uneven warp threads. My tapestry becomes increasingly messy, with skipped threads and concave edges. It is at this point that I fall in love with the process. Weaving on this cranky loom, I realize the inevitability of mistakes. I can hide and fix them, or I can keep the flaws and incorporate them into the final design. I stop worrying about correctness and start weaving crazily, winding beads, crooked soumak, and strips of sequined fabric through the warp. The Present Weaving is transforming the way I see the world. I’ve started to assess objects for their weaving potential: could I wrap weft yarns through those fence slats, tree branches, guitar strings? How could I get a piece of sea glass to stay in the warp threads? My grandfather’s ties? A line of poetry from an old book? My daughter’s Polly Pocket doll — perhaps I could … ? Weaving is inclusive, and I’m convinced anything can find a place in the web. Kokyangwut and Arachne created the world, told stories, and tricked people with their weaving. Most often, though, I feel like Penelope, who had to unravel her weaving every night and start over every morning. The Future I weave because, in a warped world, weaving teaches me to live, and living teaches me to weave: —Things rarely line up as you expect, but unplanned curves and gaps can lead you to new places. —The chaotic frayed threads in the back are as much a part of the fabric as the orderly smooth threads on the front. —Pay constant attention to both the big picture and the small details, the profound and the mundane. —Strength lies in the intersections, where separate threads from different places connect." -Pam H.

"I weave because it grounds me. I love working with colors and textures and tapestry weaving brings both to life with endless possibilities. It is the most expressive medium I have found. I’ve been a knitwear designer for nearly 30 years. People often talk about the meditative qualities of knitting, but it is no comparison to the feeling I have when I weave. I was drawn to fiber arts at an early age. I grew up with a mother who exposed me to various forms, but weaving is the one that I really took to. She bought me a potholder loom when I was old enough to use one; she bought me my first frame loom when I’d made so many potholders she recognized it was time to move on. Or maybe she’d run out of friends to give them to. Then she bought me a little table top loom after that. I remember how that made me feel so elevated, so pro. I loved feeling the yarn move between my fingers, thick or thin. I never took to shuttles. It was important to feel the weft and warp with my fingers alone. It still is. I weave because there is a deep need inside me to create - and weaving tapestries is what most satisfies that craving. It’s a form of communication for me. Communicating my emotions, my beliefs, and my deep respect and love for nature and all things living. Tapestries can tell a story, make a statement, and/or evoke an emotion in ways I would never be able to do in another medium. The days that I weave are my best days. When I was studying art in college over 30 years ago, I read the book “Portrait of an Artist”, a biography of Georgia O’Keefe, by Laurie Lisle. In it there was an excerpt of a passage she’d written to the writer Lee Nordness about her need to paint. It resonated in me so deeply that over all these years past I’ve thought of it often. I echo her sentiments when I say that the days that I weave are my best days and all other days are spent doing the things that have to be done to get to weave again." -Kennita T. 

"Why I weave I weave because I can, because it soothes me, because it causes me to reflect and find within me what I did not even know existed. Weaving challenges me to travel outside my area of comfort to confront those visions that come from my experiences, my dreams, my imagination. I weave because I can. The materials I use may be varied, coarse or fine, hard or soft, natural or not, I decide. The design may be elementary or complex, traditional or innovative, I decide. The weaving may be large or small, colorful or monochrome, smooth or textural, I decide. The final product may be elegant or simple or elegantly simple, functional or decorative, I decide. This is why I weave, because I can." -Pam D. 

"Who knew that with the simple manipulation of warp and weft, I would find my ultimate creative outlet. My life has been consumed with wool (knitting and spinning) since I was a young child, but weaving came to me later on, and it helped save me from a great depression. Weaving helped me overcome the loss of my spouse who suffered from a tragic brain injury and the end of taking care of my sick father, who passed away as my husband was also getting sick. To understand why I weave, it is important to let people know I am a fiber artist by nature. I think, sleep breathe in colors and texture. As a child I learned to knit. Bliss followed with the knitting of hundreds of hats and mittens that I made to comfort me through twelve years of public school. At 14 I learned to spin yarn; I am still in rapture over the ability to dye and spin yarn to the exact specifications that I want. Spinning yarn has given me a meditative and creative craft, a way to express myself, but I wanted something more fiber wise, I wanted to make something with my hand dyed yarns, I needed to weave. Weaving has become my heartbeat. Three years ago, I stopped seeing beauty. All I could I see in the world was two dimensional imagery, the boring and mundane in life, the most painful events, everything was viewed in black and grey. I was terrified, I lost my creativity. Thanks to tapestry weaving, I see my life in three dimensional colors and textures. What started as simple cloth making with my Cricket loom, led to me wanting to express my emotions into woven images. When I discovered tapestry weaving I felt like I could see for the first time in years. With a simple frame loom, half a dozen bobbins, a tapestry fork and yarn; I found my voice again. What magic it is to spin, dye and paint a picture out of yarn. I just visited the Cloisters in New York City, and of course it got me thinking about weaving. Just as great masterpieces of the past have no artists to credit the weaving too (like the The Unicorn Tapestries) I need not place my name on my work to speak the language of warp and weft. I believe the beauty of the images on the cloth are what will hold its value. Through weft placement, pictures become the language that creates my tapestry. I weave my difficult emotions into the cloth and my happy ones too. Sadness, confusion and pain are replaced by curiosity, playfulness and hope. When I weave images I am technically challenged, creatively stimulated, peaceful and blissful. It is enchanting. Weaving helps me acknowledge my sorrows and transform that emotion into serenity through the creation of art. Without weaving I believe I would still be depressed. I am so fortunate to be learning this craft." -Alexandra M. 

" Why I Weave I wouldn’t want to leave this world with songs inside my heart unsung. So this is why I weave. I have a message in my mind. The loom can help me let it out. So this is why I weave. I pick the warps to write my songs, my notes are yarns of varied tones. So this is why I weave. The silent strings don’t make a sound, but finished pieces are profound. So this is why I weave. The words can’t always say it all, but lines and shapes can touch the soul. So this is why I weave. It can just be the simplest thing or have a message deep and real. So this is why I weave. I’m cultivating inner peace, and woolen yarns relieve unease. So this is why I weave. The rhythmic pulse of changing sheds helps concentrate and calms my nerves. So this is why I weave. It’s art and music of my heart… It’s beauty, challenge, and a craft… So this is why I weave. The tapestry has been my love and everything I said above, And this is why I weave." -Larisa Z. 

"My name is Stephanie. When I was 21 I dropped out of college in Arizona and moved to Oakland, CA. In my time there, I met some of the most loving, creative, truly special weirdos, and became a part of a community where I felt at home. Two years ago, I moved to Western Illinois with my partner after he accepted a teaching job. I’m happy, I love my family, but it’s not really a town I would choose to live in outside of these circumstances. It’s hard to start new somewhere. I miss my home in Oakland. But not when I weave. When I weave I’m connected to a community, no matter where I am, of some truly special weirdos - past, present, and future. When I weave it’s calm, simple. I can make mistakes, forgive myself, and release myself from expectations. I have intention. I breathe and I let wool and cotton pass from my hands and fingers and allow it to become something. Every day, weaving allows me to engage with myself and a community in ways I never expected. My grandmother taught me crochet when I was young, in college I started knitting, when I moved to the Bay Area I learned about jewelry making (wire wrapping, bead weaving, metalsmithing), and eventually I found tapestry weaving. It was intimidating, I thought there was no way I could ever create something as beautiful or precise as what I’d seen, but I felt compelled to try. I’ve learned so much about myself as a person and an artist through my weaving practice. I weave because it heals me." -Stephanie H. 

"I didn’t always want to weave. In fact, all my introductions to weaving early in life, kind of furthered my disinterest. My lopsided reed basket left much to be desired. The uneven index card weavie quickly ended up the trash heap. A few years ago, my sister introduced me to pin loom weaving, which was a perfect disaster. My first 4-inch woven square came completely unraveled. Besides which, it took a good 30 minutes to make. As a seasoned crocheter and designer, a half an hour for a 4-inch square seemed absurd! And then, out of the blue, the bug bit! My sister turned a few squares into vegetables, and I suddenly saw the 4-inch squares in a whole new light. Now I rarely pick up a crochet hook for want of weaving. You see, I like a challenge, and pin loom weaving presented a challenge. What could one do with little squares besides make coasters, blankets and placemats? Turns out, a lot! Squares are only squares unless you manipulate them. Squares can be joined to make cylinders. They can also be folded, tucked, rolled, cinched and more. Once I started seeing how they could be manipulated, I started creating little bags and stuffed animals. I even got my first ebook published through Interweave: Zoo Crew, 12 Pin-Loom Animals to Weave and Love. To most weavers, pin looms hardly count as weaving! But this little loom sparked an interest in all kinds of weaving. I crocheted my first mochila bag for my mother, which required an inkle woven strap. At that point, my weaving vocabulary consisted of about three words: warp, weft, and loom! Inkle weaving introduced me to a few more! Though inkle weaving is different from pin loom weaving, I found it quite therapeutic. There is something magical about passing a shuttle back and forth that is calming and relaxing. And it was there I discovered something else, pin loom and inkle weaving are great for many things, but they cannot duplicate the beautiful patterns created on the larger looms. Though I do not own any larger looms, I enjoy looking at the various projects others have made. And I appreciate them all the more. My small looms have opened my eyes to the wonderful world of weaving of all kinds. Creating the stuffed animals has helped me introduce weaving to my children as well. I am inspired by the larger projects and look forward to weaving on a larger loom in the future. And hopefully, one day, my children will too!" -Deborah B. 

"I have often wondered why I enjoy things that are so time consuming and require so much attention to detail, for instance threading a loom and tapestry weaving. After reflecting on this idea of taking pleasure in what most people would see as tedious and time consuming, I have realized that is exactly what I like about weaving. I like that is is a slow process that forces me to be focused and thoughtful. I have the tendency to get excited about something and jump right in, I don't usually have patience for planning things out. I know that sounds like my personality wouldn't be compatible with being a weaver but actually I think it compliments it quite well. From the conception of an idea to the warping of my loom, to the final pick, I am thinking about the end result and often planning the next step. This long process gives me time to thoroughly plan out and meditate on my idea while also working toward the end result. Weaving like no other art form has been a way for me to create artwork I am proud of and have enjoyed making." -Lena K. 

"Interlacing. Intertwining. Intersection. Merging the threads, one with the next, into something larger, something that can keep people warm, comfort them, brighten their lives. It starts so simply, over and under, but can be so complex, so rich. Texture, color, structure: the simple threads build into something wondrous. The same threads tie me to the past, and to the future, from the earliest hints of civilization all the way across the solar system. Humans have woven threads into fabric for millennia, using simple sticks all the way to the fanciest computers. I’ve tried them all, but I love best the tools that let me touch the threads myself, the work of my hands. Humans have lived on Mars for 183 years last month, my ancestors and now me among them, but we are still working toward self-sufficiency. People need clothes, and they need household textiles, sheets and towels, rugs, pillows. Mostly those come from the big, fast, industrial looms, miles of matching cottons. But people also need beautiful things, unique things, and some of those are the work of my hands. There are odd moments here and there, interlaced into my day between all the other demands on my time. I run threads through them, twining around and through the whole of my life. There’ve been people living on Luna even longer than on Mars, but they aren’t so obsessed with self-sufficiency, being so close to Earth. Plus, they don’t have space or resources to grow fiber plants or animals in the quantity they would need. Still, there’s a thriving hand-weaving community: people on Luna need color and softness in their lives, even more than most of us. Those tunnels are endless gray, otherwise. The settlements on the moons of Jupiter are still in the basic survival stages, but in a few decades they’ll have time for crafts. Who knows, maybe someday we’ll even encounter alien civilizations. I bet they’ll be weavers too. Threads binding together an unknown weaver in 9000BCE, a Viking housewife, mill workers during the Industrial Revolution, across the solar system, and to places I can barely imagine: this is why I weave." -Sarah G. 

"Why I Weave Tapestry weaving is an amazing way for me to transition from my left brain career to my right brain play time. I explore color and texture and design, while at the same time have a structure within which to work. Since I was a kid, I have loved textiles but once I grew out of making my own clothes, I satisfied my passion by admiring and touching rugs of all shapes and sizes, blankets from the Navajo, woolen sweaters and scarves, crisp cotton sheets, and pretty dresses. Three years ago, a wise person advised me to reflect on what I loved as a child and see if it still inspires. I thought back on my sewing machine and the fabric store. What could I do now that will allow me to explore what I loved as a child? And that's when I turned into Alice going through the rabbit hole - one thing led to another and it still continues. As I thought about my admiration for the Native American rugs and horse blankets, I wondered if weaving would satisfy my desire. I signed up for my first ever art class, a three day tapestry class at the local art museum. On a handmade wooden loom with string as warp and yarn scraps as weft, I learned the very basic basics. I credit my teacher for keeping it simple and encouraging us to explore. I thought that this could be the beginning of something really different in my life. And then I found Rebecca Mezoff's online tapestry class ..... perfect for learning at my own pace in my own time. The class also introduced me to the color theory of Josef Albers which led me to the Bauhaus textiles of his wife, Annie. I bought a Mirrex and started the journey that reveals itself as I go. Tapestry weaving has changed my life. I call myself an artist, a persona I never dreamed I could be. It has inspired me to observe the world in a way I never have before. For example, I think Wyoming snow fences are some of the most interesting structures I have ever seen. So are mountain layers, beach color changes, flowing rivers, and even colorful stripes. I seek out art galleries in every town I visit hoping to see textiles that will generate ideas for me. Weaving has helped me see my life in a new and energizing way. The transitions, the gaps, the unplanned adventures make up the color and texture of my life." -Anne W. 

"Why I Weave Weaving captivated me immediately: the giant antique barn frame loom towered over my 10-year-old self. So many moving parts! Pedals like an organ! For years I admired the looms in historic homes, but it never occurred to me that weaving was something that modern people still did. It wasn’t until I was introduced to tablet weaving in an experimental archaeology lecture that I discovered it was possible to weave with no equipment—and I was off and running. I never questioned the delight I found in interpreting diagrams to create dimensional structures, and it wasn’t until years later that I realized that the sense of quietude weaving brought me was a form of meditation. Weaving has given me a connection with so many people. I have found fellow weavers wherever I’ve lived, and I feel a kinship with countless others I will never meet, because whether there are thousands of miles or thousands of years between us, we have weaving in common. From the mundane to the mythical, what magic to turn delicate fibers into a flexible web—a gossamer veil, the sail of a Viking ship, the carpet of desert nomad, or a kitchen towel. Weaving is intellectually stimulating; as well as learning new structures and techniques, I have learned so much about history and other cultures. I appreciate the tactile nature of the materials, the delight of colors, and the pleasure of using special handmade tools; noticing these while working is a way to practice mindfulness, and the repetitive motions of the process are calming. Creativity comes into play when designing patterns and choosing colors, and within the last year, as I circled back to tapestry, I finally began to see how I can express myself artistically with weaving, and I’m really excited to pull my new ideas together. Discovering weaving changed the trajectory of my life, and I mean this literally: 15 years ago I moved to the Pacific Northwest to obtain a degree in Fiber Art. I hope my woven explorations will continue for years to come." -Laura T. 

"Weaving brings my mind to a different space. I have never loved patterns and puzzles growing up. I actually venture to say they stressed me out! As I explore weaving I find myself mesmerized by the rhythm the patterns create. I'm hooked from here on in!" -Christine F. 

"I weave because it is one of the most calming, fulfilling things I do. I have a very high stress job and by the end of my 10 hour work day, I want nothing more than to sit in front of my loom and relax. I am a Bead weaver and it is extremely rewarding and gives me a real sense of accomplishment to see the pattern I am working on come to life and become a beautiful piece of jewelry." -Lezlie G. 

"As a nurse and wellness coach, I believe that it is essential to strive for balance: to exercise our minds, maintain dexterity, cultivate social interaction. For me, weaving is an activity that can provide this kind of balance. A project involves planning and preparing, math and measuring. Weaving requires steps that are both technical and tactile and smoothly blends activity and artistry. An in-person or virtual weaving community gives inspiration and insight. And, since there are so many scenarios at home and work that are perpetual “works-in-progress”, an added benefit is that completing a woven project provides the satisfaction of finishing! Weaving provides the balance I crave." -Sally W. 

" I guess I’ve always been a weaver. I just didn’t realize it. I grew up making potholders on a cheap metal loom. I’d make friendship bracelets and lanyards out of embroidery floss and leather. I’d even weave long strands of grass and weeds together while I played on my grandparents’ farm. But I swore as an adult I had no interest in weaving. I’m a maker, but I had plenty of hobbies. There was no need for another. But then I started paying closer attention to woven pieces and I was reminded of the weaving from my childhood. I was enchanted by the textures and how the colors played with one another. And the materials – I could weave with practically anything! I started dreaming about everything I could make and the equipment and supplies I could use if I became a weaver. As quickly as I had sworn I wasn’t a weaver, I had signed up for a class and my first loom was set up in my living room. Weaving makes the simple things magical. Without weaving, I never would have discovered the beauty of napkins and dishtowels. Beads that are pretty on their own, shine when woven together with leather and string. Friendships have been formed because we both appreciate the slow rhythm of weaving. There is so much to learn about weaving and so much that challenges me. I am a weaver. I guess always have been." -Lynn Z.

" I work in a field where I'm mostly conducting research or designing for digital experiences. Although I feel like I get to use my creative muscles, I yearn to make something with my hands, to experience design in a very tactile way. And there's a sense of peace that comes over me when I am concentrating on the small steps and moves that eventually become something larger. That focus helps me remember that life is about taking small steps and helps me be mindful that sometimes we need to appreciate the details as well as the bigger picture." -Carmen B. 

" When I was a little girl people, usually the whiskery great-aunts, would ask me what I wanted to be when I grew up. First I wanted to be a flying trapeze artiste in the circus, then it was a ballerina in a pink tutu. Next, I wanted to be the cello player in the orchestra pit at the ballet, and then a paleontologist or an architect dressed in a black turtleneck. Ever practical, my mother always said, “ Be a teacher, darling, so you can be home from work when your children are home.” But being a teacher like she and my aunt and both my grannies were seemed so … so pedestrian somehow! I wanted to be something special, something awesome. The conundrum of what I was going to be plagued me till the day dawned when I had to go off to university. I planned, like the good little indecisive fence sitter that I was, to do a liberal arts degree. One fine morning, after a few months of classes in French Literature, Anthropology and Art History I arrived early on campus and decided to look over some notes on a bench outside one of the art galleries in the library building. Then, I saw them: on the gallery walls, shining like beautiful, colored jewels were tapestries. Lots and lots of them. I was transfixed. I had never seen anything so beautiful, so tactile, so full of life both of their own and of the artists who had woven them. That was it. Game over. I knew now what I wanted to be when I grew up. I was nineteen years old. I was in Johannesburg, South Africa where I was born and raised. It was 1973. South Africa is a land that inspires art. With its rich (and unjust and terrible) history, incredible diversity of peoples and cultures, awe-inspiring landscapes, beautiful animals, and smells, sounds and colors that are unique in the world, South Africa delivers fodder for the imagination by the bucketful. Without wasting any time I sought out and discovered a community of spinners and weavers that I had never dreamed existed, talented artists, mentors and teachers who took me by the hand and guided me into this magical world whose depth and breadth has mesmerized me for over forty years. I weave because I have found a means of creating that expresses my aesthetic, my constant quest to make quiet and peaceful beauty in our chaotic, wild world. I weave because the process focuses and simultaneously expands my inner mind. I weave because the completion of a project brings me joy. I weave because it's what I always wanted to do when I grew up and didn't know it. Until I did. Lucky, lucky me! I weave therefore I am. (I have also taught for many years! And far from being pedestrian, teaching is very special indeed.)" -Robyn T. 

"Weaving has gently tugged at me for much of my life. A childhood friend's father was a weaver and a dyer. I was so very fascinated, but to her it was uninteresting and we were off to climbing trees and river swimming. I can still vividly recall his Finnish loom, rya rugs, and pots of dye on their deck. In college I was fortunate to partake in independent studies with Laya Brostoff, in her studio located in a Spreckles Sugar Mansion in California. She recognized my abiding love of nature, nurtured from being raised in Yosemite National Park. She schooled me in weaving techniques while encouraging me to use found, natural materials to weave tapestries that reflected granite cliffs and the soft greens of the park. A career in national parks and forests while single parenting left small corners of time for knitting, spinning, and a little weaving. All roads led to retirement on the family's Iowa Century Farm and Icelandic Sheep, looms, and spinning wheels. Now time for meditative weaving and putting those heart-deep nature images to weaving." -Sonja H. 

"I started weaving when a youngster on an old Structo table loom, just following the summer/winter pattern that was already on the loom. Later on I woven patterns and plain weave on a floor loom that had been retired from the local high school. I started spinning and using my handspun to create products to use and give as gifts. Speed ahead a number of years. I had moved to VT and had children who were still under school age and found it difficult to have time to wind warp and dress a loom. One day I gave myself a day to visit an exhibit in NH of the tapestries woven at the Ramses Wissa Wassef studio in Egypt. I was blown away by the colors and intricacies of the designs, most woven by street children RWW had taught to weave and using natural dyes. I was hooked right then and there and had to change my weaving direction. My first piece was of a chicken sitting on a nest. I was thrilled with using different breads of white sheep wool to create subtle shading, using different hand manipulated pics to create different textures and most of all - the ease of warping a loom for tapestry and that once the loom was warped every move was creative instead of 'mechanical'. I loved that I had immediate choices and could weave to make pictures or designs. It was all up to me what I wanted to do instead of following a treadling pattern. I am primarily self-taught, learning something new with each tapestry. I had been weaving tapestry for over twenty years before I took my first class. I am fascinated by all the different styles of tapestry weaving, continuing to learn and have never looked back. I love the freedom tapestry offers and the challenges it provides." -Linda W. 

"I often hear people of faith talk about a "calling." As a professional artist in photography and mixed media, I longed for the fiber, the weaving, the cloth but did not know why. I'd marvel at the Navajo tapestries and rugs, feeling a connection I did not understand. At age 58, something snapped. My hand-spun wool demanded a loom, a structure, an outlet. There was a calling. Ancient women, working on spindles, weaving their masterpieces, beckoned. In the last three years I've found a connection to the tapestry that is primal, feminist, tactile, and artistically satisfying (and frustrating!). I stand on the shoulders of generations of women and artists." -Jeane V. 

"I have always had clumsy feet and hands. But working any kind of fiber does the trick for me. That doesn’t mean that I produce the most artistic piece of work, but keeps me happily satisfied. I used to sew, knit and crochet. Then I discovered Weaving. And all the related arts. My husband despairs at my expensive hobbies. They included bonsai, anything Adobe related, buying books, gardening, etc etc. Since none of my hobbies came cheap, I am sticking with my most current love of Weaving. Not going into spinning or dyeing. Just gave away two large boxes of knitting yarns to a friend who crotchets. Weaving is rapidly becoming a fascination. I can spend hours working on it. My problem is design; selvedges; staying on the same shed ( I have just acquired a Mirrix, so shouldn’t be a problem); Time (a major problem); and Life’ responsibilities. I am very enthusiastic about learning new techniques. Internet and YouTube and Pinterest are good sources. And the ebooks from Mirrix. I haven’t tried any of those yet, but will soon. I have joined Rebecca Mezoff ‘ s new on line course for Fringeless and am planning on getting the extenders from Mirrix. I am too chicken to build my own loom yet!" -Kantu M. 

"As a little child I'd sit on the floor and unravel the scraps when my mother sewed our clothes. When white threads ran one direction and colored ones went across, I thought it was Magic! And the person who knew how/where to paint little red and pink and green dots on a white thread, so it would go together to look like tiny roses in my new dress--had to be so Smart! --that I desperately wanted to meet her. For years I wove and studied things in yarn and paper, with no particular goal in mind. When I could afford it, I bought a tapestry loom and took lessons. I am still pursuing an obsession with weaving and woven design, and seeking the teachers who can show me more of that colorful, logical magic." -Ann A.

"For me, a tapestry is an unforgettable experience unto itself, which involves all of the human senses. The tactile nature of yarn against my fingers is mesmerizing as if I were stroking a newborn colt. The sound of the shed, the weft gliding through the warps and the beater kissing the yarns is the music of gently undulating waves. The scent of various types of yarn sends my mind to linger in a meadow of sunlit grasses. The vision of watching a developing tapestry emerge is a joyful sense of engagement, delight and wonder. Each step in the process of designing, choosing yarns and weaving a story is, to me, a temporal gift of inspiration, contentment and utter joy. This is why I weave." -Linda S.

" I really didn't know I wanted to weave until I met Kathe Todd-Hooker who lives in the same town as I do. I met Kathe through a friend who told me about her open studio on Wednesday afternoons. She invites people in to share knowledge with other like-minded people. I watched another weaver in her studio working on his small format project and saw the beautiful weaving she does and became very interested in small format weaving. I am a free form bead artist working in peyote stitch and bead applique with seed beads so the idea of working on small format weaving designs really intrigued me. I am a person who learns by doing, so I took a series of Kathe's beginning classes. It was during this process that I really got interested in what can be done with small format. You can achieve great detail using a smaller warp sett and thinner weft bundles, and as I prefer to work on smaller pieces of art, small format really appealed to me. My first weaving piece is a geometric design that I drew many years ago. It is still in the process of being finished. There is a lot of designing that goes into small format weaving and that appealed to me. I love getting lost in the process of figuring out what is possible. It is very meditative and I find it to be very peaceful and enjoyable. I enjoy everything about it, except for warping the loom. That is rather tedious, but once that is accomplished the "creative juices" just flow. Small format weaving is a slow process and gives you lots of time to contemplate what the weaving means to you. I am very grateful that I had the chance meeting with such a fantastic instructor and feel very fortunate to have her guidance. When I first started weaving I was not sure I would be "get it." I was so confused by all that I didn't know. I will say the things that baffled me in the beginning have become easy now. There are still a lot of techniques that I have not learned yet. This is a journey and I am certainly enjoying the "trip."" -Sharon R. 

"I am in my late 60s and have always been an arts lover. My ability to draw or paint has not been the best. I have tried other creative outlets with stitchery and rug hooking. I’ve known about weaving but always thought it was spinning wheels and giant floor looms. In 2016 I went to “The Yarn Barn” in Kansas and saw the Mirrix Looms. My heart skipped a beat. Was this to be my new creative outIet?Thousands of skeins of colorful yarns and the beautiful simplicity of the Mirrix on the table in front of me set my imagination afire. I wanted that Mirrix loom and I wanted to be a weaver. A tapestry weaver. it was suggested that I try weaving on a less expensive loom so I purchased a small starter lap loom to see if weaving was for me. I fell in love with weaving and couldn’t get my mind off of the Mirrix Looms. I decided to purchase the 22 inch Zach loom. How does one learn tapestry weaving? I didn’t even know what warp and weft were. There were no classes or shops anywhere near where I live. I started my weaving education with the book, Tapestry Weaving, by Kirsten Glasbrook. Step by step, I followed along but still had large gaps in my education. A book can only do so much. I set out to find an online class. Rebecca Mezoff and the gals at Mirrix showed me their dedication to teaching the art of tapestry weaving on table looms. What joy! The feel of the wool and the colors of the yarn were almost intoxicating. I will always feel I am a beginner with so much to learn. The wonder of weaving is that no matter your age you can create with fabric. Take strands of yarn and weave them into a single and unique fabric art piece. I still get butterflies when I sit down to weave. Excitement and enchantment run through me as I set to work moving my weft through the warp. My mind and spirit still and time evaporates. I am an ageless artist and my canvas is my loom, my paint the yarn. I set aside time nearly every day to weave even if it’s just for a few minutes. It is the process of weaving more than the finished project that lures me to my loom. I realize that art is creating and that I am an artist." -Terri A. 

"Why I weave. As long as I can remember, I’ve had fiber of some sort in my hands. Initially, this meant holding a yarn hank for my mom, twisting a loop of string for cats cradle, or yarning over on a thread spool fitted with nails. Later, I crocheted, knitted, sewed clothes and kids’ costumes, with occasional forays quilting, embroidery and crewel. Although my productivity varied a lot over the years, I almost always have a yarn-based project at hand. Good yarn and good fabric feel so good to the touch! Over the years, as we’ve traveled, I’ve dragged my husband to quilt shows, yarn shops, tapestry exhibits, sheep-and-wool festivals, and alpaca farms. He looked at colors, textures, and scenery, and I admired the creativity of skilled artisans. Trying to improve my design skills, I took a beginning drawing class and fell in love, successively, with pencil, colored pencil, pastels, and oil paints. I discovered that I especially enjoy composition—thinking about how a design will (or should) work—and drawing people. Last year I looked at a figure I’d drawn and thought how well this would look in fiber. And, finally and at long last, it dawned on me that my joy in drawing could merge with my love of fiber and fiber arts. I decided to learn to make tapestry. I am just beginning—I’ve made about ½ dozen small tapestries thus far—and I am far away from reproducing the designs I see in my mind’s eye, but I have goals. I am learning the tactile feel of a whole new type of yarn. I have a new practice… and it quickly became clear that weaving tapestries will take lots and lots of practice. I am pumped and excited at the prospect of creating new art based on ancient techniques that can be reinterpreted again and again with new images. This summer, I will visit the “Unicorn” tapestries in New York’s Cloisters Museum and be invigorated yet again by the artistry of unnamed, underappreciated weavers. And so, with dreams and images in my head, I weave." -Michele B. 

"Why I Weave Why does an explorer cross an ocean, climb a mountain or traverse a prairie. Why does a musician compose a concerto or a sculptor create images from clay. The saying goes that “necessity is the mother on invention” and this could apply to many of the exploratory and creative activities of our human species. Ancient and not so ancient people sang and danced to congeal the group’s sense of comfort and loyalty. They carved and painted images of their prey and crops to insure an abundant hunt and harvest. They wove blankets and built pottery for for utilitarian purposes. They even sculpted goddess figurines to worship in hopes of fertility. Humans have been building and molding and sewing and carving and dancing and singing as far back as humans were human. Their arts and crafts, music and dance may have started out as a real or perceived means to survival but as civilization evolved they became less afraid of the dark and creations became art for the purpose of beauty itself. Music and dance were driven not only by aspirations to please the gods & ancestors but to express the inner being and bring forth joy. Pottery used for grain and water became collectable works of art. Metals that formed spearheads were also melded into jewelry for self adornment. Painting became a mimicry of nature and weaving became a story of man’s journey. Homo Sapiens are very creative animals. They are also industrious. Those big brains just like to imagine and plan and make “stuff”. They are sentient beings who see themselves as part of and yet separate from the physical world they occupy. They are aware of themselves in time and space. They can appreciate the beauty around them in a way other animals cannot. Birds choose a mate for their beautiful coloring, lovely song or exquisite dance but they are not really thinking “wow, I really love the tail feather colors on that hottie in the willow tree”. My puppy may find pleasure digging tunnels in the snowdrifts but he does not stop and take note of a single snowflake pondering it’s intricacy and how it was formed. He doesn’t think to himself “I think I will embroidery that image on my doggie bed” Why do I weave. What a question! I weave because I am a sentient being who is aware of the beauty all around me. I weave because I can imagine something that is not right in front of me. I weave not for necessity but for the pure joy of creating. I weave because I love color and texture. I weave because the process is meditative; it diverts me from my neurotic and incessant stream on consciousness. I weave because I want to learn something new, because it is stimulating, challenging and peaceful all at the same time. I weave because it’s part of my DNA. I weave because I get bored watching television. I weave because the process and the outcome are a mystery to me. I weave because I love the feel of wool between my fingers and because I have opposable thumbs. I weave because, like Grandmother Spider, I just have to do it. How else can I catch a fly?" Patricia H.