Using rescued and restored 18th and 19th century weaving tools along with locally grown wool, I am assembling in one place these period looms and spinning wheels to teach and share the knowledge of traditional home textile production . For me, they have been touchstones to the past.
Ever since I discovered that looms from the 1800’s still existed and could be found, purchased and used, I’ve been on a mission of sorts. Along with spinning wheels from the same period I have sought out, learned to use and understand, and acquired these magnificent tools which work just as beautifully today as they did 150 years ago.
The thing I find most magical about them, is that each one tells a story all it’s own – about a maker, a weaver or hand spinner, a family, sometimes a culture and always a determination to provide the necessary things of life, themselves.
As I set out to learn more about the tools themselves, I discovered more about the times during which they were made and used, as well as the circumstances under which they were used. So in a sense, sitting at a period wheel or loom and using it transports me back in time. I am able to touch and use tools made by people I will never meet, used by women ( and some men ) much like myself – ordinary, simple, self -reliant, concerned with providing a quality of life for themselves and their family.
In rescuing the tools and restoring them to working order I feel it’s important to share the history and knowledge of the tools, traditions and techniques behind their purpose and function with anyone and everyone who will take a moment to pause and see in them what I see.
To that end, Old School Wool and Weaving Center – the idea – was born decades ago and now is coming to life. You are very welcome to join me as I go from concept to fully functional teaching center. I hope you do!