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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Iowa and Weaving at the Vesterheim Museum

I have been working on weaving bands or tapes in my "spare" time at fairs.  I found a paddle tape loom in my attic several years ago and have taught myself to make bands, thin weavings for ties and decoration.  Before we had zippers and velcro, many countries made these simple, strong, thin bands by the yard... because they needed something to use for ties. The English, my paddle loom is an English style, made plain bands, but the Scandinavian, Germans and Russians made more elaborately colored bands to decorate their costumes. Having a Norwegian boyfriend, I was even more interested in the fancy patterns.
I have finally figured out how they do this on a flat board with slots and holes, no 4 heddle loom to make it easy. Roger started carving a flat gate style Norwegian loom for me and we headed out to the Vesterheim Museum in Decorah IA for the Nordic Fest in July.

Wonderful, expert craftspeople converge at this museum to demonstrate their work, share their love for early trades and crafts and have a great time with friends.  Roger set up his big tent on the museum grounds to demonstrate his wooden bowl carving on a pole lathe. Potters, carvers, weavers, spinners and artists spent the weekend sharing. I set up my mini pottery and a few yellow ware pieces in Rogers tent, I did not bring my potters wheel and took a break from clay, I really wanted to weave and hopefully pick up some tips from the experts.

I was not disappointed. The museum had a fine collection of early Norwegian tape looms and my first look at old tapes and new done by experts.  I brought along my new booklet I wrote on tape loom weaving and sold copies.

The groups of tradespeople I hang around the country with have a truely great livestyle. We get together at events like this one and work our crafts, share our knowledge and experiences and have a great time doing so.

Above... Roger entertaining and teaching the visitors his trade.

Read more about the festival at:
http://www.nordicfest.com/

And my looms at: http://www.eastknollpottery.com/id22.html

3 comments:

Lady Hawk said...

Your band weaving is moving right along, looks very nice. Wonder if I should start Blogging???? MMMMMM

Lady Hawk said...

Your band weaving is moving right along, looks very nice. Wonder if I should start Blogging???? MMMMMM

Mare said...

Very cool, but then you always do fun things and are a constant source of inspiration to me.