What kind of loom do you use to make your rugs? "It was custom made for a technique called shaft-switching. I'm the second owner and long knew of the man who built it before the loom came on the market. When I bought it, the loom had been disassembled and on the previous owner’s garage floor for three years. Once I got the loom to my studio I needed to figure out how it went together. There was no instruction manual...an engineer friend helped set it up. After that, I was up and running."
What's it like to work with this piece of machinery? "The loom can be very cantankerous and I have had to learn a few mechanical tricks to keep it in good repair. There are parts that are rigged with aircraft cable and it eventually breaks and needs to be replaced, sometimes mid-project. The brake mechanism consists of heavy rope, springs, turnbuckles, and bar-bell weights that hang from arms on the two large back beams. It is all mechanical, nothing automated. Some have asked me if it is some kind of work-out machine."
Why is the loom so colorful? "Originally the loom was painted gun-metal gray. My partner, Jeff, is an artist, and he suggested that he would like to paint it bright colors. I agreed, and that is how it came to be the piece of art it is today. We have had artist friends tag it, so there are some interesting and varied vignettes on it."