4th March 2019 – Weaving on the Market

Today I was at Rotherham Market setting up the large frame loom and instructing the volunteers for the weaving that will take place this week.
I really did enjoy the chance to just work with my hands and explain what I was doing – plus, it’s always satisfying to work out the bugs (and I’m calling them that with conscious reference to the idea of debugging). For example, it became immediately apparent that we will have to do the majority of the weaving with strips of fabric as the frame is so large we will never finish it in a week just using wool. It also became quickly apparent that my method of weaving with sticks, which I use with the mini-looms to great effect, simply doesn’t scale up.
So I sat for many hours weaving with my fingers until one of the ROAR team pointed out we could add string heddles to speed up the process – I’ll admit I kicked myself for not seeing something so obvious!
There were also some bugs in the electronic connections – something I’d spent a lot of time developing to be pretty fool-proof. I’ll have to see how people have got on with them when I go back on Thursday. This in itself is interesting – coming up with a project and then leaving it for other people to work on without actually being there… it’s an, admittedly crude, example of my ideas about designing ‘systems’ as artworks and it will be interesting to see who has got involved and how it stands up to use.

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