I began weaving tapestry in the 70s but eventually gave it up to pursue a knitwear design career in the late 80s. So many wonderful happenings have occured in the tapestry world since then! It’s encouraging to see tapestry weave-alongs, new tapestry books, yarns, and looms coming out… like the Arras!
Tapestry is the fiber medium I connect with. Nature inspires me, and, more specifically, the interconnectedness of life. Reciprocity is an important aspect of my work. Trees, plants, and fungi are some of the subjects I draw from. Tapestry gives me the means to visually express these connections.
Enter Arras. When I heard Schacht was working on a new vertical tapestry loom, I could hardly wait. I had several other looms at that point, but none except the simple frame looms were made of wood. One of my favorite things about the Arras is the wood and the way that new wood aroma lingers for days. I wish I could have bottled it!
A lot of my work involves the soumak technique (the fine lines in the photo above), which requires me to be able to get my hands in between the front and back warp. The depth of the Arras gives me plenty of room. The size is nice, too. It’s large enough to do a substantial piece, yet small enough to complete a weaving in a reasonable amount of time.
Portability isn’t as important for me, but the loom could easily fit into the back seat of my car if I needed it to. And now that I’ve assembled it on my own, I’m sure I could take it apart if I had to and put it back together again!
But that’s just scratching the surface. The tensioning mechanism is elegant and the ability to raise and lower the weaving is something I know will be very useful. The design of the Arras is well thought out, from the way the warp coil system and warping bar look to the beautiful (and complex) shedding mechanism. If you are a tapestry weaver, you’re sure to love this loom!
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