Thursday, 5 July 2012

Here's One for Sherry ..A Loom with a View!

Now my blogging-buddy, Sherry (Crimson Leaves over on conservativelybohemian) is a bit depressed. She has a pretty low opinion of her talents at the moment, don't ask me why, 'cos she's got a loom!!! Now if you have a loom you have no right to be depressed it's like owning the world.

Trouble is, she is really good at lots of arts & crafts but doesn't realise it. She did a brilliant portrait of Celeste's  mother, which should tell her something - but doesn't. It would be ever so nice if you popped in to see her ...she might listen to you. 

Now Pat once thought I was having an affair with a loom ... I spent more time getting that loom installed than I spent with Pat.

Anyway... on condition that she smiles for five minutes ... here, for Sherry, is the picture of an antique Swiss Ribbon Loom that I drew, and the little story behind it.


Pen & Ink  (12" x 9")
We had won a contract to manufacture medical laboratory equipment and needed to find a weaving machine to mass-produce the heating element. The element looked like those woolly hats girls wear in the winter, but without the pom-pom. and it had to woven in fibre glass (looks like cotton thread) with a heating wire woven in.

The best place to get a machine made was in Switzerland. The area around Basel (Basle) is famous for its ribbon looms. So I flew out there.

The airport is marvellous! For a start it's not in Switzerland but mostly in France. There are 3 sets of Customs Officers and three exits: 1 into Switzerland, 1 into France and 1 into Germany!!    

We drove out of the city into the countryside and it really was quaint and very rural. There were lots of small family businesses - each specialising in weaving.

I met the person I needed to see who said that there would be no problem in making what we needed. He showed me around his workshops and the barn-like warehouse, where I found many old looms that the family had made over the years. I fell in love with this one and photographed it







35 comments:

  1. John, that is so kind of you to try to cheer up Sherry! And just the right drawing for her! I just had a look at her blog and you are right: she has lots of talent! And so have you!

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    1. Thanks, Judy. You do your share of brightening our days!!

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  2. My but don't you have a lot of fantastic work in your archives! Whoa!!! Fabulous ink drawing...it is masterful! It looks like an etching. I'd like to have that on my wall...yes, it is a work of art OF a work of art.
    True enough, Sherry painted the most exquisite painting of my Mother. I've tried a couple portraits of her and they would be close...but not quite there. Sherry's portrait of my Mom looks just as my Mom looked and I am totally in love with that painting! Sherry has many more successes than failures and that's true for most, I think. We just have to keep driving ahead, like a big icebreaker ship in the sea..plow through the low points and keep going...that's the ticket!
    It's nice of you to get your followers to pay Sherry a visit. Here is the link to her post on the subject of doubt: http://conservativelybohemian.blogspot.com/2012/07/slump-of-doubtfire.html

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    1. Thanks Celeste ... you are too kind.

      I hate to see friends sad.

      Remind me to tell you about my fantastic icebreaker story sometime :0))

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  3. Dear John, thanks for presentation of a blog run by a talented person!I follow!

    Many years ago I built following the instructions of a book that would show how
    wove in centuries far away!
    In Turin (where I lived from 1980 to 2002) was a district where they had gathered 1700 families of weavers so the noise of the looms did not bother anyone.
    This district is now in the city center and is still called "contrada of the weavers'!
    See looms has now become rare, thanks for the photo and post!

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    1. We all need a little support and reassurance at times, Rita.

      Yes, old fashioned looms can make such a noise. They are still in use but the shuttle is now blown back and forth by compressed air ... I think!

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  4. Sorry,John!translating "picture" with the translator had not noticed that the image of the loom is your beautiful work! Congratulations for this outstanding loom!!!!!

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    1. No problem, Rita ... the translator can bring up some amusing errors at times.

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  5. John you are a sweetheart. It was so distressing to read Sherry's blog that day. I was blown away when I saw her loom. I thought she was a talented painter, I had no idea she was a talented weaver as well. I always visit her. I will continue to do so. She says she's in a slump, but perhaps she's just in limbo between painting and weaving and torn between the two? When you're multi-talented that can freeze you up sometimes as you probably know. We have to give her a lot of support and encouragement. That's what blog buddies do. It's a great community and you're a great guy. Pat's a lucky gal.

    Another beautiful drawing sir. I do love articulate drawings of machinery--as much as castles. I downloaded one of Eleanor of Aquitaine's castles, in case I wanted to try a bit of architectural drawing to shake me out of one of my slumps.

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    1. Yes I get stuck in the limbo where there are so many projects that whatever I do I feel I should be doing something else.

      This loom is what I call one of my cross-over drawings ... not really technical and not really art ...somewhere in between and I get a lot of enjoyment out of them - satisfies the needs of each discipline.

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  6. Wow John! Such complex subjects you choose to draw! I shy away from mechanical subjects. For some reason I find my self needing to understand how things work before I feel I can draw them. Silly really! I hope your post helps put a smile on Sherrys face :0)

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    1. I started drawing as a Naval Architectural draughtsman (draftsman) and I get a kick out of doing the odd cross over drawing.

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  7. Love the title of your post, John. When my sister was enceinte, I would tease her about a "womb with a view". Fabulous, detailed drawing of the loom!! And I will go visit Sherry now.:)

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    1. Nice one! Glad you like the drawing.

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  8. complex drawing done with precision .

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  9. how lovely of you to try to cheer your friend up. I'm off to visit her blog just as soon as I tell you how amazing your loom drawing is! I wouldn't even know where to begin with something that technical and detailed- there's absolutely no room for artistic licence there and artistic licence is my best friend! clearly, you don't need it though!

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    1. Some times I just need to do a semi-technical piece - it's a good pen & ink exercise and is risk free. I can do them in cruise mode for relaxation.

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  10. Wow, John!!! I have to admit that you did indeed make me smile! I am imagining weaving with fiber optics and fiberglass now, copper wires, silver wires, etc. Seems like it sure would have a neat outcome! And what a perfect little loom too! I never would have guess that they could be used for such modern day types of things. And that drawing! (Insert Andy Griffith - may he rest in peace - whistle!) Amazing attention to detail! And thank you for cheering me up.

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  11. Glad we all got the job done, Sherry: you're smiling... hold the thought, enjoy the art, forget goals and targets ... your painting is already (all ready) stick with it and it can only get better and better ....btw I can't paint at all!!

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  12. What a incredible story! The loom is really interesting. Very precise drawing, looks like an old engraving.

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    1. Thank you, Maga. I first realised how old-fashioned my style was when, in 1980, the printers in Holland showed me some old pictures that almost matched mine ... but much better than mine of course.

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  13. Wow John, your attention to detail is absolutely, jaw-dropping, ASTOUNDING guvnah! Seriously I am amazed every single time I visit your blog. And you are so sweet to help uplift Sherry. How'd we get so lucky to have such a great blog buddy as you huh?

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    1. Thank you guvvna. I must be honest I don't think I've met a better bunch than the folk around here! One for all ...and all for one!! Huzzah-squared!

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  14. LOVE, LOVE your story, John. And this loom is absolutely incredible!!! I hope my excitement shows through!!!! I just love your work so much and I agree with Crystal in that we are so lucky to have a blogging buddy like you!!!! So glad you made Sherry smile!!!

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    1. It's me that's the lucky one ...how you 'painters' put up with a non-painter who 'critiques painters' I don't know.

      Thanks for the kind comments

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  15. OH. My. Goodness. This is absolutely amazing! Your ability to capture detail is mind boggling. Off to see Sherry!

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    1. With your understanding and use of detail, Minn, I take that as a compliment to be valued.

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  16. Hi John, I am always astonished when I admire your incredible work. The accuracy of the design and details of this old loom are simply amazing, true masterpiece. Have a good week end! Ciao.

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    1. Ciao Tito, Thank you so much for your kind remarks.

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  17. Your artwork is amazing, such incredible detail - you must have soooooo much patience - which I haven't! - even if I could draw like this - which I can't! - I just would not have the patience with all those details - I'm in awe .....following!

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  18. Sharon - Thank you, how kind, and welcome to the blog ;0) I am far from being the patient type ...but rather, a fiery Celt (Welsh) with Italian and Irish ancestors, there is no way I could be the patient type... I draw quite quickly really!

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  19. John, my wife is beginning to recognise the sound of the 'thud' my dropping jaw makes on my desk every time I visit your blog. Outstanding work.

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  20. Chuckle! Thanks John...I just saw your knight and it took me a moment or two to realise it wasn't a photograph - totally impressed with the brilliance of it.

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  21. I spent a lot of time looking at this trying to decide if it was one of your drawings or a photograph. It's AMAZING. Fantastic comes to mind too. :))

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