The loom is an incredible object. People without the vocabulary will call it a weaving machine (which it is, sort of) or ask me how my “looming” is going.  I have too many looms in my environment. Even when they sit idle they are, to me, objects of beauty and power.  I think of weaving as the first technology, the loom a basic statement of “tool-ness. “

Heddles in the Sun

They say the earliest clay vessels have the indentation of baskets on their surfaces, that early makers discovered ceramics by leaving their mud-lined baskets in the fire. By weaving together sticks and stems, humans made the first free standing shelters, the first hand built containers and the first intentional clothing. Who knows, maybe later, folk dances were related to the treadle patterns of feet on looms

To weave together horizontal and vertical elements is playing in the realm of physics; the structure of materiality. It is a basic human thing to do. The loom developed gradually, right along side the plow, as a tool to make this activity more efficient. On that productivity, industry and trade was built and textiles themselves became more and more elaborate. Now we rarely think about where these ubiquitous clothes, rugs, curtains or sheets come from. They come from a loom, a peaceful tool of humanity

Copyright © 2015 Sarah Mays-Salin