CNCHnet . . . The Textile Arts Webzine of the Conference of Northern California Handweavers

Finding Space for a Studio

Do you remember parlors? When I was growing up our small house had a parlor. The furnishings were like what you would have in a living room: couch, two chairs, end tables with hand crochet doilies and a big floor radio. My mother cleaned the room every Friday. That was the only time we were allowed in the parlor. We only used it on very special occasions. One day I was complaining to my daughter that one of my weaving looms was in a small cramped guest bedroom with very poor light, and the other loom was shoved in a corner next to the dining room table. I literally had to force myself to go to either loom to weave: both spaces were uncomfortable. My wise daughter asked me, “Mom, when do you use the living and dining room?” My reply was, “On Thanksgiving, when I have you all over for dinner.” Wow! I had created a modern day parlor. It was time for a remodel.

Arline's Studio

Arline’s Studio

Furniture, except for the dining room table and buffet, was sold or given away; carpets and the large brick fireplace were removed; a gas fireplace, new lighting and hardwood floors were installed; then area carpets and three small comfortable chairs were strategically placed. We moved the two smaller floor looms (a Schacht Baby Wolf and a Harrisville) so that my back was to the southern exposure windows and perpendicular to the new fireplace. On cold winter days it is a light, warm, cozy place to sit and weave. Later the dining room table was turned to be used for warping, and a 36 inch Nilus Leclerc loom was added next to more windows. The only thing missing and to be added was a large wall TV. I actually watch TV while I am weaving. Now I have a fully functional weaving studio that can quickly and easily be turned back into a place for the whole family to gather for Thanksgiving dinner.