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The TC2 Jacquard Loom – Digital Weaving Norway


Weaving on the new TC2 – Digital Weaving Norway

Stacey Harvey- Brown had the good fortune to be in Norway, at the factory of Tronrud Engineering where the TC1 and TC2 computer hand-jacquard looms are manufactured. She got to work within the factory environment where the staff were friendly, extremely knowledgeable and listened to the user, creating or adapting equipment directly from weaver feedback.

Vibeke Vestby, the dedicated and inspiring weaver and creator of the TC1 and now the TC2, invited Stacey over to test weave on the TC2 with non-traditional weave techniques to see how well the loom could cope. She reports that the loom coped very well. One or two suggestions were acted on immediately, and modifications were made which improved the weaving experience. The TC2 is a faster loom than its predecessor, which delighted her, as that was probably her main criticism of the TC1. She had found that the TC1 wouldn’t allow getting into a comfortable weaving rhythm when only using one shuttle, and this has been addressed with the TC2. Stacey is a fast weaver with one shuttle, and although the TC2 isn’t quite as fast as she is, she was still able to get into a good weaving rhythm. When you use more than one shuttle, the speed certainly is not an issue.

The action of the loom is smooth. The heddles now lift inside a frame – not dissimilar to traditional jacquard – and there are fewer ends that misbehave. She had 2 that refused to co-operate out of 2640. Stacey has more than that on my baby jacquard sample looms from the 1880s which are completely manual. The curing of that kind of problem is also much easier, and hopes to have more time to investigate this on another visit.

The actual hardware on the TC2 is much less frantic than the TC1. Instead of cables everywhere, there are simple modules with vacuum hoses. The bulk of the electronics are in the side frame so reducing the amount of trailing cables. The design of the frame is cleaner, less industrial and somehow more ‘friendly’.

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Sian O’Doherty – Weave Designer

Perceived Perceptions

Textiles can be a powerful medium for creating illusions enabling artists to design concepts that are different to reality. Sian has been drawn to creating a textile collection that incorporates optical illusions, whereby her creations at second inspection reveal themselves differently, and are not what they first seem.

Her initial inspiration came from Google earth images- drawing reference from the patterns and vibrant colours created by estuaries. Her Welsh heritage is also apparent in many of her designs where she draws reference to historical Welsh textiles.

Fundamental to the body of work, has been the in depth technical exploration of multi layered weave structures combined with colour and the deviation of the expected path of a warp thread. Hand manipulated distortions rise and fall from structurally patterned ground weaves, emphasised by carefully considered bands of contrasting colour. Incredibly labour- intensive to produce, there is also no scope for errors. Impossible to commercially produce in volume they are a celebration of hand created textiles.

Keeping in mind the aspect of optical illusions Sian digitally developed her woven creations into new patterns that would be impossible literally to weave, but significantly look like weaves. She utilises modern technology to develop her woven creations into new dimensions, thus providing opportunities for maintaining handmade crafts yet with the possibilities of mass production.

Sian hopes to create a visual technical challenge that tricks the viewer when observing her designs, which she intends to be used primarily for interiors, both functional and aesthetic.
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Cockpit Arts – Clothworkers’ Foundation Award Winners

Cockpit Arts is extremely grateful to The Clothworkers’ Foundation for helping to establish and promote the Cockpit Arts / Clothworkers’ Foundation Awards 2012 which aims to support weavers who have recently graduated to help them develop their skills and pursue their career. All the Award winners can be seen at the Cockpit Arts Deptford Summer Open Studios 2012. Open 22-24 June. Address: 18-22 Creekside, London, SE8 3DZ. Opening times: Fri 6pm-9pm, Sat – Sun 11am-6pm. Cockpit Arts

The Clothworkers’ Foundation has been closely involved in the Award concept from the beginning, and  are most indebted to Andrew Blessley, Director of the Foundation for introducing us to Philippa Brock, Woven Textiles Pathway Leader and Linsay Robinson, Senior Weave Technician, Central Saint Martins, who advised on the award timetable and purchase of looms and equipment. Cockpit Arts also sought initial advice about the concept of the Award from weaver, Eleanor Pritchard, who is based at Cockpit Arts Deptford.

The Selection Panel comprised Scarlet Oliver, representing The Clothworkers’ Foundation; Mary Restieaux, acclaimed ikat weaver and designer; Vanessa Swann, CEO of Cockpit Arts and Beckie Kingman, Studio Manager, Cockpit Arts. The six Award winners moved into Cockpit in mid-April 2012. They occupy shared space in two studios at Cockpit Arts’ incubator centre in Deptford (Studio 213 and 214) and have shared access to looms and equipment, generously funded by The Clothworkers’ Foundation with a grant of £25,000. The 6 Awards are being generously funded by the Foundation at £2,000 per Award with match funding of £2,000 being provided by each Award winner.

Cockpit Arts are looking forward enormously to supporting the young weavers with business development support over the coming year in order that their weaving businesses thrive and grow to national and international success.

Award Winners

Nadia-Anne Ricketts

Deptford Studio 213/214

Multimedia textile designer and artist Nadia holds a first class BA (Hons) from Central Saint Martins. Nadia digitally translates music into fabric, and this innovative fusion of music and weave has led to projects with the V&A and Microsoft Research Cambridge. Her fashion-led work includes collaborations with musicians Beth Ditto and Adele.
www.nadia-anne.com 

 

 

Soukaina Aziz El Idrissi,

Deptford Studio 213/214

Soukaina is a surface designer specialising in weave who up-cycles yarns from plastic carrier bags. She was born and raised in Casablanca, Morocco and moved to London in 2005 where she studied at Central Saint Martins. She also won the New Designers Award in 2010.

www.soukaina-azizelidrissi.com

Teresa Georgallis

Deptford 213/214

Teresa specialises in hand woven and jacquard design cloth and explores themes around pattern, rhythm and sequence. She holds a textiles BA (Hons) from Chelsea College of Art & Design and an MA from Royal College of Art.

www.teresageorgallis.com

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