|Artist's Statement - NANETTE
As a child, living in Virginia with my
grandmother, I watched her weave rag rugs on the Union 36 loom which I
now possess. I learned to crochet with leftover warp, and marveled
at the "fancy" evening bags she wove from the 8" Structo four harness
loom now in my loom room. But I didn't think much about this until,
as an adult, I moved to Freeport, IL, and the YMCA offered a class
in weaving--which happened to be taught on Structo floor looms--made in
Freeport. So, I took up weaving, and before long fell heir to Mom's
About that time we moved to the "country"--five miles from town, with fences and outbuildings. Guild friends, including Mary Boeke Hill, guided and encouraged my timid eagerness to have my own sheep. It only took a few seasons to settle on what was, for me, the ideal spinning fleece on the ideal breed of sheep, carefully fed and sheared to produce the fleeces used in most of my spinning and much of my weaving. The fact that these animals are also my pets gives me justification, perhaps, in practicing this anachronistic craft.
Even though the articles displayed here may seem quite unrelated, there is really a continuum of heritage, chance, opportunity and experience that links them all, from looms and antique advertisements to miniature overshot coverlets and heavy twill rugs. I greatly appreciate The Dining Room's creative approach in giving Mary Boeke Hill and me the opportunity to show these looms and handwovens.
|Artist's Statement -- MARY
Mary Boeke Hill became interested in the Structo Artcraft looms nearly 20 years ago when she purchased her first Model 240 for $40. First manufactured as toys, these looms became used by and marketed to, as is true today, serious weavers.
By 1922 the Structo Manufacturing Company (founded in 1912) was manufacturing two all-metal looms painted in black and blue enamel. One wove a 4" wide cloth and the other 8" wide. The looms were marketing to people convalescing "to produce much art work" and to "Little Sister and Big Sister too."
The looms came complete with an instruction manual, pattern charts, warp, four shuttles, a draw-in hook and a wrench. Some of the parts of the frames of the metal looms were directly evolved from some of the Structo building sets.
Well-know weaver Mary Meigs Atwater wrote the "Manual of Instructions for Structo Artcraft Looms Numbers 240, 420, 600" in 1930. She also hand-drafted at least 23 weaving patterns for use on the various models of Structo Looms.
By 1932 Structo had filed six new loom patents, including the steel hexagonal warp beam and the pre-filled warp spools. "We perfected this year a method of supplying warp on individual spools for use on these looms which simplifies their use and we shop thousands to our loom users throughout the country."
Ten different models were offered for sale by Structo in 1941. But World War II was to have a huge impact on Structo. Following the company's sale to another company, the loom life was bought by Dick Blick Art Supplies of Galesburg, Illinois in 1972. Dick Blick sold looms through it's catalog through 1978 and still retains the rights to their manufacture.
or if you have questions about the current one, contact Knitter's Treat.
Knitting workshops are held in Monticello
Photos by Lori Manning Berg
Copyright © 2003.
The Dining Room at 209 Main
Valentina Devine Creates
JAPANESE TEXTILES -- OLD AND NEW
Men Who Knit
Quilts by the Thursday Friends
WEAVING WITH SEWING THREAD
HISTORIC MONTICELLO WOOLEN MILL
Katherine Pence Inspired by Everything
WHY DO I SPIN?
THE EARLY KNITTED WORKS OF JOYCE WILLIAMS