I thought at the time that these were replacement heddles for the Nilart. But upon inspection today, they are not. They are 2″ too short! But they will fit on either the Mira or Fanny (an upgrade!), which take 10 1/2″ heddles. A 12 dent reed at 45″ requires 540 heddles. I have 200 more than that…
In 1975, Leclerc’s Kebec loom was the most expensive loom they made, ranging from $850 – $914, depending on the accessories. It’s a large, 4-shaft counterbalance loom with double treadles – 100″ or 120″ wide.
But their most advanced design at the time was their Nilart loom, a jack loom, available in 8 or 12 lamms. No longer available it was built on their successful Nilus time-tested design. The Nilart was either 45″ or 60″ wide and ranged in price from $730 (basic 45″ 8 harness) – $932 (60″, 12 shaft with inserted eye heddles).
The 12-shaft, 45″ Nilart I picked up on Sunday is a beautiful loom that is well-used, but well-cared for. It has inserted eye heddles…lots of them on the harnesses. The cost of this loom was $871 in 1975, which translates to $4,051 in today’s buying power. I paid $800 two days ago. And like I said, it is in great shape.
But the real story lies with the person who owned it, A. Gilmer in Winnipeg. She purchased it from the original owner, June Cameron, long-time MWFA member, weaver, artist, and weaving instructor, also from Winnipeg.
Links for Cameron’s activities/involvement can be found at:
The second owner of this loom relates that June was her first weaving teacher. She was taught at Ram Wools …back when Ram Wools was a wonderful weaving shop, with a noisy weaving workshop on the second floor (Klank, Kaboom, Klank, Kaboom, went the looms upstairs…).
A master loom, from a master weaver. I hope that some of her skill lies resident in the machine! :)
It was a simple suggestion, but sitting over brunch on Saturday my friend simply said how important it was that people be able to see a sample of what you will weave. And it’s true. For many people it is extremely difficult for them to envision what a verbal description of an item will actually look like when it is finished. I was a good reminder that I should not take what I do for granted and impose it on others.
I have a great mentor. An accomplished weaver. Her sharing her breakthroughs are like shafts of light in my dimly lit world of looms and yarns. Others explain. She illuminates. Her attention to detail. Tolerance of innocence. Her’s is a bodily-kenisthetic way of finding her way on a loom. Visionary. More colour than words. I am so glad that she has spent the time with me that she has over the years. There is no competition. No parading of who she is and what she has done. Inductive. Intuitive. Just her self and the warp. To watch her work is a treat. A master at play. And sitting at the restaurant on Saturday brunch she laid these things out on the table. And apologized. APOLOGIZED! And I laugh because that’s the genius of her greatness. Like someone else I knew in 1992 who could draw things out of her students, and was the reason I travelled half way across a continent. Who was the best instructor I had ever had the privilege of studying under. That one taught epistemology; this one teaches weaving. This one talked about failed scarves. And newly made purses. And interior pockets. She said, Look up Kumihimo…
And then we were on to Coptic circle weaving, and Coptic spiral weaving, and an exhibit called Ancient Spirals at the U of Michigan, Ann Arbor. And her own attempts on linen at 36/inch, and 2/20 wool packed like tapestry at over 2 and under 2….
…and I just cannot believe my good fortune and her own holistic and inductive way of teaching.
And then it was time to go. We hadn’t ended anything. A weaving ellipsis. Then she said, I went to a workshop once…hhmmm…look up Randall Darwall.
A good copy of this book was purchased from a book seller in Edmonton for $25 CDN and arrived today complete with blueprints and several other documents from its last owner. I will look through them over the next couple of days and hope to find the plans for building a flying-shuttle on the new Nilart loom. I really look forward to doing so.