Today Paul cut all the strips into loom pieces. Now he is in the process of routering the slots in the adjustable bases.
It is another very dusty process even with the shop vac going while routering. Paul looked like Pig Pen from Charlie Brown when he was done. I made him strip out in the backyard before coming into the house.
My turn is coming soon. I round all the edges on all the pieces, drill holes and attach hinges and screws. More to come!
Summer is over and our beautiful Pacific Northwest Autumn is finally getting here! We have a month before the rains return and in the meantime can enjoy beautiful sunny, crisp days.
We have been steadily selling our Loom inventory, so it is time to get the manufacturing machine started up again.
Today’s job was to cut up the sheets of ultra light weight fiber board into the strips that we will eventually cut into the pieces for Larry the Loom. The dust created is fine, like baby powder, and gets EVERYWHERE! Even draping with plastic isn’t a total solution. We will just have to get used to it getting tracked into the house for the duration.
Paul and I have been building looms for Don for the past six years or so. When Don started slowing down, we converted his beading room into an office and now there is a veritable treasure trove of beads and findings stacked on his pool table two feet thick. When we went to visit this last time I went shopping in the basement.
Now, I am a rank beginner at this, so I certainly was not diving into the king’s ransom of 16/0 Delicas and the bags and bags of beautiful Japanese glass from Toho Beads. I grabbed a couple of spools for threading the loom and big beads. There are lots of bracelet patterns out there I can practice on while I develop some skills and I have a niece who likes beads!
An even more important discovery was the box of photos, negatives and slides of most of the pieces Don has created over the years. Some have been sold, the rest will eventually be offered for sale. In the meantime we have this incredible record of his journey in the craft of bead weaving. I will be taking the slides to a company that can covert them into digital pictures so that they can be posted for everyone to enjoy.
When Don asked us to take over the business, we knew that there was some updating that needed to be done. We have been busy integrating the business with social media and secure ordering. It made sense to rebrand the business as Larry the Loom and add a shopping cart as well as secure credit/debit and PayPal options. We also have stores on Etsy and Ebay.
I had made Don a Facebook page for the business, and we now also have a Pinterest page for Larry the Loom. I have to admit I am a Pinterest junkie and I am having a blast storing images that will inspire future projects!
This is just the beginning of our leg of the journey. We are looking forward to creating connections with the local beading community and I can’t wait for the next bead show to come around!
Della Morris- Francis
Everywhere I go I see patterns now. I see random pictures on Pinterest or on TV and think, “Wow, that would make a cool beading project”. I fear I am on the brink of a new obsession.
I tend to be drawn more to linear progressions of pattern. More Frank Lloyd Wright, less Alphonse Mucha. More Deco, less Nouveau. Maybe it is just because I know layout would be easier, but I’ve always like patterns.
When I was a dancer, drums were always my favorite. Patterns again. I can still rock a pair of zills like nobody’s business.
If my sewing skills were anything to write home about, I might have gotten into quilting like the beautiful example up top. I don’t have the patience for fiddly bits of fabric. But pretty piles of sparkling glass that you can stir with your finger like a dragon playing with its trove? I can get into that.
Don Pierce is my father-in-law. He started beading after seeing some amazing work by an artist called Virginia Blakelock (http://www.beadcats.com/) in a gallery in Eugene, Oregon. The rest is, as they say, history. He started bead weaving and has created incredible works of art and written a couple of books.
One of his greatest achievements has been designing an amazing loom for bead weaving. About five years ago, my husband and I (Paul and Mary Pierce) started making the looms for Don. Paul is a journeyman machinist by trade, which of course means that everything has to be perfect!!
Earlier this year, Don asked us to take over the business and market the looms, not just manufacture them. His health has become a little more challenging and he was just not enjoying the ordering and shipping anymore.
We have made some upgrades to Don’s original website, renaming it http://larrytheloom.com/ .
Part of that work included adding secure ordering and payment abilities. I had made a Facebook page for Larry the Loom and this blog will publish to that as well. We also have a Pinterest page and have just opened an Etsy store.
My beading experience has been limited to belly dance costumes, which usually entailed beading directly on a costume with dental floss. I am going to take some classes, raid Don’s store of beads and supplies and start on my own journey of creation.
Needless to say, I already have a loom!