Monthly Archives: January 2022

Follow the Thread Mixed Media Woven Works

I have uploaded photos of my series of mixed media tapestries, “Follow the Thread” to

https://crone-findlay.com/2022/01/17/tapestries-follow-the-thread-series/

If you’re interested in any of them, please send me a message 🙂 LINK

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Filed under band loom, lace making, Loom & looms & small loom weaving, mixed media weaving, tapestry, weaving & handwoven

“Woven Portals Tapestries and Mixed Media Weaving-1

For approximately 4 years, I worked on a series of tapestries and mixed media weavings that I have named: “Woven Portals”.

As I worked on the tapestries, I found myself being more and more fascinated by the compelling imagery of either a single eye or both eyes. When I finished the last piece in the series in the beginning of March 2020, within days, the world shut down because of the pandemic.

And, we all masked up…. and suddenly…. all we could see of other people’s faces were their eyes. I was gobsmacked by how I had been obsessed with making images that just showed the eyes surrounded by ‘soul imagery’ or blessing imagery, and now, that was what I was seeing in the world. Truly fascinating!

To see images of all of the tapestries in the series, click on WOVEN PORTALS

“A Blessing For the Bees” by Noreen Crone-Findlay

The pieces are woven on looms that I either modified to be able to weave the pieces or that I built myself or with my husband and son.

I will post images of the tapestries and mixed media weavings in separate blog posts to follow.

Here is the artist statement that I wrote for the show:

NOREEN CRONE-FINDLAY ARTIST STATEMENT: “Woven Portals”
How on earth do we navigate our way through the upheaval and chaos that have unfolded in the last few years?
Noreen Crone-Findlay draws upon systems like Sacred Geometry and the slow, meticulous process of weaving
tapestry and making lace to create beauty as an antidote to suffering, using the process of enquiry through art
making in the voyage of discovery at the heart of the creation of images of compassion, courage, community,
integrity, resiliency, hope and connection.
Metaphor is one of the main themes in this collection of mixed media tapestry/woven works. One of the first
steps in creating these tapestries required building and altering looms to be strong enough to stand up to the
rigours of weaving with wire, which is a relentlessly difficult medium to wrestle into a congruent form. This process
is a powerful metaphor of weaving the web of a new way of being in the world.
Why combine wire with the more normal fibres of tapestry construction? Wire is ubiquitous in our world, but
almost invisible in it’s ‘every-day-ness’. Wire is sturdy, flexible and strong, while having a definite breaking point,
much like humanity. Its reflective quality offers a moment of light at play while acting as the foundation for the
softer fibres. It has the ability to hold its ground, so it frames the Woven Portals into the Sacred Geometrical
shapes of equilateral triangle, square, circle and hexagon. It can be folded and manipulated to lift off the wall once
it has been woven. It’s magical. Difficult, beautiful, sometimes even painful to work with, but magical.
The mixed media woven works/tapestries that are the Woven Portals are a way of capturing glimpses of what is,
and what possibly can unfold by using Sacred Geometry as the leaping off point for each piece, while each tapestry
is asking questions that reach down into the depths of our souls.
How is it possible that children are held captive in cages while parents seek refuge? What do we carry forward as
a beacon of hope in creating healing and justice? What aspects and elements of the previously created systems
and structures will act as foundations for creating new healed and whole ways of being? How do we create
communities of resiliency in the face of a pandemic that has brought the world to its knees? How do we connect
with Nature and end the cycles of destruction that humanity has unleashed? These are difficult, painful questions
that need countless acts of small and great commitment and action.
Because the questions are so vast, great focus is required, and so some of the tapestries are very small, as they
are meant to be viewed as a cluster, with the narrative flowing from one piece to the next. Other tapestries are
meant to be seen as mandalas, offering an invitation to pause, sink in, and gaze into the eyes that look out at the
viewer. They are a moment of respite, of sanctuary, truly a portal that invites a visionary, new way of seeing and
being. As we navigate this great mystery, we need new ways of seeing and being. New portals. New hope.

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Refurbishing Older Four Harness Table Looms

Late last summer and fall, I discovered that I can no longer use treadle looms because of a problem with one of my feet.

That came as a surprise, but I love table looms, so I sold my floor loom and quested after the perfect table loom.

I really enjoy fixing up old looms, so I happily adopted this dear old loom built by an unknown maker:

She was in really rough shape, so it took a lot of tender loving care to bring her back to life.

I had to build a new ratchet for her cloth beam and apply many many coats of oil to her dried out self. Poor old girl!

One of her toggles was totally messed up, so I replaced the cord and now it works beautifully.

She had a truly grim warp wrapped around her back beam, with crumbling newspaper from 1974 in the warp, so she had obviously been neglected for a long, long time.

She is now a cherished member of the loom clan in my studio and I wove a bunch of Tea Towels for Christmas presents on her. (LINK)

She’s a delight to weave on, and is definitely a keeper!

She’s warped up with mug rugs for next Christmas- we work on Christmas presents all year long, so it’s kind of fun to start the year off with the beginnings of next Christmas 🙂


And….. This is Caroline…. the newest vintage member of my loom family.

For years, I have been longing for a Woolhouse loom, but they stopped production, and the looms are so wonderful that they don’t come available very often.

I was ecstatic to find one online and was amazed to be able to buy her!

She joined my loom herd not that long ago and it’s been fun re-furbishing her.

We had an oops when we transported her home…

Whoops…. one of her little wooden gears disappeared into a snow bank when she got loaded into the back of the car. Luckily, I was able to cut down an old wooden spool and it works just fine.

The lady that I bought Caroline from told me that she found the texsolve heddles annoying because of a couple of issues.

She mentioned that the heddle frames didn’t drop when the levers were down.

Rather odd, but vintage looms can be quirky.

She had talked to someone who suggested adding weights to the frames.

This made sense to me, so I puzzled over how to do it, and settled on adding steel rods to the bottom of the heddle frames. Perfect!

She also found it frustrating that long strands of texsolve stuck out at the top of the frames and snagged on each other.

I fixed that by trimming the ‘eyelashes’ at the top edge- it helped solve that problem.

And, oh yes, the heddles were not inserted right, and bowed out all wonkywobbly, so I fixed that, too, and now Caroline’s as sweet a little weaving machine as can be!

BUT, oh my! There was one more surprise that threw me for a loop.

Out of the blue…. YIKES!

Good grief! one of the rods that connects a traveling cord to the levers suddenly broke when I was weaving. FLOP went a lever! What?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!

That had me appalled and my head was spinning…. I went to bed feeling quite upset.

But then, after thinking, sleeping and dreaming on it, I figured that I could probably fix it by bending another steel rod to as close as I could get to the shape of the broken one.

I figured out how to take apart the mechanism to get the old one out and then huffed and puffed as I bent and shaped the replacement.

It was fiddly, but not too hard to insert the new one.

and –

Voila! Caroline is now a happy little loomie! (whew! ) (and I know what to do now if it happens again with one of the other connector pieces).

You can see in this pic that one of these things is not like the others… but it works a fair treat!

Anyhow, now, she weaves like a dream.

Her shed is quite small, so I use stick shuttles on her, and enjoy her most enormously!

Oh… another thing I did…

Somehow, she seemed to be asking for a little bit of embellishment, so I cut small wooden pieces and drew some things that are precious to me on them.

Then I wood burned and painted them and stuck them on in places that wouldn’t get in the way.

Caroline approves.

Both of these dear old looms were a lot of work to bring to life again, but what a joy it is to know them so well and to feel them purring!

They are pure happiness to weave on and I hope that I have a lot of years of weaving bliss with them, and then, of course, at some point, they will move on to another weaver whom I hope will love them as much as I do! But, not for a long time…. 🙂

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