Ania Grzeszek - Woven Journals

December 2016

My loom story

I opened the door to our flat and he was already there, we hugged like we would not see each other for long months, even if it was just 10 days. I noticed he moved some furniture around while I was back in Poland for Christmas. Didn’t know why he would do that. Didn’t care too much, in the end, it’s good to have a chest in the hallway, I thought.

I handed him his Christmas gift - a tiny painting of “Pillars of Creation” by Lorraine Loots. He loves the Universe and everything about it. It’s hanging on our gallery wall now, being one of the most special pieces.

I knew he was going to gift me something weaving related. I started weaving just a few months before but I was very serious about it. I didn't expect THAT, though.

That was the second I noticed something weird in our bedroom. The chest wasn't there anymore, but the space behind the window curtain was definitely not free. And there it was! A loom! A proper big floor loom! What a crazy chicken, I thought! I can’t even explain this feeling, that filled me from head to toe. A floor loom was what I was dreaming about but I thought I will not be able to afford one within the next few years. It was one of these dreams that are just too big to become goals. And yet, there it was…

Crazy, exciting, scary, intimidating, complicated, beautiful, unexpected. I had absolutely no idea how it worked. I spent days watching youtube, reading books and researching.

My loom was bought from a lady, who decided it’s time to say goodbye to weaving. She said she didn’t have enough time to make things anymore and she wanted it to find a new home. She moved it to Berlin all the way from Sweden. If I'm not mistaken my loom is almost twice as old as I am. 

After some research I knew what I had at home ;) It’s a 4 shafts counterbalance loom from a Swedish company Inga Askling. It was designed and build in Sweden, the model Göta was extremely popular in the 70s and 80s - it's a foldable loom but still pretty wide (90cm), with some lovely old fashioned heddles.

I got the loom already warped. It was a real blessing for an amateur like me. So there was nothing more to wait for. It took a few more hours (or days?) to make it work properly, but “The big book of weaving” by Laila Lundell and Elisabeth Windesjö was an amazing help by setting it up.

So I wove… and wove… and wove. After 6 long weeks of working on my first cloth every single evening, I finally cut it off the loom. And gasped. It was so beautiful. That was the beginning of a new era for me.

The hashtag #myloomstory was originally started by Maddison West Wilkerson of West Domestic. There are already over 50 weavers who shared their stories online. They are absolutely great, sometimes touching, sometimes funny, and all of them very special. Please scroll through Instagram to read them, and if you’re a weaver, share your own.

My loom story
My loom sits at the window ledge. I love looking out the window when I'm weaving.

My loom story
Beautiful old fashioned heddles.

My loom story
View through the reed.

My loom story
This mess gave me a headache and was solved first after few hours.

My loom story
Exciting blank canvas of a fresh warp.

My loom story
Lovely wooden details.

My loom story
My first strokes of yarn, first experiments and patterns.