When I’m thinking about taking a class, I look for a class where I will learn multiple skills, and the sort of skills that will be of use in the work I do. This little tape loom would be just the sort of thing I would be interested in. Bonni Backe, an IGMA Fellow member whom you may know as the artist behind Weevings, will be teaching the construction of this miniature box-style loom at Guild School this coming June. In the class you will learn basic woodworking skills and how to weave the sort of tapes that would have been woven on this type of loom in the parlors of homes in the 18th and 19th century. You will weave the tapes on a full-size inkle loom and thread a partially completed tape onto the loom to look as it would have if it had actually been woven on the miniature loom in the first place.
I’ve taken a couple of classes with Bonni, and they have inspired my work. Learning how to weave these tapes, and other decorative trims on the inkle loom greatly increased the options from which I can choose to decorate the furniture I make. Inkle loom weaving was also the starting point from which I learned to make other passamenterie trims like tassels, fringe and braids. With enough time and perseverance, one could probably figure out the construction of most of these trims on your own, but what a pleasure it is to have someone who’s already worked it out pass on the skills in the classroom. It frees you to move forward to apply those skills, and even to improve upon them with your own creativity.