Sunday 24 February 2013

Adding to the woodpile

On Monday it felt too cold to go into the workshops so we decided we'd better get a bit extra for the woodpile. It is running low and this cold weather is obviously going to last longer. So off we went to a "meneuserie" that we've discovered near to Arras. No, we didn't want to get a "stare" of chopped logs, we like the recycled woods that are stacked into cubic metres at this particular place.

 As you can see we get a really random selection - it can be anything, but within this hotch potch of wood is some beautiful hardwood that can be used to make textile tools!

Once we get the wool home we play the game of "one for you, one for me" as John enjoys himself picking over all the wood and choosing the pieces that he wants. He will hold a piece up and say "what's this then?" as if I can recognise what the different woods are (I am beginning to get better, but) The he'll tell me and say "that will be perfect for tablets" or "that's beautiful mahogany, be great for braiding disks"
As his pile grows I start thinking - are we going to have any wood to burn? There is lots of unuseable wood there - it has too many nails in it, or it's wormy or it's rotten, no problem on the fire, but it is so much nicer to give old floorboards and door frames etc a new lease of life as beautiful textile tools that someone will treasure and enjoy using.

Saint Johns Wood produces the most accurate historical hand carders with leather carding cloth for mediaeval through to the 17th century (carefully researched and lovingly made!) Mediaeval Tablet looms and tablets, Inkle looms, shuttles, braiding disks and squisks with stands, weights, bobbins, Marudai and mirrors, nostepinnes, lucettes, spindles, distaffs. All the items produced have been researched and an explanation of the appropriate date of use can be given if requested. ALL of course are lovely for modern use!!!

John has also created an improvement for the inkle loom - his own invention, with a patent applied for! It's called the Moving Heddle Inkle Loom and is something so new he is running a course this summer at the Association of Guilds of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers Summer School in Carmarthen, Pembrokeshire.

 If you would like more information on the loom then do please email him.