Rory Mutton Weaver
The Rhythm of the Loom
In 1996, Portland was the site of the Handweavers Guild of America conference. I had never seen such an incredible display of work before. That year my name finally reached the top of a three year waiting list to learn to weave on floor looms at Ruthie’s Weaving Studio (a private weaving studio) in Portland. The timing wasn’t the best. I had gone back to college to finish my degree and was caring for my ailing mother-in-law. I am so grateful I took the opportunity. What I found was an amazing teaching studio. But the best part was the supportive atmosphere of fellow weavers. Many times it was my solace and in many ways a sanctuary. I still am surprised that what I started as a possible hobby has become a long time passion.
I enjoy the technical part of designing as well as the creation of a finished product. The actual weaving can be very calming and almost mesmerizing with the rhythm of the loom and your hands and feet. I find it inspiring and enlightening to share the product and process of weaving with others, and it has been encouraging the last few years to see how many men and young people are becoming interested in learning to weave. Over the years since I started participating in the PHG sales, I have been amazed by the increase in sales. I think the increase is partly due to the “buy local movement”, but also because of the durability and individuality of the items—woven goods make very unique gifts!
Growing up sewing and knitting from a very young age, I have always been intrigued with fiber crafts. When my Mom took rigid heddle weaving lessons and loaned me her loom to try out I was hooked! I used a book published by a local expert and created a table runner—I was fascinated by the endless possibilities and the planning process.