In March 2020, I was invited to bring my floor loom to the lobby of the hospital. While I was there, I had the privilege to introduce visitors, patients, hospital staff,children, men and women to weaving.
At the most elemental level, weaving consists of warp and weft, each running in a separate direction but intertwined. The design is in the hand dyed warp which goesfrom orange to turquoise with boucle stripes going from blue to pink. The weft is yellow and cream color which makes the pieces cheerful and pleasing to the eye.
The first visiting weaver was a young girl, who curiously watched me set up the loom. She was very patient, waiting for me to tie on the warp strings. She stood next to me when I started to weave, watching my movements. As soon as I invited her to take a turn, she followed the sequence of my steps and though she could barely touch the treadles, eagerly wove for over an hour. Only when her mother left, did she vacate the bench to run after her.
She was followed by people stopping by to watch for a while, asking questions regarding the mechanics of the loom until they sat down to give it a try. After weaving a row or two, they left smiling. Patients came down, who after learning the rhythms of weaving, would silently continue the process until they were tired, their faces relaxed after losing themselves for a short time in the craft.
I was approached by individuals who were born in different countries where looms had been part of their surroundings and they shared these memories with me. Other staff members of the hospital stopped by to see the progress daily.
Once the large weaving was completed by so many hands, I was delighted with the outcome. It is a harmonious piece of art produced by the diverse community at the University Hospital. Thank you for your invitation. Your participation and sharing has enriched my experience in creative collaboration.